‘Masters’ is an age category. Rowers become Masters in the year of their 27th birthday
Masters rowers (known as Veterans in Great Britain until 2010) are a significant part of the rowing community. Some masters like to race while others prefer to row recreationally in both ‘classic’ and stable boats. Many masters are also participate in fixed seat rowing, coastal sculling and adaptive rowing. In short, age is irrelevant to all types of rowing! Masters tend to row in mixed crews more often than their younger clubmates too.
Over the past 10 years or so, masters rowing has grown and changed enormously with many new rowers coming into the sport as masters after taking part in Learn to Row courses. The ranks of masters rowers also include many men and women who first learned to row when they were younger and have either kept rowing ever since or returned to rowing later in life after a break.
Why row as a master?
Rowing provides excellent all-round physical activity, which is relatively low impact and can be continued into retirement and old age. Many people are rowing and racing into their 70s, 80s and even 90s. Rowing on water is organised around rowing club whose members benefit from the associated camaraderie and companionship that maintains mental as well as physical wellbeing. You don’t have to be a member of a club to row and train but it certainly helps to join in with a group on a regular basis and have a cup of tea and a chat afterwards
Masters racing, using an age-related handicapping system, is often highly competitive.
Internationally, Masters rowers have an annual championships called the World Rowing Masters Regatta, which is extremely popular and lasts for four days. You don’t have to be selected to race there – it’s for club crews and scullers.
Key competitions in the masters racing calendar are the British Rowing Masters Championships, which takes place annually in June and has events at different levels as well as for different age groups, the Vesta International Masters Head (March), Henley Masters Regatta (July), and the Veteran Fours Head (November). Many open regattas and head races also include events for masters rowers
Details of the Masters handicapping system can be found in the Rules of Racing.
Contact the British Rowing Masters Committee
British Rowing’s Masters Committee is responsible for pursuing all aspects of the sport that concern Masters rowing. This includes increasing participation as well as developing opportunities for competition.
For more information on Masters rowing competitions, please contact Brian Chapman, Chairman of British Rowing Masters Rowing Committee on: firstname.lastname@example.org.