The Masters of rowing pick St. Catharines for 2010

St. Catharines will host the 2010 FISA World Rowing Masters Regatta.

“This is wonderful news for St. Catharines and for the masters (rowers age 27 and older) rowing community of North America,” said George Darte, co-chair of the local organizing committee.

FISA, the governing body for international rowing, announced the 2010 location at its recent meetings in Munich, Germany.
Rowing Canada Aviron president Brenda Liski was excited that Canada, and St. Catharines, had again received international approval for the event.

“I’m very pleased that St. Catharines will be the site of the 2010 World Masters regatta. Masters events are growing, and are great for our sport and the communities that host them. I’m sure St. Catharines will do an excellent job hosting the world yet again.”

St. Catharines was the site of the 1999 World Championships.

“It has always been our hope to host other World events in the future,” said Phil Jones, co-chair of the local organizing committee. Other members of the committee include Susan Erskine, Greg Pinder, Bill Schenck, Tim Rigby, Walt Lastewka and John Lehnen.

And because St. Catharines is host to the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association Championships (CSSRA) and the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, in addition to other annual events, the local infrastructure is in excellent condition. Since the 1999 event, a fleet of new referee catamarans has been added.

The Masters Regatta will use the first 1,000 meters of the course to warm-up and align the competitors into their lanes. All races will be 1,000 meters and will finish in front of the grandstand. FISA requires a floating start tower in the center of the course, and a similar floating marshalling tower 500 meters above the start pontoons. These will be built for the regatta.

Last year, The 2006 FISA World Rowing Masters Regatta was held in Princeton, New Jersey where it attracted 2,500 athletes who entered into 7,200 seats – each athlete entered three races on average. Their average age was 50 and the oldest competitor was 87. Thirty-six nations were represented. This year’s regatta is being held in Zagreb, Croatia, this weekend.

“This event will have an economic impact similar to the Henley; however, as all participants are masters, they are more likely to make the event the centre of a vacation to enjoy all that Niagara has to offer,” said Darte.