Seats for all at rowing champs

17:00, Sep 03 2010

Spectators at this year's world rowing championships won't be short of a seat.

To accommodate the crowds for the 2010 regatta at Lake Karapiro, construction is in progress of the biggest temporary grandstand to be built in New Zealand.

The main grandstand seating just under 10,000 fans will stretch 142 metres down the Mighty River Domain Embankment. There will be covered seating for 6000 spectators, with a huge canopy giving the structure a unique look.

Grandstand designer Ted Willson of Tonkin and Taylor said there were some interesting aspects in the design and construction.

"The whole thing has to withstand the crowds and the wind whistling across the lake and into the stand.

"The canopy ridges are held down by wire ropes to concrete blocks, with four tonnes of concrete under each canopy frame.

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"We've had to integrate the canopy into the stand structure. It's a robust design that adheres to New Zealand codes," Willson said.

Auckland's Carlton Party Hire are providing the canopy while the grandstand is being constructed by Seating Systems over the next four to five weeks.

"We're using existing products but there's a bit of adaption there," said Carlton Party Hire's Luke Patterson.

"We run the modifications past Ted – he comes back and lets us know how we're going to reinforce it, with the security of the platform being the anchor.

"The canopies are normally secured with pegs but we've got extra cable supports from the apex, secured with large weights.

"It's the first time we've had something extended so far on one side and having such an open front," Patterson said of the structure, which is designed to withstand winds of up to 100 knots.

Waikato Times