Five gold medals for Hollingworth Lake Rowing Club in South Africa
Date published: 23 October 2023
The quadruple scull of Price, Walter, Lawton and Price
Members from Hollingworth Lake Rowing Club recently competed at The 2023 World Rowing Masters Regatta held on the Roodeplaat Dam near Pretoria in South Africa. Here 308 six-lane races took place over 1,000 metres - the international distance for Master’s rowers. 805 athletes took part in men’s, women’s and mixed races in age categories from 27 upwards – the oldest competitor being 94.
Because of the distance, cost and time commitment it was not possible to field a large Hollingworth Lake team but the club paired up with Newark Rowing Club in the Midlands and had trained with them over the summer forming a number of combined or “composite” crews.
This was certainly successful as the combined clubs came away with five gold medals – an unprecedented result. Combinations of Keith Lawton and Nigel Price (Hollingworth Lake), Graham Price and Ian Walter (Newark) won in the Master’s G category (65-70) years – eights, coxless fours, coxless pairs quadruple sculls and double sculls.
Competition was tough with a large local South African contingent used to both the altitude (the dam is at over 1,200 metres (3,900 feet) and the temperature (high 30’s Celsius) as well as a broad international contingent particularly from the southern hemisphere. There was even some Russian opposition – cleverly disguised as Serbia!
What also made the venue somewhat different from the usual clinical international courses was that the Dam was in a game park, so rowers were met by zebra, kudu and other antelopes along the bank side.
Next year the World Championships are closer to home in Brandenburg (Berlin), Germany, so if anyone is interested in getting fit in a sitting down sport now is the time to start. Just go to hollingworthlakerowingclub.co.uk
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