Heidi Miege trains on a Concept 2 rowing machine, any Concept 2 brand rowing machine can be used to submit times for the World Rowing Virtual Indoor Sprints event. (David Miege photo)

Indoor Regatta tests rowing skills in the depths of winter

Rowing club, CrossFit Salmon Arm partner for globally-ranked event

While Salmon Arm may be currently stuck in the depths of winter, the Shuswap Rowing and Paddling Club (SRPC) is hoping to give people a taste of being out on the water – sort of.

While conditions aren’t particularly favourable for a boating excursion currently, the first-ever Indoor Rowing Regatta On March 10 will give rowers a chance to see if their practice has held up over the winter. The club is taking part in an international event that gives rowers a chance to pit their skills against clubs across the globe, in ‘virtual’ timed sprints using rowing machines to simulate a 1000m race.

“Anyone who has access to a Concept 2 rowing machine can actually join in and do it themselves as well,” says club president David Miege. “It’s not like there is a qualification or anything to get into the world rankings, people of all abilities usually go into this thing and they submit their time.”

Related: Shuswap rowing team take silver at White Rock Regatta

Each year, the World Rowing Organization sets up a time-frame for these indoor sprints, encouraging a sense of fun competition and commitment to winter training for rowers around the globe. In 2018, over 5,000 people submitted their own times to be ranked globally. While there isn’t a championship trophy up for grabs, Miege hopes people enjoy the novelty of comparing their best virtual time to others around the world.

“I think there is prizes for maybe the top 10 people in the world or something like that,” Miege says. “But that is somewhat of a tough target to get, there are some pretty keen rowers out there! It’s nice to just have a focus on this through the winter, especially for some people who are more summer-oriented in their sports.”

This free event is being held in partnership with CrossFit Salmon Arm, who are providing the space and access to 12 rowing machines for the day. Miege says this a good example of the kind of fun, impromptu sporting events that can crop up when organizations work together.

“This ended up just as an example of something that could work really well, where we could make an activity for people and draw from different sports and then have the support of multiple groups,” he says.

Related: Shuswap Rowing and Paddling Club open house

Salmon Arm’s first Indoor Rowing Regatta kicks of at 10 a.m. on March. 10. Those interested in signing up to have their times ranked can contact SRPC president David Miege by email at David@BastionRanch.com.

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