Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC)
Sydney International Regatta Centre Bridge
Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC)
Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC)
LocationPenrith, New South Wales, Australia
Coordinates33°43′21″S 150°40′16″E / 33.7224°S 150.6712°E / -33.7224; 150.6712Coordinates: 33°43′21″S 150°40′16″E / 33.7224°S 150.6712°E / -33.7224; 150.6712
TypeArtificial lake, rowing lake
Built1995
Max. length2,300 metres (7,500 feet)
Max. width170 metres (560 feet)
Surface area98 hectares (240 acres)
Average depth5 metres (16 feet)

The Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC), located in Penrith, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, is a rowing and canoe sprint venue built for the 2000 Summer Olympics.[1] It is now a popular sporting venue, with the Head of the River Regatta held annually.

Description

The Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) is a 196-hectare outdoor sport and entertainment facility, for both on and off the water activities.[2] SIRC was built as part of the larger Penrith Lakes Scheme consisting of 2000-hectares of former quarrying land, redesigned to accommodate 6 major lakesincluding the Sydney International Regatta Centre. Its construction was finalised in 1995 prior to the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics.[3]

The Sydney International Regatta Centre contains outdoor and undercover exhibition spaces, multiple conference rooms and a spectator grandstand, architecturally designed by Woods Bagot which seats 1000 spectators undercover.[4]

SIRC consists of a 2300m competition lake, a 1500m warm up lake and a 5 km cycling and running loop amongst other prominent features.[2] The regatta centre is utilised for activities such as; rowing, canoeing, triathlons, catch and release fishing competitions, walking/jogging/rollerblading along the 5 km track surrounding the course, scuba diving lessons and corporate events and functions.[5]

The Sydney International Regatta Centre averages over 50 000 visitors a month, resulting in over half a million international and domestic visitors annually.[6]

The Sydney International Regatta Centre serves as a case study for innovative water management solutions and sustainability in architecture.

Defqon.1 Weekend Festival Australia was also held at SIRC; as a newly established and reasonably popular hard dance music event Defqon.1 Festival requires a large venue which is somewhat removed from residences, making the Regatta Centre an ideal location.

In May 2012 the second round of the UIM world powerboat championships for Blown Alcohol and 6 Litre boats was held here over 3 days and will return in 2013

It is part of the Penrith Lakes.

The site is managed by NSW Sport and Recreation.

Specifications

Undercover area at the Sydney International Regatta Centre
Undercover area at the Sydney International Regatta Centre

The Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) is a 196-hectare on and off water, outdoor activity centre. It consists of 60-hectares of landscaping, and 98-hectares of water surface making up the 2300m competition lake and 1500m warm up lake with width of 170m and average depth of 5m.[7] Under the freshwater, native aquatic plants totalling over 50,000 were planted.[8] The landscaping includes a 5 km running and cycling loop, and along the track over 30,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted.[8]  The competition lake consists of nine competition lanes spanning 13.5m wide.[7]

SIRC’s island capacity is at 20,000 people, and overall venue capacity is at 30,000. However, SIRC can host up to 50,000 people upon approval of an application.[9]

Within the Pavilion and Boatshed facilities located on the island there are 4 conference rooms equipped with audio and visual equipment, as well as a Lakeside function room. Furthermore, the grandstand and pavilion seats 1000 people.[10]

Parking at SIRC provides for 2000 cars and accommodates for busses and is situated off of Old Castlereagh Road.[8]

History

Schoolboy rowing crew on the warm up lake at SIRC.
Schoolboy rowing crew on the warm up lake at SIRC.

The concept to convert the gravel and sand quarries of Penrith into recreational lakes was initially conceived in 1968.[11] In conjunction with the NSW Government’s facilitation, land holding companies merged their quarrying operations and acreage establishing a joint venture forming the Penrith Lakes Development Corporation (PLDC) in 1980.[11] Under the Environment Planning and Assessment Act they passed the Sydney regional Environmental Plan No.11.[11] The NSW Government unveiled the 2000-hectares of aquatic based entertainment facility in 1986.

The 196-hectare Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) was completed in 1995 via the Penrith Lakes Scheme consisting of 2000-hectares of former quarrying land.[12] Woods Bagot, Blue Scope Steel (Formally known as BHP Steel), North Shore Paving Co Pty Ltd, and Conybeare Morrison were among the companies which contributed to the creation of the facilities present on the regatta centre.

The goal of the Penrith Lakes Scheme was to turn the area into a recreational space for the local community. SIRC was staged first for its use in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.[13]

Water management

The Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) draws a significant amount of water from the Nepean River system.[14] It has been used as a case study for innovative sustainable methods of water management. SIRC’s “water quality has been suitable for primary contact 95% of the time since 1996”.[15] This was met for majority of the year with minimum intervention, recurrent budget expenditure and no chemical treatment. As a shallow, freshwater lake with depth of 5m, SIRC is at risk of water contamination by algae and exotic macrophytes. The lakebed is planted with over 50,000 native aquatic plants such as ribbon-weed (Vallisneria Americana) and was introduced with bass (Macquaria novemaculeata) fingerlings “to establish a ‘balanced aquatic ecosystem’ with a healthy aquatic plant assemblage, capable of out-competing nuisance algae and ‘exotic’ macrophytes.” [16][15]

The growth of blue-green algae (Oscillatoria) along the base of the ribbon-weed at SIRC resulted in the defoliation of 1997. Additional causes include; low dissolved oxygen levels, increased turbidity, rising water levels and stratification. To physically remove the floating foliage on the surface of the water, ribbon-weed aquatic weed harvesters were implemented.[15]

Sustainability

The Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) was developed with a focus on Economically Sustainable Development (ESD) specifically in regard to flora and fauna, people, construction, energy, water, air, soil and waste management.[17][8] Ways in which they promoted this focus are:

Past events

The Sydney International Regatta Centre has hosted various recreational and sporting activities since its completion in 1995. Events include:

2019 St Joseph's College First VIII victorious, at the 2018 Scots Regatta held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.
2019 St Joseph's College First VIII victorious, at the 2018 Scots Regatta held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.

Venue regulations

The NSW Government Office of Sport stipulates the venue regulations for the Sydney International Regatta Centre. Unconditionally prohibited activities related to:

The NSW Government Office of Sport in conjunction with SIRC outlines activities that are prohibited without the venue’s permission. Conditionally prohibited activities related to:

Dogs are permitted in the Sydney International Regatta Centre provided the following conditions are met:[7]

Sydney 2000 Olympic events

During the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the Regatta Centre held the rowing events and the canoe sprint events.

Canoe Sprint
C-1 500m Men
C-1 1000m Men
C-2 500m Men
C-2 1000m Men
K-1 500 Men Women
K-1 1000m Men
K-2 500m Men Women
K-2 1000m Men
K-4 500m Women
K-4 1000m Men
Rowing
Single sculls Men Women
Coxless pair Men Women
Double sculls Men Women
Lwt double sculls Men Women
Coxless four Men
Quadruple sculls Men Women
Eight Men Women
Lwt coxless four Men

See also

References

  1. ^ 2000 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 389.
  2. ^ a b Penrith Lakes. (2015). History of the Penrith Lakes Scheme. Sydney, Australia. 1–2. Retrieved from http://admin.penrithlakes.com.au/content/2015/03/HISTORY-OF-THE-PENRITH-LAKES-SCHEME_MARCH-2015.pdf
  3. ^ Godden Mackay Logan. (2010). Penrith Lakes scheme conservation management plan. Sydney, Australia. Penrith Lakes Development Corporation. 1. 32–145. Retrieved from http://admin.penrithlakes.com.au/content/2015/03/Penrith-Lakes-Scheme-CMP-Final-Report_Reformatted-November-2010.pdf
  4. ^ BHP Steel. (2003). Sydney International Regatta Centre & Whitewater Stadium. Sydney, Australia. Olympic Case Study. Retrieved from http://www.bluescopesteel.com.au/files/sydney_international_regatta_centre.pdf
  5. ^ BHP Steel. (2003). Sydney International Regatta Centre & Whitewater Stadium. Sydney, Australia. Olympic Case Study. Retrieved from http://www.bluescopesteel.com.au/files/sydney_international_regatta_centre.pdf
  6. ^ Olympic Co-ordination Authority. (2000). Environment report 1999. Sydney, Australia. 1, 22–25. Retrieved from https://library.olympic.org/Default/digitalCollection/DigitalCollectionAttachmentDownloadHandler.ashx?documentId=166762&skipWatermark=true
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n NSW Office of Sport. (2019) Our lakes. Sydney, Australia. Retrieved from www.sport.nsw.gov.au/regattacentre/facilities/lakes
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Olympic Co-ordination Authority. (1999). Compendium of ESD initiative and outcomes. Sydney, Australia. 2,100–105. Retrieved from www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au/-/media/files/sopa/sopa/publications/environmental-publications/esd_compendium_1999.pdf?la=en&hash=EF6EE2421902A120B5650FD86197726DF65525B5.
  9. ^ NSW Government Architects Office. (2014). Penrith Lakes parkland draft vision plan. Sydney, Australia. 1, 9–61. Retrieved from www.penrithlakeseec.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Draft_Vision_Plan_Penrith_Lakes_Parklands_-_FULL-1.compressed.pdf.
  10. ^ Godden Mackay Logan. (2010). Penrith Lakes scheme conservation management plan. Sydney, Australia. Penrith Lakes Development Corporation. 1. 32–145. Retrieved from http://admin.penrithlakes.com.au/content/2015/03/Penrith-Lakes-Scheme-CMP-Final-Report_Reformatted-November-2010.pdf
  11. ^ a b c Penrith Lakes. (2015). History of the Penrith Lakes Scheme. Sydney, Australia. 1–2. Retrieved from http://admin.penrithlakes.com.au/content/2015/03/HISTORY-OF-THE-PENRITH-LAKES-SCHEME_MARCH-2015.pdf
  12. ^ Godden Mackay Logan. (2010). Penrith Lakes scheme conservation management plan. Sydney, Australia. Penrith Lakes Development Corporation. 1. 32–145. Retrieved from http://admin.penrithlakes.com.au/content/2015/03/Penrith-Lakes-Scheme-CMP-Final-Report_Reformatted-November-2010.pdf
  13. ^ "Penrith Lakes". www.penrithlakes.com.au. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  14. ^ Paterson, I. (21 September 2015). Quarry closes as plans to build the Penrith Lakes scheme begin to take shape. Sydney, Australia. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved from https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/penrith-quarry-closes-as-plans-to-build-the-penrith-lakes-scheme-begin-to-take-shape/news-story/f45c7a6c76995ad3dd54bd8ee394b121
  15. ^ a b c Roberts, D. E., Sainty, G. R., Cummins, S. P., Hunter, G. J. & Anderson, W. J. (2001). Managing submersed aquatic plants in the Sydney International Regatta Centre, Australia. Aquatic Plant Management, 39, 12–17. Retrieved from www.apms.org
  16. ^ McCreary, N. (1991). Competition as a mechanism of submersed macrophyte community structure. Aquatic Botany. 41, 177–193. Doi: 10.1016/0304-3770(91)90043-5
  17. ^ Baker, B. (2020). Introducing urban sustainability at Penrith Lakes. Sydney, Australia. 1. CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems. Retrieved from www.regional.org.au/au/soc/2002/2/baker.htm
  18. ^ a b Begley, P. & Evans, M. (16 September 2018). ‘Absolutely tragic’: Premier vows to shut festival down after two overdose deaths. Sydney, Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald.  Retrieved from https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/two-dead-after-defqon-music-festival-overdoses-at-penrith-20180916-p50422.html
  19. ^ Rota, G. (30 May 2019). Defqon.1 festival ‘postponed indefinitely’, nine months after reveller deaths. Sydney, Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/defqon-1-festival-postponed-indefinitely-nine-months-after-reveller-deaths-20190530-p51syl.html