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Rowers everywhere know that the World Indoor Rowing Championships are in Boston at Agganis Arena, right? Well…

A ripple ran through the rowing community in August when C.R.A.S.H.-B. Sprints announced its 2018 date, and in a social media post with little fanfare announced that the World Indoor Rowing Championships (WIRC) would be moving to Virginia.

Questions came up fast and furious:

Will CRASH-Bs be a satellite regatta for the World Indoor Rowing Championships?
No. CRASH-Bs will be held a week after WIRC, on February 25.

Who will host the WIRC?
The 37th Annual WIRC will be hosted by the Erg Sprints (aka Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints) at TC Williams High School in Alexandria, VA.

Why is the World Indoor Rowing Championship moving from Boston?
Moving WIRC to Virginia in 2018, and other new locations in the future, “will provide opportunity for more people to participate in the race, and help build greater interest in the sport,” explains Concept2.

Race coordinator Lisa Zickar thinks Alexandria is a great host city because “the DMV (District, Maryland, and Virginia) has become one of the premier regions for rowing in the country, hosting top competitions and top athletes each year.”

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I really liked racing at Agganis Arena. What’s so special about T.C. Williams High School?
Located in Alexandria, VA, T.C. Williams – is just south of Washington, DC, which is easily accessible by public transportation.

On race day, you’ll have access to a warm-up room featuring 80 ergs, and the race floor will be buzzing with 120 ergs.

T.C. Williams’ history dates to 1965, but in 2007 the nearly 3,000-strong student body was moved into a brand new, state-of-the-art, environmentally green facility.

The school is celebrated for its successful integration of their 1971 football team, which was immortalized in the movie “Remember the Titans.”

Two years after Title IX was enacted, T.C. Williams made strides toward ending gender bias by adding – and fully supporting – a women’s crew team. At the 1974 National Scholastic Rowing Championships, T.C. Williams was one of just two schools in the women’s senior 8+ event, along with St. Andrews.

I’ve raced Erg Sprints before. How will WIRC be different?
Indoor racing will now span two days, with preliminary plans to race juniors on Saturday, February 17, and college, open, masters, and adaptive events on Sunday, February 18.

What qualifies Erg Sprints to host WIRC?
The Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints was founded in 1986 by Crew Boosters president Kitty Porterfield and T.C. Williams men’s coach Mike Penn who were concerned that their athletes were not motivated to train during the off-season. An erg race, they thought, would encourage winter workouts.

Erg Sprints, one of the first satellite races for CRASH-Bs, was planned by T.C. Williams Crew Boosters with the help of Dick and Peter Dreissigacker, the brothers behind Concept2. The first event in 1986 featured just 30 Model A Concept2 ergs.

Over 30 years, Erg Sprints grew into the largest juniors indoor rowing event – and the second largest indoor rowing competition – in the world. In 2017, TC Williams hosted over 1,800 athletes from 132 clubs who participated in juniors, open, masters, collegiate, and adaptive events.

Erg Sprints includes a lot of events besides the 2k (20- and 30-min., half marathon, marathon, 500m, parent/child dash). Will those be on the schedule in 2018?
The schedule is being worked out, but there are plans to incorporate nearly all of Erg Sprints’ diverse events into the weekend schedule. See the events list at regattacentral.com.

I’ve enjoyed spending time in Boston on WIRC weekends. What is there to do in Alexandria, VA?
Race Coordinator Lisa Zickar touts the fact that “Alexandria is located just across the river from our nation’s capital, with easy access to not only airports and public transportation, but museums, restaurants, hotels, and other attractions that may be of interest to athletes and their families.”

Is there a host hotel for out-of-town participants?
The event coordinating committee is working to confirm a host hotel. Stay tuned to ergsprints.com and communications from Concept2 for information about hotels, transportation, and tourist information for Washington, DC.

Will there be still be satellite qualification events for WIRC?
Yes. See the table below. Most events have not announced their 2018 dates, so 2017 dates are listed for general planning purposes only.

DATEEVENTLOCATIONCONTACT
1/21/17Midwinter MeltdownMadison, WIDanielle Scodallero or Allison Markowski
midwintermeltdown@mendotarowingclub.com
1/21/17Mile High SprintsDenver, COMark Lodmill
303.489.6955
1/22/17Monster ErgVictoria, British ColumbiaAalbert Van Schothorst

250.472.4037
1/25/17Ergomania! Northwest Indoor Rowing ChampionshipsSeattle, WAJessica Donahue
206.686.6390
1/25/17Indianapolis Indoor SprintsIndianapolis, INEd Couch
317.327.7100
1/28/17Beach SprintsLong Beach, CAJim Litzinger
jimlitz@outlook.com
1/28/17Golden State Indoor Rowing ChampionshipsGold River, CADede Birch
916.278.1122
1/28/17Pittsburgh Indoor Rowing ChampionshipsPittsburgh, PAMegan Kuehm
412.231.8772
1/28/17San Diego Indoor Rowing ChampionshipsSan Diego, CAChris Callaghan
858.352.8380
1/29/17Peninsula Indoor Rowing ChampionshipsRedwood City, CAMonica Hilcu
650.576.4634
2/3/18Tennessee Indoor Rowing ChampionshipsChattanooga, TNRyan Worth
423.425.5333
2/4/18Main Line SlideArdmore, PAKirk Beckman
610.653.8636
2/4/17Southwest Ergometer Amateur Tournament (S.W.E.A.T.)Dallas, TXKurt Freund
214.505.2388
2/4/17St. Louis Indoor Rowing ChampionshipsSt. Louis, MOAndrew Black
314.201.8471
2/5/17Canadian Indoor Rowing ChampionshipsMississagua, OntarioSusan Kitchen
416.434.3961
2/5/17Cincinnati Indoor Rowing ChampionshipsPark Hills, KYChristine Poon
cdpoon7830@gmail.com
2/5/17St. Valentine's Day MassacrePelham, NYScott Killen
203.994.1334
2/10/18Atlanta Erg SprintsAtlanta, GANick Grivas
atlantaergsprints@gmail.com
2/10/18Southern Sprints Indoor Rowing ChampionshipsMelbourne, FLCasey Baker
casey@southernsprints.org