Tuesday, 03 August 2021

How it’s changed, by world’s oldest rower

THE world’s oldest competitive oarsman visited the regatta on Thursday.

THE world’s oldest competitive oarsman visited the regatta on Thursday.

Charles Eugster, 93, has won 36 World Masters titles and hopes to add to that tally when he competes at this year’s regatta in September.

Dr Eugster last competed at Henley in 1948 in the Wyfold Challenge Cup for fours. “We lost to Westminster School, which was a terrible blow,” he recalled. “I was at bow and had to steer and I remember that I had difficulty.

“Of course, at that time things were completely different. We had oars and boats made of wood and they were individually crafted.

“As far as technique is concerned, the standard was very high because we had very thin blades but I must say the athletic performance now puts everything into a different perspective. It is far higher than it was in my time.”

He also recalled a fairground at the regatta and said the stewards’ enclosure was far smaller. Although born and educated in England, Dr Eugster has lived for much of his life in Switzerland, where he rows for Ruderclub Zurich, so he was happy to be back at Henley.

“It’s absolutely marvellous,” he said. “The atmosphere, the colour, the athletic performance — I would love to be as big and strong and as handsome as those guys rowing.”

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