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Wallingford Rowing Club demonstrated that its veteran squad are true golden age rowers with a clutch of medals at the World Rowing Masters Regatta at Varese in Italy last week. Organised by rowing’s world governing body FISA, the World Rowing Masters Regatta brings together the crème de la crème of athletes competing as veterans. In rowing, that starts at age 27 and there’s no upper limit! The racing categories are determined by the average age of the crew.

Sean Morris and Colin Cusack risked problems with excess baggage on their trip home thanks to an incredible haul of gold medals. In the Men’s Pair category they won at both F (average crew age of 60 or more) and G (average crew age of 65 or more). Sean also won the H pair category with Duncan Spencer from the USA. Sean and Colin teamed up with fellow Wallingfordians Pieter van Vrede, Michael Drury and Johanna van Vrede to win the F Men’s Coxed Four. With Tom Bishop from Quintin Rowing Club and Bill Chambers from Aviron Vevey, a Swiss club, Sean and Colin also won the F Men’s Coxless Four. They also made a combination Charles Parry from Wallingford, and again with Tom Bishop, to win G quad sculls, G coxless fours and G coxed fours, again with Johanna van Vrede steering.

Wallingford’s veteran ladies also had a great regatta, with a hard-fought third place claimed by Becky Waller and Sally Axon in the B (average crew age over 36, despite their average age being higher than that) Women’s Pair and a variety of extremely competitive boats in other categories. On the final day of events for mixed crews, the best result was a storming second place in the mixed D eights.

Katie Kapernaros, WRC Women’s Veteran Squad Captain, said, “It was a truly wonderful event. Varese is incredibly beautiful and we were overwhelmed by the camaraderie and friendship shown by all our fellow competitors and the local volunteers. And of course we’re delighted to prove once again that age is no barrier to success in the sport of rowing!”


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