2024 World Rowing Indoor Championships, presented by Concept2, Prague, Czechia © Detlev Seyb / MyRowingPhoto.com
Competition/ Feb 26

Weekend Wrap: Indoor Events Take Over Rowing World

This past weekend saw a busy indoor rowing calendar across Canada and abroad. Locally, the Nancy Storrs Ontario Indoor Rowing Championships took place from the Ridley College Fieldhouse in St. Catharines, while nationally rowing clubs across Canada were racking up km’s on the erg for Indoor Rowing Day in Canada. Internationally, the rowing world descended on Prague, Czechia for two days for the World Rowing Indoor Championships.

Renamed the ‘Nancy Storrs Ontario Indoor Rowing Championships’ after the Ontario rowing legend’s passing last year, the annual event returned to its home on the Ridley College Campus and was hosted by the Ridley Graduate Boat Club. The event was well-attended with 628 entries from 38 clubs, the majority of which were high school rowing programs. Ridley College had the most entries with 94, over 40 more than the next closest program, Sir Winston Churchill of St. Catharines with 52. The junior 135lb women’s category was the deepest category with 81 competitors.

The fastest time on the women’s side went to Malarie Jones of EL Crossley, who was competing in the Open women’s division and finished with a time of 7:14.5. She finished just ahead of classmate Emma Goedhart, who came in with a time of 7:14.6 in the Senior HS Women’s division. Ridley College’s Callen Pieckenhagen (Senior HS Men) had the fastest time for the men, a blistering 6:17.6.

Nancy Storrs Ontario Indoor Rowing Championships Category Winners

U13 Men (500m): Matthew Pecorella – Orillia RC – 1:49.6
U13 Women (500m): Violet Najjar – Don Rowing Club – 1:51.6
U15 Men (500m): Max Huang – Upper Canada College – 1:35.8
U15 Women (500m): Natalie Bellerby – Don Rowing Club – 1:49.9
Junior HS Men: William Babineau – EL Crossley – 6:39.8
Junior HS Women: Virginia Gates – Niagara Falls RC – 7:17.0
Junior HS 150 Men: Luke Winterbottom – Ridley College – 7:08.2
Junior HS 135 Women: Shanelle Boucher – Denis Morris – 7:53.1
Junior HS 165 Men: Jack Moyer – EL Crossley – 6:46.9
Junior HS 145 Women: Madeline Ormsby – Denis Morris – 7:54.1
Senior HS 150 Men: Chris Irvine – EL Crossley – 6:58.7
Senior HS 135 Women: Kairsen Frick – Sir Winston Churchill – 7:45.3
Senior HS 165 Men: Aaron Jackson – EL Crossley – 6:38.2
Senior HS 145 Women: Ashlyn Fehr – Niagara Falls RC – 7:32.3
Senior HS Women: Emma Goedhart – EL Crossley – 7:14.6
Senior HS Men: Callen Pieckenhagen – Ridley College – 6:17.6
Open LWT Women: Sarah Craig – Unaffiliated – 7:54.0
Open LWT Men: Heath McCallister – Unaffiliated – 6:36.9
Open Women: Malarie Jones – EL Crossley – 7:14.5
Open Men: Geon Youn – McMaster University – 6:42.9
Masters Men: Matt Kingswood – Unaffiliated – 6:39.7 (adj)
Masters Women: Janet Bolton – Hanlan Boat Club – 7:21.1 (adj)

Indoor Rowing Day in Canada took place between 9am – 12pm local time on Saturday as indoor was created by the Provincial Advisory Committee and first run in 2020, The day started at 9am NST in Newfoundland and making its way across the country ending in BC at 12pm PST. Rowers were tasked with putting in as many metres as they could between 9am-12pm in their time zone. The total got a big boost from the Nancy Storrs Ontario Indoor Rowing Championships, which logged a total of 1032km, while several Ontario clubs organized events of their own in their local communities.

Meanwhile in Prague, indoor rowers from around the world participated in the 2024 World Rowing Indoor Championships. The two-day event took place at the O2 Universum and featured 500m and 2000m races across open weight and lightweight categories ranging from U17 to 80+ as well as para. The exciting VERSA Challenge, which made its debut last year when the WRICH was hosted in Mississauga, returned and featured several Canadian athletes. Over the two competition days of the WRICH, the VERSA competitors raced in five different Challenges varying in time, distance, and type. The VERSA is intended to test all the skills and strengths required of indoor rowers, exposing them to new and unfamiliar race formats.

The Peterborough Rowing Club’s Matthew Seaby was the top-placing Canada, finishing the competition in sixth place. Seaby earned a first-place finish in the ‘Power and Pace’ event as well as third place in the ‘Sprint Pyramid’, which helped him stay near the top of the leaderboard. The women’s side featured three Canadians, including Sarah Pidgen of the Don Rowing Club. Pidgen finished the event in tenth place, just ahead of fellow Canadian Heather Petraszko who finished 11th. Lina Belanger paced the Canadian women with a sixth-place finish.

In other action, several Ontario-based rowers had top five finishes, including Stephen Roedde or Richard’s Landing, ON, who picked up two medals, finishing first in the Lightweight Men’s 70-74 500m race and third in the 2000m. The Hanlan Boat Club’s Janet Bolton placed third in the Women’s 55-59 2000m and the Ottawa Rowing Club’s Melanie Coulson finished fourth in the Women’s 50-54 2000m.

For full results from the Nancy Storrs Ontario Indoor Rowing Championships, please visit RegattaCentral.
For full results on the 2024 WRICH, please visit World Rowing.

Picture is property of World Rowing