Denis Nihill. Photo: Andrew Perryman.

Veteran Bendigo rower Denis Nihill will test himself against the world’s best at next month’s FISA 2019 World Rowing Masters Regatta at Lake Velence, Hungary.

The international regatta attracts many former world and Olympic title holders competing in age brackets from Under 30s to 85-plus.

Aged 78, Nihill will compete in four race categories – including coxed eights, coxed quad sculls and coxless fours for crews whose average age is 75 years or more. Races are conducted over a 1000 metre course.

Nihill has gained selection in composite crews alongside athletes from Britain, Italy, Latvia, Germany, Russia, Canada and America, and has spent months training in the early hours of the morning on Lake Weeroona in preparation.

“The rowing at world masters regattas is of a high calibre and the competition is red hot across all age brackets. I feel fit and confident, but I know I am competing against rowers who are elite in their class.

“It is thrilling to compete alongside top ranked athletes from some of the most famous rowing clubs in the world. You make many long lasting friendships with people who also share a deep love for rowing.”

Nihill has competed in nine previous FISA World Rowing Masters Regattas since 1997.

He guided a Bendigo Rowing Club quad to victory in the 2014 FISA World Rowing Masters Regatta at Ballarat’s Lake Wendouree.

A special medallion featuring the Bendigo Rowing Club crest will be presented by Nihill to the coxswains of his rowing crews as a symbol of respect and friendship.

The new season for the Bendigo Rowing Club started last Sunday.