The South American Masters

Image of Royal Chester at South American MastersThree members of Royal Chester made the long journey to Florianopolis in Brazil in May to participate in the South American Masters Championship. The trio participated in 4 events and came back with medals in D4-, D4+ and F2x.

John Hinnigan explained the origin of this unusual trip “I met the Vice President of the Brazilian Rowing Federation at the World Masters in Vienna and he invited us to send a guest crew to the South American Masters. Paul Richards our Captain and Michal Palamarczuk the Royals Chairman leapt at the chance to compete against the best from Brazil, Argentina and all the other South American nations.”

Upon arrival in Brazil the three Royals rowers managed to recruit some talented additional crew members for the fours and an eight, some from the Aldo Luz club in Florianopolis and others from Flamengo, a leading Rio de Janeiro club (which also has a rather famous football team whose home is the Maracana stadium).

The Championships in Florianopolis were held on a 6 lane course in a large sea inlet. “Racing conditions were rather different to those we’re used to” comments Michal Palamarczuk “with, on occasions, quite a stiff breeze and a sizeable swell which made life difficult, particularly for the smaller boats.”

Following the Masters the group were hosted by Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro and had the opportunity of training on the lake where the 2016 Olympic rowing will be held. “It was a great experience to row with the famous Flamengo Club in such an iconic location” says Paul Richards.

In addition to the racing experiences and a good dose of Brazilian sunshine the Royals group greatly enjoyed the hospitality of the host clubs and are hopeful that this may be reciprocated when some of the Flamengo members visit the UK in 2011.

It seems likely that the 2012 or 2013 South American Masters will be held in Rio so the Royals Chester members are already thinking about the next Brazilian expedition.