Wessling back on the world rowing stage 30 years on
The Masters E men’s single sculls is for rowers 55 years of age and older. At this year’s World Rowing Masters Regatta the E men's single had 150 competitors, racing in 20 heats. Among the competitors was Ansgar Wessling of TVK Essen, Germany. Wessling won his race.
This win comes 30 years on from Wessling winning gold in the German men’s eight at the 1989 World Rowing Championships in Bled and comes at the beginning of an era of ongoing success for Germany in the men’s eight. In those 30 years since Germany has picked up 11 world champion titles.
For Wessling, his time rowing in the German eight was a different picture to today’s professional, near full-time crews. Training was in the weekends when the crew could come together. The rest of time they trained separately.
The international career began for Wessling when he won a silver medal in the lightweight men’s four at the 1984 World Rowing Championships in Montreal. He then decided to make the switch to openweight rowing. Between 1988 and 1992 Wessling won two world titles and two Olympic medals in the openweight eight.
Wessling, who took up rowing in 1975, aged 14, was involved in a major accident whilst motor racing in 2008. He ended up wheelchair bound for three months and walking with the use of crutches for two years. Wessling returned to rowing and now, aged 58, he is a regular competitor in masters rowing.
Leaving the World Rowing Masters Regatta immediately after his race, Wessling travelled to Mainz for a reunion row with many of his 1989 crew. During this 30 year anniversary reunion, they will remember their crewmate Roland Baar who died in a tragic car accident last year. Baar will be replaced in the crew by Heiner Schwaeppe.