The unstoppable rise in the fortunes of the WRC trickled down to the Masters squad at the national Masters Champs. Arriving fitter, stronger and more experienced than we have been in recent years paid dividends at a regatta where Masters rowers across the country were using this as a warm up for next year’s World Masters Games. Virtually every member won a medal, with John Verstappen and Alan Mills collecting 3 each.
Our squad, ranging in age from 35 to 70, competed against Olympic medalists and many other national representatives that have previously seriously outclassed us. Without doubt, we are closing the gap and getting some recognition for this.
The undeniable highlight was a stunning win in the Men’s C grade Eight, featuring Angry Dan and Brutal Brad in the engine room, while seniors John Verstappen and Andrew Wild held things together in the bow. Leadership and experience from Alan Mills in stroke and a masterful call from Clare Wetterings as cox proved decisive. A recent training day on the Manawatu with Dick Joyce was also instrumental in getting us there in a confident mood. The crew can rightly claim the early front-running for WRC crew of the year. The gauntlet has been laid down.
The women crews also had some success, but travel and illness affected results. Last year they outshone the men. Across the squad, medals were won in pair (twice), double, fours, quads and the eight.We march on towards Masters World’s in April in great spirits and will be welcoming back Masters rowers that didn’t come to the Champs.