International rowers have been arriving in Sarasota-Manatee as organizers work to finish preparations for the World Rowing Championships. Delays occurred because of Hurricane Irma, but the event is on schedule to begin Saturday, September 23 with an Olympic-style Opening Ceremony at Nathan Benderson Park. Competition begins Sunday, September 24, and the event runs through October 1. Thousands of spectators are expected at the event to watch 1,700 athletes from more than 60 countries. Aside from the races themselves, the 2017 World Rowing Championships will be a celebration of the sport itself.