The first ever British Online Rowing Championships attracted 57 competitors from 10 countries. The rowers, situated in lounges and gyms around the world, rowed against a computer link-up (the Rowpro server) which indicated how they were doing against other competitors.
“Getting yourself motivated for a 2k race in your living room is not easy,” commented one competitor in Great Britain on his blog, The Pete Plan who covered the distance in 6:28.
In Germany, the Berlin Indoor Rowing Open attracted some top national team rowers including one of Germany’s best indoor rowers, Karsten Brodowski. Brodowski proved that he is still at the top of his game recording 5:43.5 to win the open men’s category. Brodowski has been a regular on the German national team for the last decade. Finishing second behind Brodowski was Tim Bartels who recorded 6:00.0, and just a fraction ahead of Hagen Rothe on 6:00.1.
In the open women’s event Judith Sievers won by recording 6:53.6 ahead of Anika Weisse on 6:58.0. Sievers broke onto the international scene last year when she won the women’s single sculls at the Youth Olympic Games. Sievers is now aiming for senior team status.
The Dutch Indoor Rowing Championships in Amsterdam attracted a huge crowd of supporters in the grandstand overlooking rows of ergometers. The event, however, did not manage to attract the Netherlands’ top rowers who were away on a training camp. Nevertheless, a few quick times were recorded including a new Dutch record in the lightweight women’s category. Nienke van Hoogenhuyze clocked the record-breaking time of 7:06.7 beating the former record set by Olympic Champion Marit van Eupen.
In the open women’s category a 6:46.6 by Jenny van Dbben de Bruijn gave her the winning time while the open men’s category was won by Harmen Eefting in a time of 5:52.1. Diederick van den Bouwhuijsen won the lightweight men’s race by finishing in 6:20.6.
One of the stand-out performances of these indoor rowing competitions came from Cedric Berrest of France. Racing as part of his national team evaluation programme, Berrest broke his own French indoor rowing record by just over a second when he recorded a time of 5:44.6. Berrest is an Olympic medallist and this year’s world bronze medallist in the men’s double sculls.
British university students from across the country have been racing in the BUCS Indoor Rowing Series through November and early December. Competing at their individual universities the top man overall went to Manchester University rower, Graeme Thomas. Reading University recorded the top women with Georgie Hazell clocking 6:59.9.
For the lightweight rowers, the top man was Zak Lee-Green of Manchester University with a time of 6:17.5 while the top woman was Kat Bruce of East Anglia University with her time of 7:37.4.