Before an oar has even struck the water in earnest, plans are in train for more international rowing events at Lake Karapiro.

Since they began in 1962, the world championships have only been staged twice in the Southern Hemisphere - at Karapiro in 1978 and Lake Barrington in Tasmania in 1992.

That seems too long between drinks. Rowing New Zealand want to maximise its new facility and Matt Smith, executive director of world governing body Fisa, impressed by what he's seen since arriving in Cambridge, sounded optimistic.

"We are already having talks with key people in the Southern Hemisphere to come back with more events," he said. "Not only world championships, perhaps World Cups and age group world champs."

Success on the water hasn't hurt RNZ's ambitions. Four gold medals in 45 minutes at the world event in Gifu, Japan in 2005 played its part.

"At our conference in 2006 when the championships were to be decided, people were so excited about the performance of the New Zealand team in Gifu, and the enthusiasm of the New Zealand bid, the European bids actually withdrew in order to show the respect for what was happening in New Zealand."

Australia are also a highly competitive rowing nation, which helps the region's case.

"I think with the performances of the Kiwi and Aussie teams, there is enthusiasm by the authorities to attract more world rowing events [Downunder]," he added.

RNZ have handed over their prized facility to Fisa who will run the championship.

"It's a bit like when you give your son the car for a first date," president Bill Falconer quipped.