2014 LTA national team Ricky Vendegrift's hammer and his national team bag
2014 LTA national team Ricky Vendegrift's hammer and his national team bag

More than 2,300 athletes signed up to go nowhere fast at the 2015 C.R.A.S.H.-B. World Indoor Rowing Championships held at Boston University’s Agganis Arena.

First held in 1980,C.R.A.S.H.-B.s (Charles River All Star Has-Beens) was a “fun little event” of fewer than two dozen rowers who trained on the Charles River. It was the brainchild of a group of 1976-1980 US Olympic and World Team Athletes who were looking for something to do through the winter when the U.S. boycotted the 1980 Olympics.

The event quickly grew, and within a few years came to be revered as the International World Indoor Rowing Championships. This year, rowers ages 12 to 90 from around the world participated in Open, Heavyweight, Juniors, Masters, Veteran, and Adaptive events. The field varied widely in experience and focus – some competitors have never rowed in a boat, but are beasts on the erg; others are national team members. While every single participant deserves recognition for their commitment to training and competition, the results below feature the top three finishers in each event.


17-year-old Greek rower Sophie Asoumanaki was in beast mode when she pulled a ridiculously impressive 6:30.2 2k, beating the 2004 record of 6:33.9 set by Sarah Hubbard. Asoumanaki’s time in the Junior Women Heavyweight event was a scorching 18.5 seconds faster than second place finisher Dana Moffatt of Fayetteville-Manlius HS Crew whose own 6:48.7 is blistering, and setting a new standard for young rowers.

Susan Hooten, rowing in the Veteran Womens C, Lightweight (Ages 60-64) appears to have narrowly beat her own world record set in 2014. Sixty-two year-old Hooten of the Sacramento State Aquatic Center Masters managed to shave off one-tenth of a second to finish in 7:37.3.

In the Veteran Women F Heavyweight category, 76-year-old Luanne Mills won her event in 8:29.6, just over five seconds faster than the record she set in the same category in 2014.

Long Beach Rowing Association’s Robert Spenger, a 90-year-old with the previous world record in the Mens Heavyweight I category, refreshed the scoreboard with a new WR of 8:42.4.


It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of world record hunters, but there are plenty of other exciting rowers to watch at C.R.A.S.H.-B.s, too. Four events ended with a less than one second split between first and second place. Here’s a big cheer to rowers that almost, but not quite, won:

Sorin Koszyk out of Detroit Boat Club, pulled a 6:23.0, just .5 second behind first place finisher Bladimir Lopez from Baja California-RemoMexico.

Team Germany’s Lena Reuss just barely missed gold with a time of 7:18.1, a hair off the winning time of 7:17.8 pulled by Xaley Yousey from OKC Riversport.

Rene Pereira represented the Brazilian Rowing Confederation very well when he muscled through a 1k in 4:00.7. Pereira took silver, .8 seconds behind Igor Bondar’s 3:59.9.

OPEN WOMEN, LTA, Above the Knee Amputee
Row New York’s Margaret Rajnic could smell victory and we hope she was pleased with her 4:30.5 1k, which gave her a silver medal. Johanna Beyer of Community Rowing, Inc. went home with the gold, barely eking out the win in 4:30.0.

[table “2” not found /]

Photo: 2014 LTA National Team member Ricky Vendegrift’s hammer and team bag. Submitted by AC Chacon, Head Men’s Rowing Coach at Beach Crew and RowSource contributing author • @rowingcoachac