The Ladder promotes regular training in singles, efficient sculling and – given the toughness of the challenge - mental strength!
From September to the end of March there is one leg of The Ladder each month on the now notorious “Paddy’s Run” time trial. This is a competitive scull: actual times taken on the Run are adjusted for Masters’ age handicaps (based on internationally recognised data tables.) Elapsed times, as adjusted by the handicap, are aggregated for the positions on The Ladder.
Starting at the top of the New Cut the scullers make their way at 30 second intervals, as directed and recorded by the Timing Team, to the landmark known as Paddy’s Pump, which is 7.2 km downriver from the old Chestnut Tree just at the entrance to the Cut. At the Pump they simply turn and come back, where the timing team are waiting to take their finishing time on the stopwatch. The whole distance is 14.4 km and takes between 65 and 90 minutes, depending on your speed.
Between 20 and 30 scullers take part in each leg, usually held on the last Sunday of each winter month. Many commit to attempting all the legs, but Masters are welcome to attempt the challenge for one or more legs if they are able to join in. The only requirement is that scullers have been at least as far as Paddy’s Pump in some of their usual training sessions.
We’ve even had visiting guests from Cambridge and London clubs and wider Norfolk participation in the challenge.
The final placings on the Norwich Masters Sculling Ladder show conclusively who the fastest individuals are, and how speeds may have progressed over the long winter through hard work and commitment.