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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 report is below.

Day 3 - KMRC Preview

Make-Up Racing for Saturday's Suspended Schedule

After today's cancellations due to gale force winds, a new schedule has been announced. The regular schedules planned for Sunday and Monday will go forward without revision, and each day's regular program is expected to end by 4:30 p.m.

Then, after the regular Sunday program is completed, the semi-finals for races which were run in the wind on Saturday before racing was suspended will be run, to be followed immediately by all of the finals for those particular events. Racing on Sunday is expected to end by 7:30 pm.

Then, after the regular Monday program is completed, the qualifying heats for those Saturday races that were suspended will be run, but there will be no semi-finals for those events, and all the finalists will be determined based solely upon their placings in the qualifying heats. The finals for those particular events will then be run Monday evening. Racing on Monday is expected to end by 8:30 pm.

Race Schedule for Sunday (as revised)

B8+ (Eights with coxswain, average age 36+)

KMRC has two entries in this event. One eight is comprised of Mike Still, Craig Webster, Matt Parrish, Greg Springer, Jason Gailes, Brian Jamison, Augie Johnson and James Baker, with Kent Mitchell as Coxswain. The other eight is comprise of Sean Gorvy, Mike McGinty, Peter Schryver, Darren Hicks, Matt McKnight, Richard Shaw, Kieran Clifford and Neil West, with Andrew Probert as Coxswain. These are true international eights with 4 men from the UK, 3 from Australia and the rest from the US.

F8+ (Eights with coxswain, average age 60+)

KMRC's eight which placed 2nd in this event in Australia 3 years ago at the World Masters Games, is made up of Mike Still, Andy Kerr, Dick Lyon, Larry Hough, Skip Spiering, Fargo Thompson, Tony Johnson and Dick Draeger, with Kent Mitchell as Coxswain. Seven of these men hold either Olympic or World Championship medals, or both, from their elite rowing days, but will be faced with tough match ups against a composite crew from Piston Bullies/Marin Rowing Association and an Occoquan Boat Club entry.

C4X (Quadruple Sculls, average age 43+)

KMRC's quad in this event will be Brian Jamison, Jason Gailes, Greg Springer and Pat Hayes, a very strong entry with 3 Olympic silver medalists.

E4+ (Four with coxswain, average age 55+)

KMRC is the defending World Masters Game Champion in this event from 3 years ago in Melbourne, Australia. This year's entry will be rowed by Mike Still, Larry Hough, Skip Spiering and Andy Kerr with Kent Mitchell as Coxswain. Their principal competition is likely to come from the Russians, the Italians, Marin Rowing Association and the Occoquan Boat Club. Repeating as WMG Champion in this event will be a tall order.

A4+ (Four with Coxswain, average age 27+)

This boat is the same make-up as rowed KMRC to a Gold Medal on Friday in the B4- event. They are adding UK Coxswain, Andrew Probert, to the winning B4- combination of Sean Gorvy, James Baker, Matt Parrish and Neil West, and will again be rowing under their UK home Club, the Crabtree Rowing Club.

F4+ (Four with Coxswain, average age 60+)

This is a final only, based on qualifying races run Saturday morning in the 40 mph headwind conditions before racing was suspended. KMRC won its Saturday heat and the crew that won the F4- (coxless four, over 60) by 0.25 seconds over KMRC, also won the other Saturday morning heat in the same hallacious wind conditions in a close contest with Occoquan Boat Club. So, those three crews are the favorite for the medals in this event, which will be run Sunday evening.


KMRC - Day 3 Results

Sunday Afternoon Report

Weather is much improved, overcast, a bit cooler, but very slight wind and flat water conditions. There is a threat of rain which has not materialized as of the midday break in racing.

B8+ (Eights with Coxswain, Average age 36+)

This 4 boat race, with 4 boats to qualify, should have been cancelled and all boats sent to the finals, because there was a scratch in the second 5-boat heat, so that only 8 boats were left for the 8-boat final. Still, we had to race for lanes and it appears that the heat KMRC's two boats were in may have been tantamount to the final. KMRC (with Mike Still at stroke ) did hold off the Russian eight to win, and the other KMRC boat (with Sean Gorvy stroking ) placed third. A boat from Marin Rowing Association was fourth.

F8+ (Eights with Coxswain, Average age 60+)

This turned out to be a very tough race against the Piston Bullies/Marin eight combination which beat the KMRC crew, with KMRC coming in second to also qualify for today's final.

C4X (Quadruple Sculls, Average age 43+)

This KMRC quadruple sculls with Greg Springer at stroke won comfortably by ¾'s of a boat length to qualify for the midday semi-finals.

E4+ (Four with Coxswain, Average age 55+)

As anticipated, this is going to be a very tough category to win a medal, much less win the event. With a 5 boat heat and 4 boats to qualify for the final, all 5 boats were within ½ length of each other at the halfway point with 500 meters to go. KMRC was running in 3rd place tied with the Occoquan Boat Club, but slightly leading Marin Rowing Association, when with 350 or so meters to go, the Marin boat cracked and KMRC's boat took the stroke down to a paddle to place 4th, hoping to save some leg strength for several finals these rowers will be in this afternoon.

Evening Report

(Incomplete) KMRC Medal Count: 2 GOLD, 2 SILVER, 1 BRONZE Medals

(click on photos for larger versions)

balancing on medal stand

KMRC Silver medalists in the A4+ (average age 27+) From left to right: top row Matt Parish and James Baker; Bottom row Neil West and Sean Gorvy; foreground cox Andrew Probert.

medal ceremony

KMRC Gold medalists in B8+ (average age 36+). KMRC crew is in middle in white shirts. Bronze medalist Russians are in blue shirts to the right. Silver medalists from Marin Rowing Association are on the left.

medal ceremony

KMRC Bronze medalists in the F8+ (average age 60+) From left to right: Kent Mitchell, coxswain, Mike Still, Larry Hough, Andy Kerr, Fargo Thompson, Dick Lyon, Tony Johnson, Skip Spiering and Dick Draeger.

Of the 8 events KMRC was scheduled for today, it was forced to scratch one event for equipment problems (the E4+, fours with coxswain, average age 55+), placed 4th in a field of 8 finalists in the F4+ event (fours with coxswain, average age 60+), but won Gold medals in both the B8+ event (eights with coxswain, average age 36+) and through its UK Crabtree Boat Club counterpart the A4- (coxless fours, average age 27+). KMRC crews also won silver medals in the A4- event, finishing 1-2 in that event, and garnered a bronze medal in F8+ (eights with coxswain, average age 60+) and a silver medal in the A4+ (fours with coxswain, average age 27+). At this writing I do not have the results of the C4X event (quadruple sculls, average age 43+), but believe it to have medaled. This will be reported later.

Excluding the C4X, KMRC's medal count to date is 5 Gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze plus the outcome of the C4X event.

Monday Night Postscript

In the 8-boat B8+ final (average age for eights 36+), the KMRC boat was in lane 5 between the Russians and the Italians. KMRC took off at 45 strokes per minute and held it at 39 until 400 meters when it got the lead. Then went down to 37 until the Russians were broken with 250 meters to go. The Italians had fallen back earlier. In the last 200 meters, the Marin Rowing Association mounted a challenge to KMRC, started moving back, but KMRC raised its stroke to 40 in the last 10 strokes to stop Marin's move and take the gold medal by about a third of a length or less.

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