Ted Competes at the FISA World Rowing Masters Regatta

Last week I took time off work to row at the FISA World Rowing Masters Regatta. This is a very large regatta run by the international rowing federation (FISA) that is held in different locations around the world each year. This year it was held in Duisburg, Germany which is only 100km from where we currently live, so I just had to attend even though I was not really prepared.

The regatta was very big, with over 3,000 competitors representing 44 countries, participating 449 races held over 4 days. The overall competition level was extremely high and the average size of the rowers made me feel very small. (Comment from Paula: Welcome to my world!!!.) This was the first time my Dutch rowing partner and I had rowed a 1K race together and we wanted to use this as a learning opportunity. We rowed 2 races with OK results in our heats, but our overall times were not that good compared to the entire field. From a learning perspective it was a very successful race; we were able to review the data from our first race and make measurable improvements in our second race. Now, we need to continue improving for the World Masters Games in Torino next year, and apply what we learned in our next race this weekend in Rotterdam. I also raced in the single where I was last in my heat, but based on my time I was close to the middle of the overall field.

The rowing venue in Duisburg is awesome, and was the highlight of the trip. The course was laid out in the standard international 2K competitive race track with the launch and retrieval area separated from the racecourse, with a long channel to the start area, and then a fully outfitted 8 lane race course that finished in front of a covered stadium with a jumbo-tron. What made this unique is how it was integrated with the very beautiful park and other outdoor activities. For example, there was a ropes course going over the water, so while rowing to the start of the race people were ziplining across the water above you. The race course also provided a first for me: This is the first time I raced with a full Olympic-style start. This included a “boot” that is raised from under the water and holds the bow of your boat. This “boot” prevents rowers from false starting, and retracts when the race is started. For a big regatta like this, with races starting every 3 minutes, the “boot” system really helps speed up the alignment of the boats at the start of the race.

The other amazing aspect of the venue was the food and drink. Since we were in Germany the beer tents were abundant. These beer tents were supplemented with all sorts of different tents selling specific beverages including: Champaign, Gin, mixed drinks, RedBull, soft drinks and coffee. The only drink missing was sports drinks, but I guess in Germany RedBull is a sports drink? Unfortunately Paula could not attend the regatta and really missed out because her favorite two foods were prevelent, grilled shrimp and soft pretzels. (Comment from Paula: He did bring me home several soft pretzels – much beter than getting flowers!)

Overall it was a great experience and a lot of fun, even though we did not bring home any medals this time.

One Response to “Ted Competes at the FISA World Rowing Masters Regatta”

  1. Marsha Berman Says:

    Sounds like the experience was very worthwhile. Good for you.

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