26 February 2017
Göran R Buckhorn writes:
The World Rowing Federation, FISA (Federation Internationale des Societies d’Aviron), was founded in 1892 by Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland and Trieste as the first international sports federation. The organisation has now grown to cover all of the world’s continents with 151 member national rowing federations – American Samoa became FISA’s 151st member in February this year. FISA has celebrated its 125th anniversary at different rowing events during the year, and the culminating of the festivities will be at the 2017 World Rowing Championships, which have just started in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida.
Located at the back corner of the grandstand at Sarasota-Bradenton, on the vendors’ row, is a ‘FISA 125 celebration’ tent showing rowing memorabilia. This has been organised by rowing historian Bill Miller, who is showcasing around 70 medals from the 19th/early 20th centuries. Around half of the atefacts are FISA and European regatta medals, the other half is related to American rowing history from the National Association of Amateur Oarsmen (N.A.A.O.; a predecessor of USRowing) to national champions and clubs.
‘There are some posters, which are reproductions of European regattas from [rowing historian] Tom Weil’s and my collections,’ Bill told HTBS. On display are also two Olympic oars from 1956 and 2004, N.A.A.O. Barnes Trophy and a German-made nickel-plated bronze rowing statue, a commemorative piece from the 1936 Olympics Games in Berlin.
‘All looks good and is getting a lot of eyeballs,’ Bill said.
I’m happy to hear that at a world event like the one in Sarasota-Bradenton there is some room for ‘history’, too.