Norwich Masters’ Sculling Ladder

What is the NMSL?

The Norwich Masters’ Sculling Ladder is competitive winter training for Masters from any Norwich rowing club, and occasional guest scullers, with a “leg” each month from September to March. (See “Participation”, below.)

The 2022/23 Ladder will start in September

How did The Ladder finish in 2021/22?

Newcomer’s medal and perpetual trophy
The first sculler to break one hour got a special medal in 2022
Women’s winner

The Ladder 2021/2022 (opens in new tab). Medal winners are highlighted, congratulations to:

  • Men’s fastest Lawrence Taylor
  • Women’s fastest Mirella McGee
  • Fastest Newcomer (first winter of participation only) Graham Sparkes
  • Meynell Medal (trophy presented by Ant Meynell for the oldest sculler by date of birth to have completed ALL legs of the Ladder) David Wynne
  • special medal to the first sculler to break the one hour (on adjusted time) Vygantas Audinis

Roll of Honour – All medal winners (opens in new tab)


  • For each leg, the masters undertake a “Paddy’s Run” in their single.
  • The Run is a time trial that starts at the Old Chestnut Tree by the entrance to the River Yare New Cut.
  • Runs are usually on the last Sunday of each winter month. Starting with the currently slowest first at around 07:50.
  • Scullers paddle downriver to “Paddy’s Pump” (a land mark used as a customary turning point for winter training outings).
  • They turn at “Paddy’s” and come back to finish at the Chestnut Tree. That’s total distance of 14.4 km, taking them approximately 65 to 85 minutes to complete.
  • Timers at the Tree take all start and finish times.
  • The raw times are adjusted for masters age and gender.
  • Adjusted times are aggregated for positions on The Ladder.
    • A penalty time is awarded for a sculler not turning up or (rarely) not completing the Run.
    • Participants have their slowest Run time deducted from the aggregate (so scullers can afford to clock up one penalty time and still be in contention for a good place!).
  • This is not a race, but intensive distance training that tests endurance, watermanship and mental strength, and offers a competitive atmosphere to motivate the Masters in the long winter months.
  • To make it more fun, the following medals are awarded at the end of winter:
  • Men’s fastest
  • Women’s fastest
  • Fastest Newcomer (first winter of participation only)
  • Meynell Medal (for the oldest sculler by date of birth to have completed ALL legs of the Ladder).

Can I join in?

Unbridled joy!

If you are of Masters age and can boat in a single for the Runs, you are welcome to join in. You don’t have to do all the Runs, but you get a penalty time for each Run missed, for the Ladder standings. Guest scullers are welcome where entry numbers permit. Contact David Wynne, using

Past Ladders