It's an impressive site. Twenty-seven boats lined up for a mass start on central Switzerland's Lake Lucerne. The Swiss Rowing Classic continued the off-season long distance racing theme over the weekend when crews left the bay of Lucerne waterfront at 2pm on Saturday to cover the 11.5 kilometre course to Stansstad.

The competitors raced in eight person boats with entries including three ?octuple? boats ? a standard coxed eight rigged with eight sets of sculling blades.

Prior to the race coxswains were invited to ride the course as an opportunity to strategise the best navigational tactics. Not only do the coxswains have to battle through a mass start of the 27 boats but also the course includes a number of impressive buoy turns where steering skills are vital.

Spectators were able to enjoy the beauty of Lake Lucerne, the surrounding mountains and the gracefulness of racing eights. A following launch enabled some spectators to view the complete race.

The overall winner, a senior men's eight, was a composite crew from Germany made of members of six different clubs. They finished the course in just over 35 minutes, holding off the Netherlands composite boat who finished only 18 seconds back.  Switzerland's Ruderclub Reuss Luzern finished in third.

First in the men's masters category went to Ruderclub Rheinfelden/Baden of Switzerland with Germany taking out the junior men and open women's category.