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KMRC @ 2005 World Masters Games

July 22-25, 2005

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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The World Masters Games opens Friday, July 22nd, in Edmonton, Alberta Province, Canada. Over 23,000 masters athletes (age 27 and older) have registered to compete in more than 25 different sports. The Kent Mitchell Rowing Club from the San Francisco Bay Area is competing in its third consecutive World Masters regatta. KMRC has entered its 23 member competitors (ranging from age 27 to 68) in 23 men's rowing events over the 4 days of competition beginning Friday morning, July 22nd, and ending Monday evening, July 25th.

Today's results are below.

Day 1 - KMRC Preview

KMRC starts out the first day 's racing (Friday) with 6 of its 23 events as follows.

Event 108 G4+ (Four with cox, average age 65+)

Members of this boat are Larry Hough, Dick Lyon, Dick Draeger, Tony Johnson and Cox, Kent Mitchell. As a group, these 5 men have won 1 gold, 2 silver and 3 Olympic Bronze Medals and 2 World Championship medals. There are 9 crews racing in this event in 2 heats to determine the finalists. There may be only a final and no heats if one of these boats scratches, leaving 8 to row in an 8-lane final.

Event 110 B2X (Double Sculls, average age 36+)

Members of this boat are Brian Jamison and Tim Young who won the silver medal in the men's quadruple sculls in Atlanta Olympics in 1996. This is a highly competitive event with many heats to determine the finalists.

Event 114 C4+ (Four with Coxswain, average age 43+)

Members of this boat are Mike Still, Craig Webster, Skip Spiering and Mike McGinty with Andrew Probert, the Cox from the UK. Mike Still is a 1987 World Champion in the USA eight and a member of the 1992 Olympic team. The Russians are a very dominant crew in this event.

Event 116 F4- (Four without Coxswain, average age 60+)

Members of this boat are Tony Johnson, Pat Hayes, Dick Lyon and Larry Hough. Previously, these men have won 2 silver and 1 bronze medals in the Olympics.

Event 117 A4X (Quadruple Sculls, average age 27+)

Members of this boat are Jason Gailes, Brian Jamison, Tim Young and Kieran Clifford. Gailes, Jamison and Young won the silver medal in this event at the Atlanta Olympics and are joined by a tough Irishman, Kieran Clifford, who lives and rows in the San Francisco area.

Event 120 B4- (Four without coxswain, average age 36+)

Members of this boat are James Baker (US Lightweight team veteran), and 3 men from the UK, Neil West, Matt Parrish (UK Elite National team veteran) and Sean Gorvy.


KMRC - Day 1 Results

Six Events ... 3 Gold ... 2 Silver medals

Of six events, 3 golds, 2 silvers (missing 2 more golds by 2 and 0.25 seconds respectively) and one row over in the B2X, with a piece of silver in the Marin D8+ and ounce of gold in the Marin H8+.

G4+ (Four with coxswain, average age 65+): SILVER MEDAL

The morning qualifying heats were cancelled when one of the nine boats entered scratched from the event, leaving only eight boats for an 8-lane final in the afternoon. In the final, three crews were favored, one from KMRC and two from the Occoquan Boat Club, all three populated with previous US Olympic and National Team members. In the first half of the race (the first 500 meters of the 1000 meter race), the Occoquan boat stroked by Ted Kakas with two time Olympic gold and bronze medalist Ted Nash in the bow seat, took a 2/3rds length over the field with the other Occoquan Boat and the KMRC boat essentially running even with each other in 2nd place. KMRC moved out very slightly on the other Occoquan Boat to move barely into second place with 250 meters to go, and started to cut into the lead of the lead Occoquan boat, but fell short by about 2 seconds for the silver medal, holding off the other Occoquan boat by 0.2 seconds which placed third for the bronze.

B2X (Double sculls, age 36+): NO MEDAL

Brian Jamison and Tim Young placed second in their heat behind an Australian double, and qualified for the semi-finals in mid-afternoon. They then qualified for the 8-boat final in their semi-final, but decided to save themselves for their later quadruple sculls final, and simply rowed over the course in the double sculls final ending up in 8th place.

C4+ (Four with coxswain, average age 43+): GOLD MEDAL

Video clip: Gold Medal for winning the C4+ (Four with Coxswain, Age 43+). Bernadette McGinty presenting gold medal to her son, Mike. (2.4 MB Quicktime file)

McGinty, Spiering, Webster and Still, with Probert as coxswain, had only 4 boats in their heat, but were required to row over the course anyway to move on to the semi-finals. Four boats qualified for the two semi-finals in each of the three heats run in the morning. The KMRC crew placed second behind the Occoquan crew. In the semi-finals, the KMRC crew placed a credible 2nd, qualifying for the 8 boat final from the original field of 16 crews. In the final, stroke Mike Still set a blistering stroke pace of 36 for the first 750 meters, wiping out the heralded Russians, Italians and Occoquan composite crews, and finding themselves in a dog fight with the Australians, with no more than a 4 foot margin with less than 250 meters to go. At that point KMRC's Still went into his patented sprint, lifted the stroke rate to 38 and more, and his crew mates Mike McGinty, Skip Spiering and Craig Webster responded and held off the Australian's, winning the gold medal in what is generally considered one of the toughest men's sweep rowing event in the World Masters Games.

F4- (Four without coxswain, average age 60+): SILVER MEDAL

Even at 100 m to go

KMRC Silver Medal F4- (foreground) even with eventual winner, Australia, with 100 meters to go to the finish line. (click on photo for larger image)

Medal ceremony

KMRC Silver Medal F4- (Four without coxswain, age 60+). Left to Right: Tony Johnson, Pat Hayes, Dick Lyon, Larry Hough (click on photo for larger image)

The KMRC crew of Hough, Lyon, Hayes and Johnson jumped a good crew from Occoquan at the start and rowed to a comfortable victory, placing them in the afternoon finals. Clearly the closest race of the day, as the KMRC crew in its second final in an hour found itself falling short by 0.25 seconds behind a composite crew of scullers from the US and Australia, giving KMRC crews their second silver medal of the day.

B4- (Four without coxswain, average age 36+): GOLD MEDAL

This crew won impressively in its heat, taking a full length on the field in the first 20 strokes, to qualify for the finals. Led by three UK members of the KMRC contingent, and rowing under their home country Crabtree Rowing Club affiliation, this crew blitzed the field in the semi-finals and again in the finals, bringing home the third gold medal for the KMRC/Crabtree contingent.

A4X (Quadruple Sculls, average age 27+): GOLD MEDAL

medal ceremony

Gold medalists: Left to right: Kieran Clifford, Brian Jamison, Tim Young and Jason Gailes (click on photo for larger image)

This was a finals only event and the KMRC crew of Jason Gailes, Brian Jamison, Tim Young and Kieran Clifford dominated the much younger field of scullers to win the gold medal, the third of the day for KMRC crews.

Two other KMRC members also jumped into different eight oared events to fill out vacancies in two Marin Rowing Association eights. In the D8+ (average age 50+) which KMRC did not enter, KMRC's Andy Kerr and his "adopted" Marin RA crew moved through the field in the last 500 meters, ending up with a very satisfying silver medal. Later in the day, KMRC's Dick Draeger after taking a silver in KMRC's G4+ earlier in the day, teamed up with Marin Rowing Association's H8+ (8 man boat averaging at least 70 years of age) to win a gold medal.

More later.

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