A record 4,700 masters rowers are heading to Bled, Slovenia for the 2017 World Rowing Masters Regatta.
This record number of competitors demonstrates the continued growth of masters rowing witnessed in recent years and in Bled they will represent 860 rowing clubs from around the world.
There are over 6,000 boat entries which make up nearly 18,000 seats in boats being raced. During the five-day regatta there will be more than 900 races taking place over the 1,000m race distance. It makes this Masters Regatta the biggest World Rowing regatta ever in terms of participating numbers. To get through this number of races a new race will begin every three minutes with racing starting at 7am on three of the five days of racing.
“We are proud and very pleased that the World Rowing Masters Regatta in Bled has attracted the largest number of dedicated rowers of all ages ever to row at a FISA event,” said Tone Pahle, Chair of the World Rowing Masters Rowing Commission. “Thank you, rowers for making history by pursuing your vision of a lifetime sport. Thanks also to the Bled Organising Committee for their hard work to prepare this huge regatta.”
A masters rower must be at least 27 years of age and must have been out of elite competition for at least one year. Competitors race against rowers of their own age group over a 1,000m distance. In masters rowing, the categories are grouped in five-year age blocs. The age groups go up to the ‘K’ category which is for rowers over 85 years of age. At the older end, three entries have been received from 91-year-olds including Zdzisek Adamik from Poland, Galina Vecherkovskaia of Russia and Walter Wagner from Germany.
Competitors can enter in a number of events. As well as rowing in club teams, there are also opportunities to row with rowers from other clubs or countries in “mixed” crews. The regatta attracts competitors who are first-year rowers through to Olympians. The list of Olympians in action include, among many others, Norway’s Rolf Thorsen who competed in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games and Uli Schmied of Germany who raced at the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Olympics gaining two Olympic medals.
The World Rowing Masters Regatta runs from 6 to 10 September 2017 on Lake Bled, Slovenia.
Report courtesy of World Rowing