One month out from the start of the world rowing championships, the reality of hosting such a mammoth event is beginning to hit home with regatta organisers.

Officials yesterday welcomed the first international competitor into the country, with top women's single sculler Mirka Knapkova, of the Czech Republic, touching down to a warm reception in Auckland.

Chasing a world championship title that has eluded her thus far in her lengthy career, Knapkova opted to fly out early to fine-tune preparations.

"I wanted to come earlier to give me more time to acclimatise so we decided to do my final preparation for the world championships in New Zealand," said Knapkova, a three-time world championship medallist.

Knapkova, who is rated among the best, most consistent women single scullers, has a long-running rivalry with defending champion Ekaterina Karsten, of Belarus. Her early arrival suggests Knapkova is keen to throw everything at beating the Belarussian in Karapiro.

But Knapkova is also wary of the local threat. The 30-year-old beat New Zealand's Emma Twigg for the bronze medal at last year's world championships in Poland, but believes she will be strong on home turf.

Today represents the one-month mark in the countdown to the world championships, which run from October 30 to November 7.

More than 700 athletes will descend on Karapiro for what will be the biggest sporting event in New Zealand since the 1990 Commonwealth Games and as the start date nears, the pressure is mounting on organisers to pull things together in time.

Most crews will start arriving in two weeks. The logistics are substantial, rather like a giant jigsaw puzzle, with all the components needing to fit for a workable arrangement. The key for Tom Mayo, chief executive of the championship's organising committee, is to make it appear seamless.

The pressure on the Delhi Commonwealth Games organisers following the problems in the athletes' village have drilled it home for Mayo how crucial it is to get things right. Feelings remain high as to who is to blame for the Games debacle.

Mayo said the outcry has made him even more conscious that the rowing world's eyes will be upon New Zealand.

"You do feel under pressure, but at the moment things are going wonderfully well and hopefully it remains that way," said Mayo.

"I think you've got to be really honest with yourselves, if there is a problem you've got to put your hand up and say there's a problem. I really feel for India, because they've got a lot of inherent problems and they have struggled."

The committee has been conscious of producing an event which is more than on-water racing with a range of entertainment in-breaks between the core activity on the lake, making it a week to remember.