Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Doctor clocks up 20th Regatta win

A DOCTOR who rows to keep himself ?young? won his 20th competition at this year?s Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta.

A DOCTOR who rows to keep himself ?young? won his 20th competition at this year?s Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta.

William Konarzewski, 63, was one of 700 competitors who took part in 361 heats and races on the Thames on Friday and Saturday.

More than 2,500 spectators watched the action featuring skiffs, canoes, dinghies and dongolas. A special dongola race was held at the end of the event to celebrate 125 years of dongola racing at the regatta.

Dr Konarzewski first won the Mardon Challenge Cup for the gentleman?s single Canadian canoe in 1982. His latest victory was against David Corke and made him the oldest winner of the event.

Dr Konarzewski has a home in both Shiplake, where he trains out of Bolney Ferry boathouse, and Colchester in Essex, where he works as consultant anaesthetist.

He said: ?I train very hard every day of the year. If I can beat young men in the water then physiologically I?m as young as they are.

?The atmosphere very much helps and I can hear people calling my name ? that gives me a lot of adrenaline.

?I?m just a big fish in a very small pond but I want to keep myself a young man.?

Peter Symons, honorary secretary of the regatta, said Dr Konarzewski?s event was one of the hardest to win as it is over the longest distance and to win it 20 times was ?unbelievable?.

?William trains all year, only for this one event,? he said ?At 63, he should be way too old to compete seriously but he still does. He is super-fit.?

Mr Symons said the fine weather had played a big part in a successful weekend.

A number of spectators erected gazebos and had picnics and drinks on the river bank and most of the crowd stayed until the end to see the special dongola race.

Mr Symons said: ?There were lots of people shouting from the side and there was a great atmosphere throughout the day. The racing was particularly good ? the standard these days for what is considered a fun event is extremely high.?

For the full story and pictures, see this week?s Henley Standard.

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