The Peruvian Rowing Federation have criticised plans to use an alternative venue at Lima 2019 ©Twitter

An alternative rowing venue being considered for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games has been criticised by the national governing body responsible for the sport in Peru.

Organising Committee President Carlos Neuhaus announced earlier this month that a temporary course on a lake in Huacho, 81 miles north of Lima, is their favoured option of four back-up locations.

Initial plans to develop a new course at Callao, six miles to the west of the capital city, are being reconsidered because of concerns over ballooning costs in a project controlled by private investors. 

"We're not going to spend $260 million (£201 million/€232 million) to make a breakwater in the ocean without even knowing its final cost," Neuhaus told the EFE news agency.

"We're going to do exactly what is needed."

But the Peruvian Rowing Federation claim that all four back-up choices, including Huacho, do not conform with "technical specifications" required by World Rowing.

The lake in Huacho, they claim, has a depth of between 1 and 1.8 metres along the proposed track, well short of the minimum legal depth of 3m.

Because the lake is an ecological reserve, they believe there would be no chance of dredging the lake to a sufficient depth.

They also criticise the proposed four to five hour journey from the Athletes' Village in Lima as well as the lack of a sporting legacy.

Other considered venues at Paracas, on the River Piura and elsewhere in Callao have also been rejected after failing to meet other technical requirements. 

Instead, they support the Callao plan and claim that, as a private initiative, it will have no cost on Peruvian citizens.

Lima 2019 President Carlos Neuhaus has mooted using a lake 81 miles north of Lima ©Getty Images
Lima 2019 President Carlos Neuhaus has mooted using a lake 81 miles north of Lima ©Getty Images

They have also proposed for a 2,500m jetty to be constructed parallel to the Callao coast in order to create a permanent water sports facility for the country.

Lima 2019 insist that a site in Callao remains their preferred option.

“Holding the rowing competitions in Callao continues to be Lima 2019’s top priority and this why we are in regular contact with the private investors who have put themselves forward to fund the project," they said in a statement sent to insidethegames.

"However, the negotiations between the private investors and local authorities is not under the control of the Organising Committee.

"This is why we have explored alternative sites and have identified a lake north of Huacho, in Lima province and 135km north of Lima city, as the most viable option."

insidethegames has contacted PASO and World Rowing for a reaction.

Organisers are making a concerted effort to speed-up preparation and publicity surrounding the event after heavy criticism during last month's Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) General Assembly in Punte del Este, Uruguay.

New PASO President Neven Ilic has already travelled to Peru to meet with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and the Organising Committee. 

He has since claimed to be "convinced" that Lima 2019 will be a memorable Pan American Games, but stressed that the most must be made of the time remaining.

Another key step could come next week when Peruvian first vice-president Martin Vizcarra faces a possible vote of no confidence in Congress.

Vizcarra, also Transport and Communication Minister, is the official responsible for liaising between the Government and Lima 2019 Organisers.

He is being investigated for his involvement in handling contracts to develop Chinchero International Airport in the Cusco Region of the country.