Rowing Masters Regatta comes to a successful close
Following four days of competitive racing at the World Rowing Masters Regatta, FISA Masters Commission Chair has called the event a success. The final day saw temperatures reaching a balmy 24 degrees Celsius which was welcomed by fans and athletes alike.
Local crews rounded up the most medals, with Melbourne Rowing Club, Melbourne University Rowing Club and Essendon Rowing Club finishing on top of the medals table. All three of these clubs come from Australia's state of Victoria. The highest ranked non-Victorian club was Canberra Rowing Club. Russia’s Dynamo Rowing Club, who often leads the medal table at masters events, was the highest ranked international club, alongside Denmark’s Fredenborg Rowing Club.
“It has been a wonderful event and fantastic to see so many masters rowers out competing here in Ballarat,” said FISA Masters Commission Chair Tone Pahle. “Events such as these could not be run without the support of Rowing Australia as well as the host city, Ballarat and of course the State Government of Victoria. We are extremely grateful for all the support we’ve received and the weather has been superb, it really has been a wonderful event.”
Four-time World Champion Elia Luina of Italy and his double partner Alessandro Gorini arranged their trip to Australia specifically to attend the event. Gorini learned to row in 2013, when the masters regatta came to his home town of Varese, Italy. Their trip to Australia happened on whim. Gorini had extra holidays and Luini agreed to accompany him, but only if they went to Australia. A few days later, both had booked flights. “We travelled from Sydney to Cairns,” says Gorini. “I thought we would miss the masters regatta, but when we found out it was in October, we changed our travel plans so we could come.”
“I went back to the Olympic regatta course in Pentrith where I won silver in 2000,” says Luini. “I even stayed in the same hotel room.” Luini and Gorini then made their way to Ballarat to race in the double. Despite colder than expected temperatures, and an unexpectedly high level of competition, the two enjoyed racing in Ballarat.
Luini is unsure if he will row at the masters level again next year, but his doubles partner has already set his sights on the 2015 event in Hazewinkel, Belgium.
Two competitors from South Africa, Richard Moolenschoot and Dagmar Atkinson travelled to Ballarat all the way from Cape Town.
“The event has really motivated me to keep rowing and encourage more people to travel to masters events. This one has provided great conditions, great facilities and fantastic racing which has helped me set future goals for my racing,” Atkinson said.
The duo won their race in the E-category men’s double sculls. “I’ve been rowing for nearly 40 years, said Moolenschoot, “and it’s all about the camaraderie for me and the real spirit of masters competition. I would encourage people to take part because there is something really special about rowing and still being able to do it for so many years.”
The 2015 World Rowing Masters Regatta will take place from 10-13 September, 2015 in Hazewinkel, Belgium.
For full results from the 2014 event, please click here.
Special thanks to Rowing Australia