FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (February 2, 2021)


During the pandemic, one sporting group, has NOT cancelled and is moving forward with its annual championship event.   The solution:  Compete from home!     

On the weekend of February 6 -7, 2021 the Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships annual competition for indoor rowing - which has been held continuously for 37 years in Canada will carry on in real time.  Close to 700  athletes, spanning the globe, will connect their rowing machine in their basements, garages or living rooms with a cable to the internet and “line up” at the virtual starting line for their race.  The championships runs over two days with a variety of races to be live streamed on Youtube. Racing starts at 9:00 AM EST on Saturday and Sunday.

Concept2, the manufacturer of the “ergometer” also called a “rower” or indoor rowing machine makes it possible to compare individual scores generated by its flywheel right down to the millisecond. A software platform developed by Time-Team from the Netherlands makes it possible to put everyone into virtual races.   Athletes have signed up for 2000 metre or 500 metre events, and 2 minute and 4 minute events with the hope of winning the title of fastest among their age group or classification.  Some are going for a World record.   

“People who have registered have told us over and over how much they appreciate the opportunity to bring the community together again at this race. What makes this year even more exciting is our designation as the last in a series of five continental qualifiers to the World Rowing Indoor Championships.  This gives competitors more incentive to keep on rowing after our event and adds international flavour to our competition.”   – Susan Kitchen, Chair Organizing Committee, CIRC 2021.

The competitors represent 26 different countries and range in age from 13 to 95 years old.  The oldest man entered is 95 years old from the United States and the oldest woman is 80 from Canada.

“The Americas Qualifier is our final continental qualifier in preparation for the 2021 World Rowing Indoor Championships. As it’s all virtual we are encouraging rowers from the entire Americas to enter. We are fully aware of the big upswing in indoor rowing due to lockdowns and the Pandemic and we want to see everyone show us what they’ve been doing,” says World Rowing Executive Director Matt Smith. “Also a big thank you to the Canadian Indoor Rowing Association for hosting the Americas Qualifier and to Rowing Canada Aviron for their support. A worldwide virtual indoor rowing competition has been a new experience for all involved and we are incredibly impressed at how it has all come together. As Canada is hosting the 2023 World Rowing Indoor Championships, this will be a great experience in the preparation.” 

“Concept2 is excited to support the 2021 CIRC & Americas WRICH Qualifier.  At a time when competitive sporting opportunities are so limited, it's fantastic to see online racing flourish.  We anticipate an exciting weekend and we are honored to be a part of the action.” – Alex Dunne, Concept2.

“This is an exciting time for our sport. Indoor rowing opens up so many new opportunities for rowers and fitness enthusiasts alike. Even during a global pandemic, we are able to gather virtually for some friendly competition and opportunities to qualify for the 2021 World Indoor Rowing Championships,” said Carol Purcer, RCA President. “The Canadian Indoor Rowing Association have decades of experience and we have full confidence that they will deliver an outstanding virtual event this weekend. Best of luck to all the competitors and I look forward to tuning in

World Rowing announced last year (July 2020) that Toronto-Mississauga was selected out of a competitive bid process to host the World Rowing Indoor Championships in 2023.  The local organizing committee is happy about hosting competitors from all over the world on February 6 and 7 virtually and looks forward to doing this in person in February 2023.

More information about the race weekend and the link to watch can be found here:

For media inquiries – please contact:

Susan Kitchen  Race Director                        or                      Colleen Coderre

CIRC 2021 Organizing Committee                                             Media Lead – Rowing Canada Aviron 




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