Rowing looks for new fans with Power8s

Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase rowing for GB in 2012
Mark Hunter (left, with Zac Purchase) won a silver medal in the 2012 Olympics and is attached to the London team
Power8 Sprints
Venue: Bristol Harbour Date: Sunday, 22 July
Coverage: 14:30-17:00 BST - BBC Sport website, Sport app & connected TV

British Rowing is hoping its new short-course event in Bristol this Sunday will bring a new audience to the sport.

The Power8 Sprints will feature eight men's and women's crews in head-to-head knockout races over a 350m course as part of the Bristol Harbour Festival.

BBC Sport will stream the event live on Sunday from 14:30 on the BBC website, app and connected TV.

"It opens up a whole new dynamic to people who might want to try rowing," said former GB rower Mark Hunter.

Rowing - eights racing
The Power8 Sprints may expand to a three-city format in 2019

"Somebody who's not thought about rowing before can try this, because you don't have to train for hours on end," said Hunter, who won gold and silver medals in 2008 and 2012 respectively.

"If you're an explosive person this might be the perfect opportunity for you to take part in the sport."

He will be mentoring London's team as their City Champion, with other rowing alumni attached to the other seven teams - Bristol, Cambridge, Exeter, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Oxford.

Men's Round 1Women's Round 1
14:45: Manchester v Oxford15:23: Manchester v London
14:52: Newcastle v Cambridge15:30: Nottingham v Oxford
15:04: Nottingham v Exeter15:42: Bristol v Newcastle
15:11: Bristol v London15:49: Exeter v Cambridge
Semi-finals: 16:01 & 16:08Semi-finals: 16:20 & 16:27
Final: 16:39Final: 16:47

The shorter course, instead of the usual 2,000m distance, means spectators can see the whole of the race from wherever they are on the quayside.

Although the Bristol event is the only one this year, there are plans to develop the Power8s into a three-city event next year.

"It's going to be great to have some of the head-to-head racing," said Hunter.

"We've got the rivalries - London-Manchester, Exeter-Bristol and obviously the Boat Race, Oxford and Cambridge - that kind of spectacle."

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