International challenges for Sweden's vegan rower
Ida Andersson has continued her success in rowing by attending the World Rowing Master Regatta in Copenhagen this month. The regatta is the largest of its kind anywhere in the world with about 3000 athletes participating from 126 countries. It includes rowing in singles, pairs, fours, quad and eights using age categories.
“If you win you are dubbed world champion of your age group” Ida told us soon afterwards. “I competed in single, pair, double and mix double.”
The first race was the one Ida had thought about most during the season – although not an event she has much experience in.
“The single (average age 34 years, my own age, category A) was my main event that I have trained for the whole season, but it was also my second singles race ever. So I was rather nervous and the ambition was primarily to just do it, rather than hope for any prominent position.“
“The race was good, I did a good time, but technically and strategically I have a lot still to work on.“ Ida finished 8th, in a really tight race.
The second race was women's pair which Ida entered with a clubmate. As the pair had an average age of 40 this placed them in Masters’ Category B.
“The pair is much more in my comfort zone since sweep (having one oar each) is what I have been doing for the last 14 or so years (not sculling - two oars - that you do in a single, it is a different technique).” The race went even better than she expected.
“It went over all expectations and we finished third despite some technical difficulties. It was only our second race together, so there is room for much improvement and for next year we are definitely aiming for a higher position in that category.”
To finish third in possibly the highest profile Masters’ event in the world, with room for improvement is an amazing result. But Ida hadn’t finished!
“Then we rowed the double (average 40 years of age, category B ) and finished 5th, this was a very messy race and it is not so much to be said about it.“
New doubles experiment
The last race was with an older veteran aged 60 from Ida’s club. With an average age of 47, they were in Masters’ category C. Neither had competed in any mixed events so expectations were not high.
“We finished 2nd, which was rather a nice surprise since we did not know what to expect. Neither of us had competed in mixed events before, but it was great fun.”
Aside from taking second and third at the highest level, Ida had more positives.
“Taken together this was probably one of the best regattas I have been to, so well organized and so many great athletes. Result wise I am very happy with the 3rd and 2nd place of course but I would like to really improve in the single.”
Ida has been vegan for eleven years and vegetarian for twelve years before that, performing excellently during that time which has included taking national medals.
Ida’s enthusiasm for her sport is obvious and she’s clearly enjoying her events as well as performing excellently on vegan fuel.