Masters rowing modifies age categories
Starting this year, the age categories have been adjusted for masters rowers. There have been two age categories added to the World Rowing competition format. This is to encourage more participation, regardless of age or level.
The adaptation and addition of the age categories is as follows:
Over 80 years of age the steps will be by three years:
- Category J will be athletes 80 years (or more)
- category K will be athletes 83 years (or more)
- category L will be athletes 86 (or more)
- category M will be athletes 89 (or more)
“The 80 years mark a threshold after which the athletes lose power even more quickly or simply are no longer able to race anymore,” says FISA Masters Commission member Sebastian Franke who is aware of the increase in participation for those 85 years and over. “To give these athletes a chance to compete against their own age, rather than like in the past against younger athletes only was our motivation.
“It also is intended to encourage club or composite crews from different age groups training and racing together,” says Franke.
These new age categories will be implemented at the 2018 World Rowing Masters Regatta and will be applicable every year onwards. Any masters regatta throughout the world that use the World Rowing Federation, FISA rulebook will have to implement the rules. However, Franke notes, this is not obligatory.
With the age-group change announcement, the 2018 World Rowing Masters Regatta has now opened for registration. The regatta will take place in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, USA from 27-30 September 2018. This is the venue of the 2017 World Rowing Championships. Athletes competing at the World Rowing Masters Regatta will have the opportunity to race at the same location as the World Rowing Championships, just over the masters 1000m distance rather than the standard 2000m
In 2017 4700 athletes competed in the masters regatta on Lake Bled in Slovenia, the highest there has ever been. With this year’s age group changes, that number may rise even higher.