European Championships 2018: 'Iconic' tree blocks rowing grandstand

Picture the scene. You've bought tickets for an international sporting event. You arrive at your seat eager to watch Europe's best in action - only to find your view of the course blocked by a large tree.

Sound ridiculous? Perhaps. But that's exactly the scenario that may face some spectators descending on North Lanarkshire's Strathclyde Park for rowing's European Championships.

Four-time Olympic rowing champion and BBC presenter Sir Matthew Pinsent spotted the offending tree, situated directly in front of the seating bank erected for the event.

Matthew Pinsent tweet

Organisers have taken a laid-back approach to the obstruction, insisting "no tree will be harmed in the making of the European Championships".

They say there was no other suitable location for the stand to provide views of the finish line.

Championships director Colin Hartley told BBC Scotland "seats have been allocated to avoid the restricted view, in a carefully planned process" and that the stand's capacity has been reduced to allow spectators to move to areas unaffected by the tree.

He added: "We are delighted that this handsome tree has come to the attention of Olympic legend Matthew Pinsent.

"We're also delighted that we are able to use the arboriculture skills of the team at North Lanarkshire Council, who have given the tree a special haircut for the championships."

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