London_DuncanOlympic Test Event: World Rowing Junior Championships @ Eton Dorney
On Friday morning Londonist ventured across the M25 to the lake at the Eton Dorney venue near Maidenhead and Windsor to take in the World Rowing Junior Championships which are doubling as LOCOG's test event for the 2012 Olympics. Overall, we had an excellent time, but it was hard to draw many strong conclusions regarding the Games experience because this week's hundreds will be next year's 30,000, one third of which are likely to be on the grass near the start with the others in temporary stands further up.
This week you should set your SatNav for Court Lane, Windsor SL4 6QP (or Eton College Rowing Centre if you have that POI), but beware. It may try to take you down Marsh Lane to the venue from the West or up Huntercombe Lane to the M4 on your return, both of which are closed to event traffic (you'll be sent down Lake End). Also, avoid any attempt to steer you into Dorney Court - you need to drive on another 400 yards. The good news is that the signs on nearby roads are plentiful and clear. For the Olympics themselves, incidentally, this won't be an issue since there'll be no parking on site, with all drivers being directed to Windor Racecourse where a temporary footbridge will lead to the lake.
The entry price of £10 (£15 this weekend) wasn't bad for an adult getting nearly three hours of international youth sport, though having to pay the same price each for a pair of accompanying eight year olds seemed unnecessarily harsh, especially when the same price would get you a "family" ticket admitting one further adult and child. Programmes are £4 and good value. Take a look at our gallery for more observations on the Eton Dorney experience.