Aerial view of Dorney Lake in 2007
|Location||Dorney, Buckinghamshire, England|
|Type||Artificial lake, rowing lake|
|Basin countries||United Kingdom|
|Max. length||2.2 kilometres (1.4 miles)|
Dorney Lake (also known as Eton College Rowing Centre, and as Eton Dorney as a 2012 Summer Olympics venue) is a purpose-built rowing lake in England. It is near the village of Dorney, Buckinghamshire, and is around 3 km (2 miles) west of Windsor and Eton, close to the River Thames.
The lake is privately owned and financed by Eton College, which spent £17 million developing it. Additional grants, totalling £500,000, were obtained from Sport England, UK Sport, the DCMS and SEEDA in order to build the lake's finish tower. The project was completed in 2006, after 10 years of construction. Although it is primarily for use by the school, the facilities are hired out for rowing, as well as for canoeing, dragon boating, open water swimming and triathlon.
2012 Olympic venue
The lake was used as the 2012 Summer Olympic venue for rowing and canoe sprint, and as the 2012 Summer Paralympic venue for rowing. For the duration of the Olympics, the lake was officially referred to as Eton Dorney; confusingly, a separate venue in Stratford was called Eton Manor due to 19th century associations with the school.
To provide for Olympic spectators, the existing facilities were enhanced to include 20,000 additional seats; most of these seats were temporary. Construction began in October 2009, following investigations by Oxford Archaeology, of enhancements to Dorney Lake, including a new cut-through between the competition lake and the return lane, a new bridge and an upgraded access road, funded by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). During the Olympic events, Dorney Lake was staffed by around 3,500 personnel including volunteers; it could accommodate up to 30,000 spectators per day. A temporary bridge linked the Dorney Lake site to Windsor Racecourse, where a pick-up and drop-off point for Olympic spectators was established. Other access options existed for walkers and cyclists.
Dorney Lake has hosted the following international rowing events:
- 2005 Rowing World Cup (26–28 May)
- 2005 Coupe de la Jeunesse (29–31 July)
- 2006 World Rowing Championships (20–27 August)
- 2011 World Rowing Junior Championships (3–7 August)
- 2012 Summer Olympics (27 July – 12 August: rowing from 28 July to 4 August, then canoe sprint)
- 2012 Summer Paralympics (29 August – 9 September: rowing from 31 August to 2 September)
- 2013 Rowing World Cup (21–23 June)
- Stillwater, with consistent water conditions
- 2,200 metres (7,200 ft) straight length for racing
- 8 rowing lanes, each 13.5 metres (44 ft) wide
- Minimum water depth of 3.5 metres (11 ft)
- A return channel allowing boats to move to the start, separated from the main lake by an island
Since the lake was opened, a number of annual regattas that were previously held on the River Thames have been transferred to the lake. These include the Marlow Regatta in June, the Metropolitan Regatta in May/June, and the Wallingford Regatta in May.
The public are allowed to use the grounds of Dorney Lake when sporting events are not being run. The two-kilometre-long flat, straight paths that run along each side of the main lake make it a popular venue for runners, skaters, and even cross-country skiers practising with roller skis. The picturesque landscape also makes it a popular location for dog walkers and people out for fun.
- dorneylake.co.uk: "History & Future of Dorney Lake" Archived 4 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- The Olympic whitewater events took place at Lee Valley White Water Centre in Hertfordshire.
- London2012.com: "Work starts on time at the London 2012 Rowing and Canoe Sprint venue" Archived 12 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- Dorney Lake and the 2012 Olympics Archived 24 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- "Living Near Dorney Lake". South Bucks District Council. Archived from the original on 6 June 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- "Eton Dorney – Travel". London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Archived from the original on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- "Park and Ride / Cycling and Walk Sites for Dorney Lake". South Bucks District Council. 2012. Archived from the original on 6 June 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- London2012.com profile. Archived 30 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- "2013 Rowing World Cup regatta to be held at Eton Dorney". BBC. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Technical Details". Eton College. Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- Dorney Lake visitor information "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
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