Masters on the move

By RACHAEL BORICH

MASTERS rowing does not mean these rowers are leisurely rolling the oars over on Rockhampton's Fitzroy River this weekend.

Just ask former Olympic rowers Chris Shinners and Jim Lowe who are competing for Victoria's Banks Rowing Club at this weekend's Australian Masters Rowing Championships.

Both rowers have retained that competitive spirit which helped them secure starting spots in past Australian Olympic Games and World Championship teams.

Lowe, 49, joined the Australian men's eight at the Moscow 1980 Olympics, where they placed fifth, and also rowed in the fours which finished eighth at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics.

Shinners rowed with Ian Luxford, who is also in Rockhampton this weekend rowing for the University of Queensland club, in the coxless pairs at the Montreal 1976 Games and Shinners also competed at the 1974 and 1975 World Championships.

"It's certainly not the same intensity now, but you never lose that competitive edge,'' Shinners said. "We still hate losing.''

Shinners and Lowe both had about a 10-year spell from the sport to focus on other areas of their life before returning in 1997.

Teamwork, mateship and the desire to keep fit and healthy were among the key elements which marked their return to the water. Even while speaking to The Morning Bulletin the interview has to be halted as they anxiously watch the end of a race to see how their fellow club members have fared.

"You're out there with guys who are similarly driven ? they love going fast and rowing well,'' Lowe said.

Lowe and Shinners will join the stern of the Banks/Yarra Yarra championship men's D eight crew on the water tomorrow where the average age of their crew is about 60 years.



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