2018 Erg Sprints | World Rowing Indoor Championships: Your Questions Answered

Photo: Power 10 Photography

Rowers everywhere know that the World Rowing Indoor 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.

Then, rowing’s international governing body, the International Rowing Federation (FISA), announced that it will bring the championship under its own umbrella of events beginning in 2018, partnering with USRowingConcept2, and Erg Sprints.

Questions came up fast and furious:

Will C.R.A.S.H.-Bs be a satellite regatta for Erg Sprints | World Rowing Indoor Championships?
No. C.R.A.S.H.-Bs will be held a week after Erg Sprints | World Rowing Indoor Championships, on February 25.

Why are World Rowing Indoor Championships moving from Boston?
Moving WRIC 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.”

Who will the Erg Sprints | World Rowing Indoor Championships be held?
The event will be at TC Williams High School in Alexandria, VA.

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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 WRIC weekend be different?
Indoor racing will now span two days, with preliminary plans to race juniors on Saturday, February 17, and college, open, masters, and para events on Sunday, February 18.

What qualifies Erg Sprints to stage WRIC?
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?
Nearly all of Erg Sprints’ diverse events are on the weekend schedule. See the events list at regattacentral.com.

I’ve enjoyed spending time in Boston on WRIC 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 WRIC?
Yes. Although competitors do not have to qualify to earn an entry, Concept2 will provide airfare to Washington, D.C. for up to four qualifiers from each of 19 satellite events. See the table below. Most events have not announced their 2018 dates, so 2017 dates are listed for general planning purposes only.

1/21/17Midwinter MeltdownMadison, WIDanielle Scodallero or Allison Markowski
1/21/17Mile High SprintsDenver, COMark Lodmill
1/22/17Monster ErgVictoria, British ColumbiaAalbert Van Schothorst

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