Record breaking entries at the 27th Gróf Széchenyi István Memorial Regatta and 7th International Budapest Cup Regatta open the Hungarian rowing season.
The Hungarian rowing season kicked off in glorious sunshine at the rapidly growing Budapest Cup Regatta, organized as part of the 27th Count Széchenyi István Memorial Race. It was officially opened by Dr. Szabolcs Bényi, the President of the Hungarian Rowing Federation in the presence of the President of the hosting Danubius National Boating Club Mr. András Denk, President of the British Rowing Federation Mrs. Annamarie Phelps, FISA president Mr. Jean-Christophe Rolland and 650 rowers from 12 nations.
The 1500 spectators and athletes celebrated the record breaking number of entries to the Regatta and toasted Balázs Fürjes, chairman of the Budapest 2024 Olympic bid and government commissioner for flagship Budapest development projects, who confirmed that an international standard race course will be built in the heart of Budapest as part of the government founded Ferenc Kemény program.
This event included a new integrated 250m ergo sprint race named The Plus One Chromosome Race – where athletes from Down Syndrome Foundations competed together in teams with Hungarian Olympians and World Cup finalists from many sports such as pentathlon, judo and water polo. It was won by the mixed team of Mr. Peter Galambos ( Vác Rowing Club) who is a silver and bronze world championships medalist and Mr. Andrea Appendido athlete of the Italian SC Armida. The race showed the rowing community and its friends from different sports uniting for a good cause to bring about change.
Organizers kept secret until the very last minute that Mr. Valent Sinkovic had also accepted an invitation to the regatta and generously donated his Olympic Uni-suit to the silent auction aiming to raise money for the Foundation, which Danubius National Boating Club has supported for over 13 years.
The regatta was an opportunity to celebrate Gróf Széchenyi István, one of Hungary’s best loved historian figures and the 190th anniversary of his first rowing outing on the Danube. Count Széchényi István fell in love with rowing during his travels to the UK in 1820. Immediately upon his return, with his friend Miklos Wesselényi and a British ex-pat, they started to promote the sport in Hungary. On 16 May 1827 he rowed with his British friend from Vienna to Bratislava. This date is considered as the beginning of rowing in Hungary and so this year marks Hungarian Rowing’s 190th birthday.
The 2017 International Budapest Cup Regatta was won by long time winners, taking back the 1st spot after last year defeat, Győr Atlétikai Club, 2nd Thames Rowing Club, 3rd Műegyetemi Rowing Club.
The Capital Cup Regatta Series will continue in Vienna mid May.
The race is supported by a Market Építő Zrt-t, a Microsec Számítástechnikai Fejlesztő Zrt.-t, az, Intercontinental Budapest, Marriott Budapest, Royal Corinthia, Sofitel Chain Bridge hotels and KIOSK, TERASZ and Vakvarjú restaurants. Thanks also to the many volunteers without whom the regatta would not be possible.