PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY WORLD ROWING
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The 2023 World Rowing Masters Regatta saw 308 races taking place on the Roodeplaat Dam, competed by 805 athletes. From the individual men’s and women’s age groups to the mixed events, the regatta had hugely competitive athletes mixed with virtual novice rowers through to former Olympians.
The first-ever World Rowing event in Africa was a huge success in Tshwane. Athletes, volunteers, organisers and spectators had unanimously a great experience on the shores of Roodeplaat Dam, with tremendous races during the day and great entertainment at night.
Ron Chen, chair of World Rowing’s Masters Commission, stated: “This was the first ever World Rowing event to take place on the continent of Africa. It is therefore fitting that it will be long remembered as a version of the World Rowing Masters Regatta that created a new model for hosting our regatta. The many beneficial lessons and examples we learned this year will certainly find their way into future versions of our regatta. It has been, quite simply, one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable experiences that the Masters Rowing Commission and others who have been loyal participants in this event over the years can remember.”
Keith McIvor, chair of the 2023 World Rowing Masters Regatta’s organising committee, added : “The Organising Committee of the World Masters Rowing Regatta 2023 set our objectives as the hosting of a world-class regatta fundamentally African in nature, to leave a legacy for rowing in South Africa, to positively impact the local community, to promote key stakeholder relationships and build enduring friendships. We have achieved all of those. South African Rowing has delivered an event that the Country can be proud of.”
The 308 races had rowers grouped by those nearest in age. The D men’s single sculls (44 to 49 years of age) had the most entries with 47 competitors.
The World Rowing Club Trophies were awarded on Saturday afternoon. For the men’s category, it was a great performance from Red Star Belgrade of Serbia, who won by more than 70 points over Victoria Lake of Gauteng, South Africa. But with their great performances on the women’s side – they won by nearly 100 points over Minas Brasilia Tenis Club of Brazil – Victoria Lake of South Africa took home both the women’s Club Trophy Award and the overall Club Trophy Award.
Notable participants this year included Olympic Champions James Thompson and Sizwe Ndlovu who raced in various events, on their home soil. To see the full list of results, click here.
Friday night, the members of the “Octos” were honoured. This group celebrates active rowers 80 years of age and older. Within this group, the oldest competitor of the regatta was Odilon Maia Martins from Brazil. Maia Martins is impressively still rowing at the age of 94 years old, within the M age category (89 years and over).
Next year, the 2024 World Rowing Masters Regatta will be held in Brandenburg, Germany, from 11 to 15 September 2024. For more information about the regatta, please click here.
Find all photo galleries of the event here.