A NEW breed of Ballarat rowers is bubbling with enthusiasm ahead of their biggest challenge yet.
Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club will spearhead the hometown assault on the Victorian Masters Rowing Championships on Lake Wendouree on Saturday.
The event is a warm up for the Australian Masters titles in Ballarat on May 24-27.
Wendouree Ballarat captain Tim Wright said masters rowers made up the majority of the club’s membership base, which had climbed to about 100 since water had returned to Lake Wendouree after a decade of drought without rowing at the venue.
He said many were new to the sport, having joined up initially as a way of being active only a matter of months ago.
Wright said as they had progressed, they had decided to take on the rowing competitively.
The majority are women in the 35-plus age bracket.
He said it was encouraging to seeing so many new to the sport enjoying the challenge.
In relation to the state and national titles, Wright said the crews were “really wound up”.
He said this was a great opportunity in their first season to see how far they had come in rowing.
Wright said the club was pleased with the progress the Wendouree Ballarat membership was making now that rowing was back on Lake Wendouree.
Masters rowing begins at 27 years of age.
Ballarat Rowing Association president and Rowing Victorian board member Eric Waller said all was ready for the state regatta.
Waller said the 1000-metre course was in top shape, with the finishing touches to the event infrastructure being put in place over the next few days.
This includes the arrival today of three catamarans from Nagambie to be used by judges.
More than 60 events will be rowed on Saturday, beginning at 9am.