In its second year the virtual indoor rowing competition raced over 1000m, the World Rowing Indoor Sprints was open to anyone, anywhere in the world who had access to a Concept2 indoor rowing machine. Participation was up 25 per cent on last year’s inaugural event with indoor rowers from 64 countries taking part. The list of nations included some not-so-known rowing nations like Guatemala, Algeria, Namibia, Uganda and Korea. Perhaps the most impressive was over 600 entries coming in from South Africa and the tiny island nation of Tahiti having 230 entries.

Para-rowers also showed up with almost double the numbers of 2016.

Despite the large recent growth in indoor rowing in Great Britain, the nation that attracted the most entries turned out to be France. “They got over a 1000 competitors, just behind the United States. France has really got behind this, and it’s great to see,” says David Hart, Concept2’s organiser.


The fastest overall result came from Texas Highway Patrol Sgt. Derek Peterson who completed the 1000m still wearing his tactical pants. Peterson finished in a time of 2:43.4, with a 500m split time of 1:21.9. This is less than four seconds off the World Record of 2:39.6 set by Australia’s national team rower, and two-time Olympian Sam Loch.



For the women, the United States was again at the top of the overall rankings. Jordan Falcone of CrossFit, Weddington pulled a 3:19.7(a 1:39.8 average per 500m). Falcone, 37, says she is on her indoor rower doing 10,000 to 15,000m per day. The current World Record is 3:05.9, set earlier this year by Ukraine’s Olympic rower, Olena Buryak. 

Watch Buryak set the record here.

Justine Reston of Great Britain was the fastest lightweight woman. The 47-year-old is part of Q-Power, an indoor rowing team who train to race on the indoor rowing circuit. Reston holds a number of indoor rowing World Records for various distances.

The next edition of the World Rowing Indoor Sprints will take place in March 2018. In the meantime, indoor rowers are encouraged to participate in the World Erg Challenge.  And keep an eye out for the qualifiers for indoor rowing at the 2017 World Games in July.

Full results, click here.