8 Feb 2011

Drysdale expressed concern about crowd forecasts ahead of rowing world champs

6:45 pm on 8 February 2011

The four time world champion Mahe Drysdale says the national rowing squad is shocked and frustrated by the two million dollar loss sustained by the recent world champs at Lake Karapiro and which has almost financially Rowing New Zealand.

Drysdale says the rowers were told of the $2.3 million loss late last week.

A bank loan has helped Rowing New Zealand stave off bankruptcy and allowed it to pay off creditors and its now hoping SPARC along with central and local government will also help out.

Rowing New Zealand blames overly optimistic forecasts for spectators as the cause of the loss, with 86 thousand forecast to attend but only 66 thousand going through the turnstiles.

Drysdale says he expressed concern about some of the forecast figures ahead of the event but was pleasantly surprised at the numbers that did attend which is why the size of the loss has been such a shock.

He says the national squad is relieved their high performance funding for the London Olympics isn't affected but he's concerned about the long term effect the debt will have on developing the sport over the next ten to 15 years.