30 September 2018
By Göran R Buckhorn
Writing from a World Rowing Master Regatta is not like reporting from any other ordinary regatta. There are no repecharges, quarter-final or semi-finals. Every heat is a final. You win your heat and you get a gold medal.
To get more heats (and hopefully more medals) many rowers double up several times in different age groups and boat classes. There are 17 age groups, categories A to M, from 27 years or older to 89 years or older. A rower is allowed to race in a younger age group but never in an older of course.
Forty-eight nations have gathered at Nathan Benderson Park, coming from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa. There are also so-called ‘international boats’, which are combinations of different nationalities racing in the same boat.
There was a new heat ever three minutes during the races on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Today, Sunday are for mixed crews.
The regatta is in a beautiful setting: Nathan Benderson Park is really a first class course, which was proven last year when the World Chapionships were held here.
While I’m here to to watch and write a little about the races and what’s going on around the regatta, I also travelled from Connecticut to Florida to meet some of my old chums from my Swedish rowing club, Malmö Roddklubb. As you might have noticed, I have also written about other, non-rowing related things. That’s a freedom I allow myself. While I do enjoy everything here ‘rowing’, I’m melting away in the terrible heat. It has been between 90 and 94 F degrees during the regatta days. A Swede is not used to this, not even one who has crossed the Sahara Desert.
Note: I apologise, it was a draft that was published earlier this morning. Proof reader Tom Weil was kind enough to point out the mistake – thanks Tom!