2011 World Rowing Masters Regatta Starts Today

Photo: Niksa Skelin – FISA’s website.

Today the 2011 World Rowing Masters Regatta starts on Lake Malta in Poznan, Poland. From FISA’s website, HTBS got the following:

The Lake Malta regatta course, located near the city centre of Poznan, Poland, will play host to 2,503 boats from 37 nations at the 2011 World Rowing Masters Regatta, from 8 to 11 September.

Following on from the success of last year’s World Rowing Masters Regatta held in St. Catharine’s, Canada, in which nearly 3,000 rowers participated, the Poznan waters are already thriving with the refreshing mix of experience, competition, friendly rivalry, and Olympic history.

Germany has entered the greatest number of competitors, boasting a healthy 698 boats. Great Britain is the second biggest nation represented here in Poland, with 299 boats. Poland, the United States of America, Denmark, Czech Republic and Australia also have a large fleet of over 100 boats. Organisers have also noted that entries from Brazil, Argentina, and Finland have grown since previous years.

Masters rowing begins at the age of 27, for those who no longer row at the elite level. Competitors range from former Olympians through to those racing for the first time. Races are divided into age groups going through to the recently added “J” category for the over 80 year olds. In this regatta, the eldest male competitor is 92, and the eldest female is 89 years old, proving that age truly is just a number.

Some competitors have already caught the eye of those here in Poznan. Miroslav Knapek, the father of newly crowned World Champion in the women’s single sculls Mirka Knapkova (CZE), will be racing in the “E” men’s double on Friday.

Similarly to last year, the men’s “C” age group is the most subscribed, with a total of 360 boats, 118 of which will be racing in the single. Masters rowers are allowed to enter more than one event at this regatta which means organisers already expect 7,043 “seats” to compete. For instance, Debbie Bregenzer “the cox” of Switzerland will cox a total of 13 boats. Sunday’s racing programme is composed of mixed crews and competitors can make entries during the event for these races, so the number of seats will most certainly rise before the entries deadline on Friday.

The weather for the regatta looks slightly unsettled, with a little bit of wind, rain, sun and cool temperatures forecasted until the culmination of racing on Sunday.

The masters regatta also contributes to a fund to help junior rowers. Last year, 8,176 Euros were raised through the donation of 1 Euro per boat entry fee.

Racing is held over 1,000m with races starting every three minutes. There are no finals, only heats, with the winning boat in each receiving a medal.

Live streaming is provided on the Poznan Organising Committee website here.

Please find the regatta programme here.

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