Entry Caps

Caps on the number of entries to be introduced for the first time.

What a success story: from small beginnings in the 1970s to one of the largest, arguably the largest rowing regatta in the world. In an unbroken series of events from Vienna in 1973, where a pre-regatta was held, to Sarasota 2018, the WRMR—as the enthusiasts like to call it—has attracted increasing numbers of masters of all age groups. In the 1974 the total number of seats raced was 1.000. The record so far has been Bled in 2017 with more than 18.300 seat entries, corresponding to 4.600 individual participants and over 900 races in the regatta.

For Hungary, when the WRMR returns to Europe, FISA expects a very high entry again. Bled in 2017 had perfect weather conditions, there were no delays even within a very tight schedule of 2 to 3 mins between the starts. But the record number of entries stretched the operating capacity to its utmost limit. To allow for a safe racing environment that would cope better with less than perfect conditions and to be sure that the experience for the participants meets expectations, in the future the Masters Commission of FISA have thought very hard on how to tackle this “problem” without hindering the success of the development of the regatta.

Beginning with the 2019 World Rowing Masters Regatta, therefore, there will be established an upper limit on the number of entries for each event. These limits with some latitude were drawn after careful study of the average entry numbers at Bled 2017, Copenhagen 2016 and Varese 2013, and would still result in total seat entries of over 16.500 and 740 races. Indeed, FISA’s Masters Commission anticipates that the likelihood of caps being reached is low for the Budapest regatta. (Only Bled 2017 has ever exceeded this number.) The quota assigned to each event will appear on RegattaCentral, the online entry system.

The Commission believes that the highest number of races the regatta can have in a full day of racing is 180. If the average is 18 races an hour, this would result in 10 full hours of racing, for example 8:00am to 6pm, with a continuous flow of races at three minute intervals, with occasional gaps to allow for adjustments and personnel shifts. It also allows some extra time each day in case racing is delayed due to weather or other adverse conditions, so that hopefully races would not need to be cancelled by impending sunset.

The limits established by the Commission add up to 175 races on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. In addition to this, FISA has reserved 5 races each day as “wildcard” slots so that if an event reaches its cap, FISA will automatically allocate to it an extra heat (i.e. eight extra boat entries), up to a limit of five for each day, for a total of 180 races. That way FISA have built in an automatic “cushion” while it fine tunes its estimates.

As a further measure, the online entry system will activate its “wait list” feature. If an event has reached its limit (even after the five “wildcard” races have been allocated), then at the moment when regular entries close, FISA will look at the entries and see if any events have not used their full allocated number of heats. If there are extra heats unused, then they will quickly reallocate those heats to any events that are oversubscribed. FISA will let wait list entries know within 48-72 hours, that their entry has been accepted.

Doping Control

Following the introduction of Doping Control tests in 2018, a number of anti-doping tests will be conducted at the 2019 World Rowing Masters Regatta in Lake Velence, Budapest, Hungary. Tests will be conducted under the auspices of the Hungarian Anti-Doping Group (HU NADO) the national anti-doping organization (NADO) in Hungary. Athletes will be selected for testing by a pre-determined “blind” system. If selected for an anti-doping test, Athlete will be notified upon landing at the pontoon after their race and given a prescribed amount of time to report to the Doping Control Officer. During that time, selected athletes will be accompanied by a chaperone and are restricted in their activities as further explained by the chaperone. Selected athletes MUST report to the Doping Control Officer within this time or will be regarded as having an anti-doping violation. Athletes who are competing within the prescribed time in another race must report this to the Doping Control Officer. Until they enter the boat they will be chaperoned and after that race will then be immediately escorted back by a chaperoneto the Doping Control Officer. At the Doping Control Station athletes should be prepared to declare all medications that they currently take, whether or not they might been found on the WADA Prohibited List. Failure to declare medication could also constitute an anti-doping-violation, and therefore FISA recommends that athletes have a list of current medication available. It is not recommended to stop use of any medication that is prescribed by a physician due to diagnosed medical conditions and that is appropriate for the medical condition, since this may result unwanted medical complications. It is not necessary for athletes at the World Rowing Masters Regatta to have procured a so-called “Therapeutic Use Exemption” (“TU E”) prior to competing. If selected for testing, an athlete who is using a substance on the Prohibited List must seek a retroactive TU E within 14 days of the regatta, executed by a competent medical authority. The principles of the World- Anti-Doping-Code allow athletes with medical conditions to be treated with a Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method if: (1) the treatment is needed to treat an acute or chronic medical condition and significant impairment to health would result if the treatment were to be withheld; (2) it is highly unlikely to produce any additional enhancement of performance beyond a normal state of health; (3) there is no reasonable therapeutic alternative; and(4) the necessity for the treatment is not a consequence, wholly or in part, of the prior use of medication. Master athletes are strongly advised to have a medical file prepared and ready to demonstrate their compliance with the TU E conditions set out in Article 4.1 of the International Standards for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (“ISTU E”), if they need to submit an application for a retroactive TU E following Sample collection.

ISTUE is available at:

In doubt, please consult your national rowing federation or your national Anti-Doping-Agency. The WADA-Code, the WADA List of Prohibited Substances or Methods is available at: www.wada-ama.org

General education information is found at: https://www.wada-ama.org/en/what-we-do/education-prevention.

Useful information for rowers is also found at: http://www.worldrowing.com/athletes/medical-and-antidoping/antidoping.

The 2019 World Anti-Doping Code Prohibited List is available at: https://www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/wada_2019_english_prohibited_list.pdf