Friday – Racing and supporting

Masters C (43 year and older) single

My race was planned for 10:44. The line-up was interesting

Lane 1: Petr Mitas, representing NED but a Czech, De Laak – yes the same guy that beat me at the Czech Open Masters

Lane 2: me, representing CZE, but a Dutchman

Lane 3: GER Michael Helbig

Lane 4: ITA Massimo Patea

Frank Arnold from Germany had withdrawn.

So this bunch was the four youngest participants in the C category. At Euromasters, the singles categories race as follows. Each winner of a heat gets a medal and proceeds to the final. If there are fewer than six heats, the next fastest times qualify for a final as well. If a rower qualifies in more than one age category, he will row the final in his age category, and for the other age category the next fastest time will be selected, so there was an incentive to row fast whatever your position in the field. The finals (one for each age category) for the “Munich Trophy” would be rowed on Sunday morning, before the Mixed events, and the winner would get the Munich Trophy. The nrs 2 and 3 in the final would get a medal.

After my usual warming up routine I found myself at the pre-start with Petr and the rest of the field. Petr and I started chatting (and got reprimanded for being too noisy). Then it was time to row.



(I almost shot out of the starting pontoon now but managed to control myself, while the starter was grabbing his flag)

Red flag went up

GO! Red flag down. We were off. Here is a picture of Petr (the guy in blue in the background) and myself doing our first stroke.


Ready - Attention - Go!
Ready – Attention – Go!

Despite the almost false start, my real start was an excellent one. By the 5th stroke I was leading by a length, with Petr in second position.


I managed to stay ahead of Petr in the first 250m, but the distance between us became smaller with every stroke. With 750m to go he passed me. Given my previous race experience with this guy, I decided to stick to my race plan and race for time, as well as defend the second place.

SpeedCoach graph (exported through FIT file to Strava to – not sure whether the wavy splits are a SpeedCoach FIT export artefact or a real thing. Here is a quick plot that I made from the CSV export:


It shows better how the race evolved. I started very fast and then gradually dropped to my race pace as Petr was passing me. The 4.4 m/s of the second half of the race corresponds to a 1:53 pace. I pretty much rowed this out in a flat pace, keeping an eye on the German guy. While rowing in front of the grandstand (which is a full 250m long), I noticed a few 1:58 splits on the SpeedCoach, which motivated me to try and speed up a bit. In the end I was just 4 seconds behind Petr.

Also in the overall ranking I didn’t do bad. I had the 7th time overall, out of 38 participants. I was the fastest guy not qualifying for the finals for the Munich Trophy. 🙁

As this was all my racing for the day, I had the afternoon free to enjoy watching Romana racing, browsing through the merchandise, have a beer, and chat with various people.

Romana stroking the eight in the Masters Women C field. Photo by Natascha Kral
Romana stroking a combined Austrian/Czech/German quad

Romana was racing an eight and a quad, both races in a younger field than her crew’s age category. They finished last in both races but they took it as a good rehearsal for the Saturday races.

The weather was nice. Photo by Natascha Kral

Regarding the photos, I am reproducing the excellent pictures taken by Natascha Kral and the race pictures that I purchased from the official race photographer Patrick Frost. Only the lower quality pictures taken with a phone are my own.

In the evening I did a quick training in an ad hoc quad that we registered on Thursday afternoon. With the high price for late registration, we counted that we would pay 1,50 EURO for each stroke during the race, and although we were age category C they would only let us start in the A category. Still it was attractive enough and the race was on Saturday after my B singles race, so no clashes with high priority races.

Then Romana and I cycled to Dachau. We had an excellent Italian dinner at Mamma Rosa, a very nice place, and then went to our hotel.

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