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St. Petersburg rowers do not have enough water

Paradox: in the “city on the water” athletes have nowhere to row. The existing channel is not suitable for competition, and for 20 years the rowers of St. Petersburg have been waiting for a new one to be built. And nothing has changed.
Summer Olympics in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is one of the most beautiful cities in our country, the “sea capital”, which is rightly proud of its atmosphere, culture and architecture.

It was here in 1864 that the first rowing club in Russia appeared, and professional rowing was born.

The city was famous for sports traditions and brought up 14 champions and 29 winners of the Olympic Games, 24 world champions, 84 European champions.

Today, St. Petersburg, along with Milan, Rome, Baku and Paris, claims the right to hold the summer Olympics in 2024 or 2028. If you win, you will need the construction of several major sports facilities, and the scale of construction will be comparable to the Sochi. So, experts say that St. Petersburg needs four Olympic facilities – a large stadium for athletics for 80 thousand spectators, a sailing and tennis center, as well as a new rowing canal 2000 m long.

A new video about the St. Petersburg channel, especially for the article:

Similar applications were filed before. In the mid-90s, the city fought for the 2004 Games, then 2020. And every time a question arises about building a rowing canal, because the one on Krestovsky is suitable only for surfers.
The rowing canal on Krestovsky Island is the only body of water where athletes can train. The channel began to be built in 1958 by the project of architect A.S. Nicholas. It was assumed that you need:

– dig a canal in a straight line from Srednyaya Nevka near the stadium to the 2nd Elagin Bridge;

– not to affect the riverbed Vinnovka, separating the Bull Island from Krestovsky;

– make a channel 2 km long.

Two years later, construction was suspended, the project was changed. In the mid-1960s. the channel was completed, but wrong. First, he went along the northern coast of Krestovsky Island right along the Vinnovka bed, from Srednaya Nevka to the Gulf of Finland. Secondly, it turned out to be non-standard, short, not suitable for holding competitions.

St. Petersburg, rowing canal
The total length of the channel is 1350 m, whereas according to the Olympic requirements it should be about 2300 m. The distance is only 1000 m, that is, two times shorter than necessary. “You cannot train a sprinter at a distance of 50 meters if he needs to run 100,” explains Sergey Pozdeev, first vice president of the St. Petersburg Rowing Federation.

Fight for a place in the sun

The St. Petersburg rowing canal has other problems, for example, related to the activities of the judo club “Yavara-Neva”, which is located next door, on Bull Island. Club owner Arkady Rotenberg used to be Vladimir Putin’s sparring partner, and now ranks 27th on the Forbes list.

The judo club builds infrastructure between Krestovsky and the Bull Islands, which causes the channel to narrow. The 45-meter channel is filled up, and a highway is planned to be built along the dam. Yavara-Neva describes its construction work as bank protection of the rowing canal, but there is a risk that as a result of this strengthening the rowers’ boats will not be able to enter the Gulf of Finland, and the canal itself will turn into a pond.

Zenit Arena Stadium
In addition, as part of the construction, it is planned to move the existing dilapidated bridge across the rowing canal 150 m to the east and build another one through the canal. Channel bridges are a separate topic. If their height is three meters, as planned, then with minimal water raising, the referee boats will no longer fall into the canal. St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko believes it is necessary to make the bridges either high or movable. Will it be like that?

Behind the Strela rowing base, a toll highway is being built – the Western High-Speed ​​Diameter. The location of the road guarantees: road noise will be well heard by the rowers, and the air here will, of course, be very far from clear. But that’s not all! Since 2007, the Zenit Arena football stadium has been built on the western tip of Krestovsky Island. The object should be ready for delivery in 2016, since in 2018 the World Cup matches will take place here. Obviously, the construction of the stadium does not benefit the rowing canal, it prevents its improvement and, especially, expansion.
At the January meeting, Poltavchenko touched on a question related to the Yavara-Neva judo club and instructed his decision to the city sports committee. In April, the head of the sports committee, Yuri Avdeev, stated that there were no problems, and Yavara-Neva fulfilled all obligations to the Strela rowing base.

“We met with representatives of Yavara-Neva,” Adeev said, “asked to expand the channel and remove those bevels that were there, to be transferred to the other side. They asked to provide for the possibility of arranging zones for leaving the rowing canal to Nevka in two places. This will allow the channel to be saturated with water so that it does not overgrow and turn into a marsh. ”

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