Euro Masters Regatta München on wonderful Ilford FP4 film

The week I moved to Munich there was an international rowing regatta being held at the rowing lake I will be rowing on in future, what a great opportunity to go check out the action and enjoy the sun...along with a roll of trustworthy Ilford FP4 film.

About the venue

The rowing lake at Oberschleißheim is an artificial lake created for the 1972 Munich Olympics, including a public viewing stand for a whopping 9,500 spectators! It has hosted a number of international rowing events since the Olympics, and is currently used actively by rowers, canoers, dragon boats, swimmers, and even water polo basketball (at least that is how I describe it).

The Euro Masters Regatta is a 1,000m race(as opposed to the standard 2,000m Olympic distance) with pretty much every boat class available as far as I could see. For more on different rowing boat classes click here. Over 2,000 athletes from all over the world turned up for the 4 day event. One would think the term "Masters" indicates people of a certain older age, but in rowing terms it is anyone from the age of 27 and above.

About the photos

I didn't have a particular theme in mind, other than walking around the venue and looking for interesting shots. I only had 1 roll of Ilford FP4 125 black & white film, although I had 2 lenses with my Leica M6 (35mm Voigtländer f1.4 lens and 50mm Leica f2 lens)...enough to get some different perspectives. I didn't have any lens filters, which might have been useful given it was the middle of the day and extremely bright.

Organized chaos. Actually this was a very colourful scene, with different coloured boats everywhere. But I like that this is shot in black & white as it has its own character.
Hard to see in this photo how many boats there were, with even more in the parking lot behind the boat houses...really quite the sight!
Looking out at the course from the midst of many boats. This was taken with my 35mm Voigtländer lens, which has a very 'old school' look to it.
I managed to sneak in a shot of athletes warming up...judging by how hot it was outside I bet some of them wished they could remain indoors.
When there are lots of boats around there are even more oars...
A cropped shot looking down the course, you can see they run the races pretty close together. I like how grainy this shot is, although some of that is from the cropping.
A look down the course with the stands on the left and the main race organisers tower.
Rowing past the row of flags and to the finish line, this double was out infront of the pack and won comfortably.
I like the strong shadows in this shot, some great performance from FP4 125 film as usual.
Catching their breath after the finish line.
It was nice to see all the different clubs and their matching rowing gear.
Rowing "oar"ganisation (very bad, I know!).
Some of the shots came out quite dark as I found it hard to expose for such bright conditions, but I still like the black & white look, especially as all other photographs of these events tend to be in (digital) colour.
A real maze of activity on the many pontoons...
One of my favourite shots from the role, it has a real timeless and classic look to it, especially considering the 1970s architecture of the spectator stand.

Overall observations

Part of me wishes I had a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 with me or similar colour film, but sometimes you just have to work with what you have. I enjoyed taking these shots and soaking in all the atmosphere, and I quite like the classic black and white look. I didn't have a decent telephoto lens with me to take closeup shots of the rowers in action, so just took some documentary style shots from the side of the lake.

I have always had good experiences with Ilford FP4 125 film, their Delta 100 film would have also been suitable in these bright conditions.

Thanks for stoppnig by and see you next time!

Neil