Squads from 46 countries (862 clubs in total) were represented at the recent World Masters’ Regatta at Lake Bled, Slovenia.

This year’s entry was the biggest yet as clubs were attracted not only by a Central European venue with breath-takingly beautiful scenery, but also the newly introduced Club Trophy Competition; points being awarded only to crews comprised entirely from one club. Over 4700 athletes raced in more than 900 races over four days and MRC Masters’ Women's Squad showed that all the hard work put in over the preceding couple of years, had been worthwhile, as they finished a highly commendable 4th.

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 In terms of individual performances, pride of place went to Amanda Rice for her victory in the D 1x.  Also of particular note was the second place for the G4- crew, and four third places in the E2-, D8+, E8+and F8+ races.  

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Talking about the new competition, FISA Masters Commission Chair, Tone Pahle said, “Rowing clubs are imperative to building the sport in each country.  We want to recognise the clubs that are building their masters’ programmes and bringing their athletes to compete at the World Rowing Masters’ Regatta.”   

At the presentation ceremony, FISA pointed out that the women’s competition, (which was won by Upper Thames), had been very closely contested with only 9 points separating 2nd, 3rd and 4th.  As the 2nd and 3rd places were taken by clubs from the U.S. and the Netherlands respectively, the MRC Masters Women's Squad was delighted to come 2nd out of 102 GB clubs.

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The five-day regatta was impressively organised, although nothing could be done about the weather, which included some torrential rain storms and difficult conditions.  The international festival atmosphere was enhanced by the lakeside area of the town being given over to various local food and drink stalls and an entertainment stage providing music each evening -a wonderful time was had by all!

Much hard work went into getting our Masters and their boats race ready and a huge thank you must be given to Phil Tinsley and John Stephenson for their coaching of the Women’s Master’s squad over the last two years.  Also to Phil and Sally Reay who undertook the task of driving our loaded trailer on the 2-day drive to Bled - and back - (having done the same to Copenhagen last year).  They have now moved on to new adventures in Dorset but leave behind a thriving and successful Women’s Masters’ squad at Marlow, which has achieved wins in both sweep and sculling boats including the Vesta Veteran’s Head of the River Novice Pennant, the Henley Masters’ Regatta, the British Masters’ Championships and the 2016 Copenhagen World Masters’ Regatta. The fact that the squad can now field eights boats in D, E and F categories is a significant legacy going forward.

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