2017 Masters National Championship Opens With Close Racing

OAK RIDGE, Tenn — The path to beginning masters rowing is different for everyone. Former collegiate rowers may see “masters” as a way to get back in touch with the sport, while those recently introduced to rowing find it to be a new challenge and a great way to stay fit.

For 24-year-old Abigail Ross of Greater Houston Rowing Club, the 2017 Masters National Championship is an opportunity to continue the racing habit she developed while rowing in college.

Ross is no stranger to Melton Lake, having raced at the venue several times collegiately while at Georgia Tech. She was happy to return to the course and try her hand at masters racing.

“Since I wanted to stay in racing shape after school, this was a way to do it,” Ross said. “I went to school in Atlanta, so I love this course. I’ve been here many times. It was almost like coming back to my home course.”

Ross competed this afternoon in the women’s AA-A quadruple sculls, winning in a time of 3:40.59. Additionally, she also raced the single sculls, completing the 1,000 meter course placing third in a time of 4:04.31.

After a foggy start to the morning, athletes in 92 races launched from the docks to compete in the first day of racing for the 2017 Masters National Championships. Melton Lake lent itself to a day of fast times and close finishes as racing this morning began with heats.

In the first race of the day, Asheville Rowing Club took on the challenge of being the only C boat in Heat 1 of the Mixed B 4+. Their average age was distinctly higher than that of the other boats. The crew had to fend off steep competition to take first in the heat and advance to the final.

“It’s a really good boat,” said Ted Nash, stroke seat for the Asheville crew. “I was actually amazed at how tight the competition was. The St. Louis boat gave us a great run, but we were able to turn it on in the end.”

Nash and the rest of the crew went on to place fifth in the final, finishing in a time of 3:40.95.

Later in the afternoon the Mixed F double sculls final gave way to one of the closest finishes of the day. The New York AC/Greenwich Crew composite boat of Charles Windeknecht and Laura Stirton Aust narrowly edged out the Malta/Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club composite crew to secure gold. Windeknecht and Stirton Aust finished just .06 seconds ahead of the second-place crew in a time of 3:44.95.

Racing will continue tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. with another full day of heats and finals.

For full results from Thursday’s racing, see www.HereNOW.com.

Watch the live stream broadcast for today’s racing and the coming days of finals on USRowing’s YouTube Channel.

Schedule | Entries | Results

Photos from the event are available for viewing and downloads here on USRowing Photos.

Written by Elise Gorberg, egorberg@usrowing.org

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