Rowers take over CARSA for 33rd annual Monster Erg

Vikes Monster Erg

VICTORIA — The CARSA Performance Gym will once again be filled with the non-stop whir of Ergs when the UVic Vikes men’s and women’s rowing teams host the 33rd annual Monster Erg on Feb. 3. The event will kick off what promises to be an exciting 2018 for the Vikes rowers, as the athletes push themselves to the limit indoors in preparation of a full slate of action to come on the water.


Monster Erg, the first event of 2018 for both teams, comes on the heels of a very successful fall racing season for the Vikes.

Both crews finished second at Canadian University Rowing Championships, hosted in Vancouver, B.C. on Nov. 4-5. The men earned two gold, two silver and one bronze medal at the regatta, while the women picked up three gold and one bronze in Vancouver.

Last winter at the Monster Erg, the Vikes racked up an abundance of impressive results.

Third-year rower Olivia King took the Senior A event in a time of 7:05.3, just ahead of her Vikes teammate Layla Balooch, who finished with a time of 7:06.1.Kirsten McKay took the Senior B event with a 7:17.1, while Reba Kingston (7:35.2) and Lise McCracken (7:25.3) won the Senior Lightweight and Novice Women categories.

Taylor Perry took the Senior A men’s event in a blistering time of 6:04.4, with Daan Arscott (6:07) and Alexander Matson (6:14.5) battling it out on the Senior B final. Patrick Keane (6:19.8) and Alec Stapff (6.20.9), finished first in the Senior Lightweight and Novice Men categories.

About the Event

This is the third time that the Monster Erg will be held in the CARSA Performance Gym. The event serves as a qualifier for Crash B’s, a massive Concept2 event held annually in Boston, MA.

The event is a chance for all different types of athletes to come together ranging, from novices to high performance rowers . Races are seeded in the centre and then alternating the next fastest times on either side of them until all 24 ergs are full. Flights are seeded with the 24 top ranked in the A final and the next ranking down to B, C and D finals.

A number of prominent Vikes will be missing in action this weekend. Patrick Keane, Taylor Perry, Caileigh Filmer, Morgan Cathrea and Olivia King are all currently with the Canadian National Team at a training camp south of the border.

Along with great racing, spectators can also purchase Concept II Erg machines as part of the event and walk away with them on the same day. Information on purchasing ergs can be found here.

Coach’s Take
Aalbert Van Schothorst, Men’s Rowing Head Coach

“It’s a personal best situation really, I don’t think the guys are too focussed on beating each other. It’s mostly about locking in and seeing where they stand at this point in the season.”

“The Performance Gym is an ideal environment for people to achieve personal best times and people are excited to come out and challenge themselves, because there is nothing spotting them from doing so.”

“This is a step towards ranking for the Brown Cup, we also have number of guys that are chasing National Team berths.”

Rick Crawley, Women’s Rowing Head Coach

“It’s the first step towards selecting our boats for the racing season, so a lot of the athletes are looking to do well relative to each other. We’ve been training pretty hard through January and then easing up this week, just to see where people are at.”

“We will set our seat racing groups out of this and then will go into selection during our reading break camp. It’s hard to pull a personal best with all the distractions around, but it should be a lot of fun and there should be some good performances. Avalon Wasteneys and Emma Gray; with the splits they are pulling, are looking to do very well.”

“There are a number of lightweights going for breakthroughs compared to the past and I’m hopeful that they will. Our heavyweight team should absolutely have some strong performances with a number of people looking to break the seven minute barrier.”

Player Perspective
Adam Donaldson, Men’s Rowing

“It’s a gauge against yourself, so you are looking for a personal best time. You are also looking for a seasonal personal best so you can go back to the past Monster Ergs you’ve competed in, and see how you have progressed at this point in the season.”

“Going side-by-side with your teammates is nice because it gives you a little bit of an extra push. When you have numbers in front of you can get caught focussing on them, but when you are in a race you can just keep pushing.”

“The work that you do over the winter shows at Monster Erg. The event is very much about whether or not you have prepared yourself for the upcoming racing season, so if you’ve put in a lot of work then you look forward to it. If you haven’t put in the work then you dread it. The times are right out there in the open, so anyone can see them. If you’re confident that you have put in the work then you look forward to showing that to everyone.”

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