Competitive fun at the World Rowing Masters Regatta
Under the gleaming sun, some 3,000 masters rowers competed in perfect conditions in Duisburg, Germany. Rowers from 44 countries, 394 cities and 543 rowing clubs raced in a total of 449 races; they raced to win medals, meet new people from around the world and show that age is no barrier to practicing sport.
From Thursday to Saturday crews raced heats, with the winner of each heat winning a medal. On Sunday, crews could come together to race mixed races, before a “fun race” between boats from FISA and the Organising Committee. Each evening at the regatta, cultural entertainment was featured on the plaza next to the regatta course and people flocked to watch, keen to relax with old and new friends alike. The highlight of the entertainment was the Masters Party on Saturday evening.
Rowers in the “J” age category proved that “being old is something wonderful”. The two oldest rowers competing, Charles Eugster and Russia’s Galina Vercheskoskaia, aged 93 and 86 respectively, demonstrated that competition is key at any age. They both won medals over the course of the four-day regatta.
Olympic legends also raced. The great Czech sculler Vaclav Chaulpa raced in the D men’s quadruple sculls as a birthday present for a friend, finishing second in his heat. Both Thomas Lange and Robert Sens also raced.
Whilst there is great level of sportsmanship and participation at the World Rowing Masters Regatta, all rowers were very competitive, and the standard of rowing was excellent. In a poll on the Facebook page dedicated to masters rowing, “racing and winning” was the highlight of choice.
Tone Pahle, Chair of the FISA Masters Commission said: “The athletes from all over the world will remember the friendly volunteers, the great evening events and the fair conditions with beautiful, sunny weather. It is really wonderful here. I have never seen so many spectators in the stands at a Masters regatta. Congratulations to Duisburg.”
Head of the organising committee Otto Schulte from Duisburg was more than satisfied with the proceedings: “It was important for us that all the rowers at the Masters feel good and that they take home a positive image of Duisburg. Our message was heard.”
Each boat entered contributes to FISA's youth rowing development programme. This programme targets youth rowing development opportunities in the developing world.
Next year, the Masters Regatta will be held in Varese, Italy from 5 to 9 September.
To look at all the results from the regatta, please click here.
For photos from the regatta, please go to our gallery