The club welcomes everyone to row, regardless of age (or size!). Scarily you actually become a masters rower at the age of 27, although most rowers under 40 still row in the main senior events. All the local regattas have masters events and different age groups can row against each other with a handicap system.
There is a very strong masters rowing scene at DARC. Many members were successful oarsmen and women when they were younger, some have taken a break in their rowing careers but as their
children have grown up and the waistline has started to expand the call back to rowing has got stronger. So if you used to row and want to take it up again you will be very welcome.
We also welcome new oarsmen and women who have never tried the sport before. Some just row for pleasure and to keep fit. Others decide to compete in regattas and there are a number of events specifically for them as a class called masters novices. These are for people who come to the sport late in life and have never won a regatta event in their life.
Below are just a couple of profiles of sections of the Masters squad, although this is by no means everyone! In addition to those below we have many crews spanning different ages and many competing in smaller boats. Most notably we are proud to have Gill Prescott rowing at DARC - six times gold medallist at the World Masters Regatta in Duisburg last year and current world record holder in the women’s over 55 age group for 2 km indoor rowing!
The Men’s Masters squad
We have a large number of masters mens crews, covering the full ranges of ages and abilities. So wherever you fit, you’ll be more than welcome. The main criteria is simply showing up in the bar! We have a Masters A (average age 27-35) squad, who are mostly novice oarsmen, many of whom have come through the club’s successful Learn to Row / Explore Rowing courses.
Right through to the Masters E/F squad (average age 55-65), who can tell you many a story about past glories, and train very hard to try to re-live them. They have had some great successes at the British Masters, Henley Masters and the World Masters Regattas over the years.
The Women’s IM3/Masters squad
The women’s IM3 squad formed in September 2012, and is a mixture of rowers with points and experienced novices. Ages range from 33 to 55, so all can row as masters and all 10 members of the squad can scull as well as row.
Crews have competed in coxed quads, winning at York and Durham Head. An IM3 8 rowed at Rutherford, beating 7 other IM3 crews. At Tyne Head and at the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race, the crew rowed as Masters C, finishing 222 out of 303 crews on the Thames.
Future plans include racing at Strathclyde Park, York and Durham City, working towards the British Rowing Masters Championships at Nottingham in May. Competing at Durham Regatta and Henley Masters will complete the season for the squad.
Hopefully the brief outlines of just some of the sections of the Masters squad have given you a flavour of masters rowing at DARC. So whether you’re an ex Olympic oarsmen or someone who has never rowed before, come and join us. Winning, even at local regatta level, requires many hours of training. Most would agree that the general high level of fitness which results from the training gives a sense of physical and mental well being which is hard to beat. Come and join us and recreate the days of your youth. Well almost!! Many masters are down on a Sunday morning around 10am.