Over 11,000 seats at successful 2015 masters regatta
It was a packed boat park at the 2015 World Rowing Masters Regatta in Hazewinkel, Belgium where nearly 3,500 athletes participated in the 1,000 metre racing.
Racing began on Thursday 10 September under sunny skies, with temperatures ranging from 10-15 degrees Celsius. A new race would start every three minutes - before the previous race had finished - with the top boat in each race winning a medal. This meant a very busy day for the rowers, announcers and volunteers. Many athletes entered multiple races, with some racing as many as 15 times over the four day period.
For Friday's racing the sunny skies continued and another day full of racing with the first race at 8am and the last race finishing at 7pm. Many of these crews included composite boats, friends from around the world that come together to race each year.
The clouds rolled in Friday night bringing a light rain for Saturday’s races. The fifth race of the day on Saturday was the men’s single sculls, category K – meaning these rowers were over 85 years of age or older. Saturday saw four more races in the K category, including the women’s single sculls, men’s four, women’s quadruple sculls and the men’s double sculls. Any rower over the age of 80 is known as an Octogenarian and, as tradition dictates, each one was presented with a medal.
“It is a great atmosphere and inspiring to see people participating for so long in the sport of rowing,” said FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland. “Hazewinkel has hosted many successful events over the years, and this regatta is no exception.”
For the final day of racing, Sunday, the mixed gender events were held. Crews had to enter before 6pm on Friday night to participate in these races. This year there were more than 450 entries taking the total number of seats for the weekend up to 11,267 – a new record for the masters regatta.
The sun came out again Sunday for the last round of racing with these rowers competing for the fourth day in a row. Some of the crews had trained and raced together before, while other crews were simply competitors who had met over the weekend and decided to race together. It made for a fun last day full of surprises.
Next year’s World Rowing Masters Regatta heads to Copenhagen, Denmark from 8-11 September 2016. More information will be posted here in the lead-up to the event: http://www.worldrowing.com/events/2016-world-rowing-masters-regatta/event-information
In 2017 the event will be in Bled, Slovenia and in 2018 it will head to Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, USA.