By Jamie Umbach, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA – Rowers from across Canada and the Pacific Northwest are set to make the journey to the University of Victoria to compete in the 31st Annual Monster Erg – Canadian Indoor Rowing Championship. This year’s event will be the first time in 31 years that the competition leaves the McKinnon Gym in favour of the brand new state-of-the-art CARSA Performance Gym.
The event features a total of 33 events ranging from Junior Novice to Master and serves as a qualifier for the CRASH-B World Indoor Rowing Championships on Feb. 28 in Boston, Mass. Most races will be 2000-metres and will take place in 15-minute intervals beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 24. The Master’s women’s heavyweight and lightweight divisions will begin the day of competition before the junior novice men (Doubles, 1000-metres) conclude the event.
The Vikes rowers will find out if they are tough enough to best their opponents in a race that will push their mental and physical fortitude to the limits. The Vikes have been training off the water for this event all season in the ergometer room at CARSA pulling thousands of strokes and it will all come down to six minutes of high endurance competition on Jan. 24.
Rowers from Regina, Edmonton, Calgary and as far away as Ottawa will compete in the event. Many local Vancouver Island schools and community clubs including Shawnigan Lake School and Gorge Narrows Rowing Club will also compete. Canadian National team members such as U23 World Championship gold medal winner Taylor Perry will be competing as part of Rowing Canada’s Victoria Training Center, whose athletes are working towards competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
“The Monster Erg has always been a well-respected event on the rowing calendar, and hosting it in CARSA this year gives it an extra level of excitement for spectators and athletes that positions it to become the marquis indoor rowing event in Canada,” said Vikes men’s rowing head coach Aalbert Van Schothorst. “Competing in the Indoor Rowing Championships has become a rite of passage for rowers and the experience is the same for a Novice or Olympian as they all strive for personal bests.”
Among the competing Vikes rowers is second year Luc Brodeur, who was just seconds shy of breaking the Vikes 6-km ergometer record held by Olympic hopeful Kai Langerfeld in December of 2015. The St. Catharines, Ont. native is looking to eclipse the six-minute mark to make him the fastest athlete in the program. First year Patrick Keane is looking to improve his personal best of 6:24 in the lightweight category after joining the Vikes having already developed a solid pedigree from his experience at Junior Worlds and U23 Worlds in the Fall of 2015. His achievements helped secure him Rowing Canada National Team carding to help him train towards his goal of attending the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
On the women’s side, first-year Vike Larissa McKinlay was one of the top novices of 2014-15 with her personal best of 7:25 at last season’s Monster Erg. A young up-and-comer, McKinlay will look to improve on her November time of 7:14 at this year’s event. Fourth year Cate White will use the Monster Erg as a crucial part of her training towards her goal of earning a spot on the Canadian U23 National Team.
The athletes will be competing on 24 brand new Concept2 ergs, which are up for purchase after the athletes compete to help support the Vikes Rowing program. The Vikes will be in action from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 24 at the CARSA Performance Gym.
List of Vikes Competing Athletes:
Novice Women – Event 8
Novice Men – Event 9
Sr. B LWT Women – Event 10
Sr. B LWT Men – Event 12
Sr. B Women – Event 14
Sr. B Men – Event 16
Sr. A Men – Event 17