Masters Rowing

The ladies and gentlemen of veteran rowing are commonly known as Masters, Recreation, or Veteran rowers. In most cases they are people who have rowed competitively in their younger days and who have a desire to remain in the sport for the benefits it brings, not the least of which is fellowship.

The North Esk Rowing Club welcomes new members who have previously rowed and who wish to resume in a less stressful manner, as well as any people without previous exposure to the sport, who wish to learn the gentle art of rowing. The present Club membership of veteran rowers is in excess of in excess of 40 ladies and gentlemen, of varying ages across nearly all of the age categories.

Rowing Tasmania's Pennant Regattas have, as part of their programs, events for what are known as Rec/Vet rowers. These events are normally raced over what has become a standard course of 1000 metres. However, the more popular regattas at which the bulk of the veteran rowers engage are those at which non-pennant fields compete. These can be grouped as follows:

Long distance races which are organised by North Esk over a weekend in November. These involve races in single, double and quad sculls and sweep fours race over a six-kilometre course, with eight-oared crews racing over eleven kilometres. These are handicapped, based on crew ages and gender, and are open to all types of crews, including schools.

A non-pennant regatta, usually after the formal club season is finished, is run by the Launceston Regatta and Henley Association on the Home Reach course, at which several veterans' races are included among what has become largely a schools' regatta.

Each year there is a Tasmanian Master's Regatta held at Lake Barrington, where set handicaps are applied for various boat classes and age groups. This regatta caters solely for Masters rowers, with a few races for adaptive rowers. All Masters races are over 1000 metres.

An Australian Masters Rowing Championships, held annually at venues rotating around the nation, contains the same races and rower classification as its Tasmanian counterpart.

Finally, every two or three years there is a World Masters Games multi-sports event which includes rowing to which North Esk rowers present themselves. These Games were held in Australia in 2002 (Melbourne) and 2010 (Sydney).

The international system of age classification applies for these events, as follows :

A, 27 - 35 years; B, 36 - 42 years; C, 43 - 50 years; D, 50 - 54 years, E, 55 - 59 years, F, 60 - 64 years; G, 65 - 69 years; H, 70 - 74 years, I, 75 - 79 years; I 80 years and older. Crews may comprise rowers of ages outside these limits, but must have an average age (excluding coxswains as applicable) conforming to these categories.