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“This year saw the second highest entry on record, and with a large US contingent, made for fantastic racing at a venue that is greatly improved due to the Pan Am legacy”

                -Derek Ventnor (ROWONTARIO Executive Director)

 “I love this regatta! It is so festive, and what I mean by festive is that everyone is talking together, cheering on their teammates, and having a great time.  It is great to see everyone coming off the water with such great accomplishment”

                -Carol Purcer (Regatta Chair)

 “It is always a pleasure racing in Welland.  The venue always has great water”

              – Monica Barkwell (Notre Dame Rowing Club President and Rower)

“There is always great and competitive racing at the ROWONTARIO Masters Championships”

 -Jen Meeker (Island Lake Rower)

On Sunday July 19, the ROWONTARIO Master’s Championships were held in Welland, Ontario.  Located at the Welland International Flatwater Center, the 1000m course recently played host to the canoe and kayak events for the Pan American Games.  With those events now complete, the course welcomed 27 rowing clubs by early Sunday morning as the athletes prepared for a great day of racing.  With over 320 entries, the Master’s Championships was filled with great racing.

Masters rowers consist of anyone of the age of 21.  The age categories are follow an alphabetic/numeric pattern for example, athletes between 21 and 26 years of age fall under “Category AA”, “Category A” is 27-35 years of age and so forth.  To make the events as fair as possible, handicaps are given to crews with higher ages compared to their competitors.  While the raw times are taken, the real result comes after the handicap is applied, making for very tight times in the events.

Despite windy conditions, the racing was very competitive and exciting.  Bow to bow finishes, as well as dominant performances, was seen all day by spectators on the shore.  The wind was a swirl of a head/crosswind that turned into a straight head throughout the day.  Despite gusts up to 35 km/hr, all racers managed to hold their form and keep their boat moving fast.  While a storm was predicted to arrive during the later races, it held off long enough so the regatta could be finished.

Many thanks go out to the hard working volunteers and the Welland International Flatwater Center employees.  Another big thank you goes to the many umpires and officials who ran a very smooth regatta that was on time the entire day.  The biggest thank you goes to the great competitors and coaches, who made the day very exciting and gave us a great example of why we love this sport.

For full results please visit ROWONTARIO’s page here