A rower may compete as a masters rower from the beginning of the year during which he or she turns 27. Masters rowers are then placed in categories A to K, 'A' being an average of 27 years or over, and 'K' being an average of 85 years or over. Dependent on the age they turn that year, the masters rower will then compete against others with the same average age in the respective category. The average and minimum age of a crew competing excludes that of the coxswain.
The aim of a masters rower can be everything from recreational rowing to competing at regattas. The World Rowing event is the World Rowing Masters Regatta. Racing takes place over 1000m distance and the regatta can attract over 3,000 rowers. Master rowers can be former elite rowers or absolute beginners who only began rowing aged 27 or above.
Masters rowing also focuses on the health and fitness benefits of rowing, socializing and forming friendships.