Mersey RC host the rowing at 2008 World Firefighters Games
As part of Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture, the 2008 Games are being hosted by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services. They opened on Monday 25th August 2008 with a parade through the city followed by an evening of dance, music, sparks and fire at the new Liverpool Echo arena at the Albert docks.
The first day of competition at the arena got off to a good start with the indoor rowing event. Members of Mersey Rowing Club came along to help the games’ volunteer force run the event on the day. Racing comprised Lightweights and Heavyweights, divided into four categories. Open, Senior, Master and Grand Masters, all racing over 2000m and all categories with gold, silver and bronze medals up for grabs.
Fastest time of the day when to Antonio Vallejo from Semca Bomberos Cantabria 112, Spain. Racing in the Men’s Heavyweight Senior category (30-39yrs) he won with a time of 6.12.7.
The Fastest Women of the day was Abigail Link from the West Sussex fire service, racing the Senior category in a time of 7.37.9.
Also in the women’s field was Romanian Andreea Moldovanu, ex junior and U23 international (Bucharest Inspectorate FES), racing in the Open event, where she finished second in a time of 8.13.9. She will be going on to race in the single sculls rowing event on Sunday.
The closest finish occurred in the Men’s Open Lightweight event where, Kwok-Tung Choi (Hong Kong Fire Department) just managed to hold on to the silver medal by beating Nicolas Martin (Barcelona Airport Fire Department, Spain) by 1.1 seconds. Both were matching each other over the last 1000m of the race.
Warren Mathews (Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service), was unlucky to miss out on a bronze medal, losing by 1.1 seconds to Tomas Zeman (Hzs Hl. M. Prahy, Czech Republic).
The Firefighters also took part in team relays of four members per team. The winning Mixed team was Glousessex, which was a combination of fire fighters from Gloucestershire and Essex fire service, winning in a time of 9.47.3 over 3000m. The winning women’s team was the Mad Hatters (London and Cornwall Fire Service) in a time of 10.49.2 over 3000m. The winning men’s team was the Golden Oldies (Merseyside Fire and Rescue) in a time of 14.33.8 over 5000m.
Mersey Rowing Club are hosting the Games’ Lake Rowing event on Sunday 31st August at Queen’s Dock. (Club website has a map of the venue www.merseyrc.com).
This year is the 10th international games which run on a biennial basis. The games were started by an American entrepreneur and a committee of international fire fighters and in 1994 the WFG Governing Body was set up, based in Perth Western Australia. Three thousand competitors from 44 nations are taking part in more than 70 events arranged over the ten days.
Team Leader North West