This President’s Day weekend, the inaugural World Rowing Indoor Championships will be held in conjunction with the annual Erg Sprints in Alexandria, Va. More than 2,000 athletes are scheduled to compete at T.C. Williams High School’s Gerry Bertier Gymnasium on February 17-18.
Held through the joint efforts of the Alexandria Crew Boosters, World Rowing (FISA), USRowing and Concept2, race director Lisa Zickar said it was an honor to host the event. “We are just so thrilled to host this event in Alexandria. We really feel that over the course of three decades, this region has become a terrific area to host rowing events. Erg Sprints was first held in 1986 and now, by adding the World Rowing Indoor Championships, it is the largest event of its kind in the world this year.”
The regatta organizers are set to welcome athletes from 27 American states and 33 countries. U.S. rowers are traveling in from all four corners of the country and as far away as Alaska, while international rowers are attending from countries such as Australia, Afghanistan, Chile, China, Germany, New Zealand, Russia, Great Britain and Liechtenstein.
FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland recently emphasized the importance of the effort to host a true world championship for indoor rowing. “Participation in indoor rowing at an elite and competitive level has been skyrocketing in recent years, and it is time to give the sport an official championship status,” the French Olympic gold medalist said.
“By hosting the world championships in conjunction with the Erg Sprints, we are able to offer competitive events in a unique setting for all levels and categories of rowers. Saturday’s schedule offers a variety of distances and events for junior rowers, while Sunday’s events include the official world championship races, including the para and masters events in the morning and U23 and elite events in the afternoon,” Zickar said.
Rowers inspired to travel to the event may still be able to find a spot to compete themselves. “Registration closed at the end of January, but we have limited spots left for some of the 2,000 meter events.” Zickar said. “They will be filled on a first come, first served basis Saturday and Sunday morning.”
Doors will open both days at 7:30 a.m.
For more information, head to https://www.ergsprints.com/. Follow along over the weekend on social media with the hashtags #WRIC2018 and #ErgSprints2018.
This article first appeared on www.usrowing.org. Thank you to USRowing, an Erg Sprints | WRIC event sponsor.