Rowers Trevor Rush and Richard Brock said they just about ran out of steam, but yesterday their sinew beat steam in the race with the passenger-filled Waimarie from Upokongaro to the Union Boat Club.
In a staggered start of the Sinew Vs Steam from 11.45am, when kayakers and rowing sisters Stephanie and Jacs Rush headed out on the long row back to the city, the over-60s Masters Rush and Brock started the race at the same time as the Waimarie a wee while later.
The men said they made good progress at the start, but somewhere along the Whanganui River course they were a "bit low on steam".
The water was choppy as they rowed into a head wind, but they've earned the title "Masters" from years spent rowing with the Aramoho Wanganui Club.
The sisters were out in front of the kayakers and rowers as they passed Te Ao Hou Marae in upper Aramoho, before they headed down the straight toward the rowing sheds.
Kayakers took advantage and paddled in the waves from the wake of the Waimarie, and well-wishers lined the bank and followed the race to the end.
The K4 crew of Phoebe Cromar (18), Erica Tanner (15), Louise Brok (17) and Tim Wroe (15) from the Wanganui Multisport and Triathalon Club, paddled well to come in after the Waimarie.