NEWSLETTER – February 2021

Maintaining Rowing Connections – Past, Present and Future
Providing Scholarships to Junior (U19) Rowers

There is no doubting that 2020 will be well remembered for being a year that saw the cancellation of many sporting events due to the outbreak of Covid-19; notably the Legion’s April Masters regatta, the Legion’s North Island Masters regatta in August and the Rowing NZ Masters Champs which were all to have been held at Lake Karapiro.

LEGION MASTERS REGATTA (April) – Our regular slot of April for our first Masters regatta, has been pushed out to Saturday 8th May 2021 due to ever-increasing demands for the use of Lake Karapiro. This later date, however, does allow for a slightly longer training period for all you Masters out there. It will follow the usual format of Age-group racing with heats and finals for the more popular events.  The Rules of Racing, and the List of Events for this regatta will be posted on the Legion website as well as rowIT. The regatta will most likely follow a similar format to previous years; the Legion Committee have yet to finalise the programme. We will be conducting this regatta with the assistance of Karapiro Rowing Inc. Winners’ Medals will be presented and we are hopeful of organizing a social get-together following the conclusion of racing.

LEGION NORTH ISLAND MASTERS REGATTA Our second regatta has a provisional date of Saturday 28th August 2021. Legion Trophies and Winners Medals will be awarded at this regatta and we will be hosting a BBQ and prizegiving outside the Waipa Room following racing.

ROWING NZ MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIPS – The date for this regatta, set by Rowing New Zealand and to be held at Lake Ruataniwha Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th September 2021.

HANDICAP SYSTEM FOR MASTERS ROWERS The Handicapping system used for Masters regattas  in Australia will be implemented in future regattas. Handicaps apply to events where rowers of different age categories are combined in the one race.

RULING FOR THE CLASSIFICATION OF NOVICE MASTERS – This was set out in detail in our April 2020 Newsletter and there has been discussion on whether or not to seek a change to this ruling – refer to our website where the present Rule is listed
A condensed version has been supplied for this newsletter by Andrew Carr-Smith and reads…
The Novice rules apply the same way to all rowers :  Masters, Club, School, etc. The Key date is the end of each Season, which is the end of Maadi.
At the end of Maadi :
1. The current Novice intake closes and anybody who is a Novice at that time becomes an Intermediate; and
2.  A new Novice intake opens.
Because Masters rowing tends to take place over winter, the majority of Masters fall into the second category. They are new Novices.
This is also the reason the Masters National Champs is scheduled at the start of the Season.
It was deliberately set at that time to cater for Masters who hadn’t been rowing at the club regattas during the Season (as those old Novices would have a huge advantage).

RULES OF RACING REVIEW – Rowing NZ is undertaking a review of the Rules of Racing and there is an opportunity for us to discuss Masters Novices’ status.
At present the “season” date which determines when a person ceases to be novice is the day after Maadi Cup. This is challenging for Masters who may have learned to row in Spring / Summer and raced at Blue Lakes and then find that come Legion Regatta they are no longer a novice.
A detailed discussion began with an open meeting on 28th January where some options were discussed and reviewed; this was advertised and implemented through the New Zealand Masters Facebook Group

Discussion about when clubs run their Learn to Row programmes
Discussion about changing the timing of masters novice season to finish after NZ Masters Champs

Progress and Change
Andrew Carr-Smith (rowIT) suggested that adding a new racing category called “New Masters” for those with less than 3 years in the sport might be a better way of fixing the ‘Novice’ problem.
He proposes that you do your novice season as now. Then you can race for two more years against other newcomers to the sport.
The group remarks about this were
1 – You can race 2 events at the same regatta (novice + new masters) or (new masters + age)
2 – Could combine both events into one race to save event time as is done currently with low-entry events
Next steps…
The current proposal is NOT to change masters novice date in RNZ rules.
Add in a new event category for Masters who have 3 years rowing experience.

NZ JUNIORS / LEGION TRUST – With the serious disruptions caused by Covid-19 last year, there were no Junior Rowers  selected by Rowing New Zealand and as a consequence the Legion did not allocate any grants.

MASTERS ROWING COACHING SESSIONS / CAMPS FOR COACHES – With the support of Rowing New Zealand and Duncan Holland it is hoped to organise Rowing Camps for Masters during April. Legion Committee Member Rebecca Caroe has been working hard to help make this happen.  More details will be sent to all clubs when we have “crunched the numbers” and worked out the logistics.

WORLD MASTERS GAMES – These were originally scheduled to take place in Kansai, Japan, in 2021, but have now been re-scheduled for 13th to 29th May 2022, at the same venue. Exact dates are yet to be confirmed.

ASIA-PACIFIC MASTERS GAMES – These have also been re-scheduled  Spring of 2023. Exact dates are yet to be confirmed.  (Contact International Masters Games Association at “  )

LEGION MEMBERS’ SUBS – We are always looking to increase our membership, so if you are yet to join the Legion of Rowers, subs are currently $30 per year with benefits and extra, as a donation to the Legion Trust are always welcome. These funds are currently going to support Junior rowers.

– Subscibe to our mailing list
– To then join the Legion of Rowers

Once again, thank you very much for your support!

Paula Storey
Legion Secretary