The competition, highlighting the pride rowers take in water in the name of the Kafue Project, was won by Colleen Carroll from Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Carroll rows for the Women’s Masters Team at Duxbury Bay Maritime School.

Judged by rower, photographer and Kafue benefactor Steve McArthur and Kafue Ambassadors, Olympic Champion Kim Brennan and World Champion Emma Twigg, the judges came to the following conclusion:

“The image of the Ladies' Masters Crew warming up in Duxbury, Massachusetts, USA, captures an amazing sunrise with the two crews on a vast stretch of flat water, that no rower could pass up rowing on. The fire in the sky is reflected onto vast, calm, flat water (in absolute contrast to the fiery sky above) occupied by just two rowing crews.

“The shooter has composed the image to capture also a mysterious, dark, unknown piece of water in the foreground. This dark area represents the challenges faced around the world with the quality of the water on which we row. Rowers while obsessing over the state of the water, be it flat, calm, wavy or rough are sometimes less aware of its quality for drinking, swimming or wading.

“The aim of this competition was to create more awareness of the part rowers can play and how the Kafue Project is helping to not only highlight issues but also improve water quality. This winning image encapsulates the brief and draws the viewer into reflecting on the importance of water in our lives and that rowers do take pride in their water.”

Carroll’s team is comprised of eight women ranging from age 50 to 68. They practice three times per week in the early morning. Carroll says, “We row because we all love the sport. The reasons are difficult to describe – why would anyone get up at the crack of dawn in the freezing weather and work so hard before going off to your job for the day - except to anyone who rows, as they know this feeling.  We also love the competition of the regattas, the great camaraderie of our team and the beauty of our bay in every season as well as the many locations where we race.  We share a tremendous respect for our coach, whom we absolutely adore.”

Carroll will be awarded the 500 Swiss Franc prize and a matching donation will be made by McArthur to the Kafue River & Rowing Centre. The Kafue project is a collaboration between World Rowing and WWF, the World Wide Fund for Nature, to take action on the global freshwater issues that threaten the planet.

To find out more about the project, click here: