Fans from across the globe flock to Dorney

Rowing fans from right around the world converged on Dorney for the Samsung World Rowing Cup this weekend – get a closer look at the people behind the ‘Dorney Roar’…

The lake may be known for the Dorney Roar, but it was the sound of Christophe Campdini’s cowbell that’s been drowning out most other noise at the water’s edge.

He’d travelled from Switzerland to support adaptive rower Ursula Schwaller, who switched to the sport after winning a bronze medal in hand-cycling at the 2012 Paralympics.

Christophe is president of Societe D’Avion Friboug boat club, where Ursula trains, and he was cheering her on with friends Marcel Kadeili and Henry-Peter Roth.

They were among many spectators who travelled to Dorney Lake from across the globe, to watch the World Rowing Cup.

“The Olympics here last year were fantastic and it’s good to have some of the smaller countries here for this,” Marcel said. “The food we’ve had while we’ve been over here has been very good, but we’re not so keen on the coffee!”

A sea of Norweigan flags were waving for Tale Gjoertz, as her family cheered her on in the women’s single sculls. She’s competing in her first world cup this year at the age of 23 and some of her relatives travelled over to support her.

Kriston Gjoertz, her mother, said the rain hadn’t put them off watching from the water’s edge. “We have weather just as bad in Norway so we’re used to it!”

Yogi Agarwal was visiting Britain from India when relatives brought him along to Dorney Lake. “It’s my first time here but I saw it on the television during the Olympics and it looked really good,” he said.

However, some spectators hadn’t needed to travel far to get to the event.

Paul Goldsmith lives in nearby Walton-on-Thames in Surrey and attended racing with his wife, Tina, and father, Edmund. He said: “I was here for the Olympics last year and it’s a brilliant venue that’s not too far for us to get to.

“There are a lot of things here for spectators this year, like food tents, which is good.”

For five-year-old Emily Broadhurst, from Gloucestershire, the World Rowing Cup was the taste she’d got of the sport.

Her mother, Claire Broadhurst, said: “I went to two days of the rowing at the Olympics last year but Emily didn’t go, so she’s we’ve brought her today as her birthday treat because she’s about to turn six.

“And we’ve brought flags to support Great Britain.”

Matt Talbot and Van Hoang were visiting Dorney Lake for the first time, from their home near Gatwick Airport.

“We watched the rowing on television during the Olympics and really enjoyed it so came to this. The volunteers have all been really friendly. Van’s from Hong Kong so we’re cheering them and Great Britain on.”

By Faye Hackwell

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