14 September 2019
By Marie Barge
HTBS’s Marie Barge managed to get a brief chat with Ronald Chen, of the United States, who is the new Masters Rowing Commission Chair, after Tone Pahle, of Norway, who stepped down last year.
I had a chat with Ronald Chen, FISA council member and new chair of the Masters Commission. He was happy to share some thoughts on the venues hosting the upcoming World Rowing Masters Regatta.
‘I’m very pleased with the regatta in Velence, with the hard work the organising committee has done, and with the spacious area surrounding the race course,’ Ronald Chen said.
From the content look on his face, I’m sure he was pleased. This to compare to Bled which was a success although the area was quite small and got a little cramped from time to time.
‘Yes, it took a lot of organising skills to make that happen. The races started at daybreak and kept on almost until the sun went down’ Chen said. ‘Linz-Ottenheim [WRMR2020] is also a relatively small venue for the increasing number of entries of the Masters Regattas and it takes some skillful organisation to pull it off.’
Chen was especially excited over the new (for a Masters event) venue in Libourne, France [WRMR2022]. Being a place of not only some of the world’s finest wines, the nearby city of St Emillion is a Unesco World Heritage Site – and its only 15 minutes from the rowing arena.
Although there are not that many master rowers in South Africa, Mr. Chen really hoped that the international rowing community will be signing up for the World Rowing Masters Regatta in 2023 Pretoria, South Africa. And why not combine it with a safari, Mr. Chen suggests.