There was one new record set over the four days. Aristotle Ioannou of Cyprus broke his own record in the lightweight men’s age 30-39 category. Ioannou shaved off .2 seconds from his previous record, finishing in an even time of 3:00.0 and picking up a silver medal in the lightweight men’s category. The overall fastest time among lightweight men went to Ahmet Rapi from Sweden, who finished in a time of 2:58.4.

The fastest time in the world was in the men’s heavyweight category. Maciej Maciejewski from Poland finished in a time of 2:42.6.  This was just ahead of another Polish competitor Michal Szpakowski who took second in a time of 2:43.6. The women’s heavyweight win went to Tamara Clayton from the United States in a finishing time of 3:16.9. Second place was Morgan Frame in 3:21.7.  In the lightweight competition, Brazilian Marcela Rodrigues from the Kamon CrossFit Team won in a time of 3:26.7. The Kamon team has entered every year since the beginning of the event and consistently rank in the top scores.

Entries were up from last year in the para-rowing categories with more than 95 athletes competing. Russia claimed medals across categories. Their PR3 men’s rower, Evegenii Borisov won gold in a time of 2:54.0. Great Britain took the top three spots in the women’s PR3 category, with the top score going to Alice Mason in a time of 3:36.7.

World and Olympic Champion Eric Murray from New Zealand completed the challenge barefoot in his garage, in the company of two goats and two dogs for support. Murray casually finished in an impressive 2:55.9 - two years after retirement. On Instagram Murray wrote, “happy with my result! If I doubled that for 2k, I’m sure I’d make it on the NZ team pretty easily …”.   

The United States recorded the most competitors with 1871. The rivalry between France and Great Britain for the second spot continued. Great Britain managed to scrape into second with 687 compared to France’s 648.

It was another magnificent year for French Polynesia participation, thanks to the continued efforts of indoor rowing enthusiast Kevin Scott. French Polynesia has only 283,000 inhabitants, but managed to finish fourth on the country participation list with 300 participants.

A large contingent from Pakistan also took part in the competition, logging more than 125 competitors from two different regions across the country. 

The doing-it-the-hard-way award goes to a group of firefighters from Germany who took part in full-gear. The four firefighters raced as a part of the event hosted by the Muendener Ruderverein, a rowing club in Muenden, Germany.

2019 World Rowing Virtual Indoor Sprints, Lake Leelanau Rowing Club, USA © FISA


The raffle for those who submitted 20 or more individual results went to Lake Leelanau Rowing Club, in Traverse City, MI, USA. They won a new Concept2 indoor rowing machine while the Limassol Rowing Centre in Cyprus won an indoor rowing machine for a development rowing country that submitted ten or more entries. 

The World Rowing Virtual Indoor Sprints was first held in 2016. The event has grown over the last four years both in number of participants and country spread. The 2020 dates will be announced soon, stay tuned.

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