posted on Aug, 2 2004 @ 04:25 PM
Olympic rowers preparing for this month's Athens Games have resorted to special equipment to combat expected high winds and waves.
In addition to oars, athletes will be packing foot pumps to bail out their boats if (northern) summer gales whip up the water at the coastal rowing
and kayak complex in Skinias.
"The Australians will have foot pumps in their boats," said Nathan Baggaley, twice sprint kayak world champion.
A test event last year at the Skinias venue was marred by choppy conditions that sunk several craft during races.
Australian kayakers said they have adjusted their boats to be able to able to lift the noses and ride over waves.
"Hopefully, we're just worrying about nothing," said Baggaley.
Athens organisers have insisted that the location of the site, unpopular with green groups and archaeologists due to local wetlands and antiquities,
is not a mistake.
The Greek capital is traditionally buffeted by August winds, known locally as Meltemia, raising concerns that athletes will have to battle blustery
conditions as well as the heat.