The festival of global sport on South African soil will continue next month when the 2023 World Rowing Masters Regatta takes place at Roodeplaat Dam in Pretoria from 21 to 24 September.

Excitement is building for the regatta, with just over a month to go before hundreds of boats will launch on the Roodeplaat Dam for the first-ever World Rowing event on African water.

Winning the right to host the event in 2020, South Africa will continue a proud tradition as a trailblazer, bringing another global sporting event to Africa. This year alone, South Africa has so far played host to global events, including the Netball World Cup, Indoor Hockey World Cup, World Rugby U20 Championship, and the World Table Tennis Championships.

Held annually, the World Rowing Masters Regatta involves rowers from 27 years of age and older. Races are separated into age categories, starting at those with a minimum age of 27 and continuing to crews with an average age of 89 or more.

The regatta offers spectators a rare opportunity to see some of the biggest names in South African rowing history, including Olympic and world championships medallists that will battle it out on the famous course. Among the local heroes that will be in action is the 93-year-old John Price, who will be one of the oldest rowers at the championships.

Roodeplaat Dam, the home of South Africa’s elite rowing programme, has been upgraded for the global showpiece, leaving a lasting legacy for future Olympians. Rowing has been punching above its weight at the Olympic Games, with South African oarsmen winning medals in Athens 2004 (bronze), London 2012 (gold), and Rio 2016 (silver).

The regatta is an opportunity for aspiring young rowers to witness world-class rowing on home soil and inspire them to follow in the footsteps of South Africa’s famous medallists. The event also provides the South African rowing community with an opportunity to gain valuable experience to host future local, regional, and international regattas.

The 2023 World Rowing Masters Regatta will feature more than 850 athletes from 41 countries and five continents. Medals will be awarded to winners of each race or heat final.

The rowing festival is not only reserved for the action on the water, but extends to the picturesque banks of Roodeplaat Dam, where thousands of supporters will experience the vibe that is part and parcel of a global regatta.

An inclusion doubles (W, M or MIX PR3 2x) will be part of the World Rowing Masters Regatta race schedule for the first time. An inclusion double consists of one able-bodied rower and one para-rower with a valid classification.

Singles finals will be held at the end of each day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the eight fastest finishers from the heats in each age category.

Here’s what to expect from the 2023 World Rowing Masters Regatta:

  •     4 days of competition
  •     400 races
  •     Non-stop action – Heats set off every three minutes
  •     Over 1,000 medals to be awarded
  •     900 competitors
  •     2,000 spectators
  •     Visitors from 40 countries
  •     Over 50 international and national officials
  •     150 volunteers

For more information about the 2023 World Rowing Masters Regatta, visit

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Dates: 21 to 24 September 2023

Time: 8.30 am to 4.30pm (Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 September)

9.00am to 12.00pm (Sunday 24 September)

Location: Roodeplaat Dam


The World Rowing Masters Regatta caters to all rowers aged 27 and upwards is a club regatta that allows competitors to enter instead of qualifying for the showpiece through national selection nor do they represent their countries. The annual regatta has been held each year since its debut in 1974, except for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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