In 1982, 85 athletes gathered together in a boathouse at Harvard for the first ever CRASH-B Sprints. February 20 this year saw the 30th edition of what has gone on to become the World Indoor Rowing Championship. Since those early days, the race has outgrown a number of venues and is currently held at Boston University’s magnificent Agganis Arena. This year, over 2000 athletes from 22 different countries took part, with competitors ranging from ages 14 to 93, with Stephen Richardson and Paul Randall both winning hammers (the traditional CRASH-B victor’s prize) in the Men’s 90-94 Hwt and Lwt categories respectively.
The fastest time of the day came from Conlin McCabe of the University of Washington, who won the Men’s Open Hwt race in a time of 5:48.0. The quickest woman, meanwhile, was Estonia’s Kaisa Pajusalu, who repeated her success of two years ago when she won the Women’s Open Hwt in 6:41.3—an improvement of nearly eight seconds on her 2009 time.
For the lightweights, Danish legend Henrik Stephansen, the only lightweight in history to go under six minutes, won the Men’s Open Lwt in 6:01.9, beating his national teammate Steffen Jensen by nearly three seconds. Denmark also brought home the bacon in the Women’s Open Lwt race, with Sarah Jurgensen winning fairly easily with a time of 7:11.1.
In other notable races, former World Champion single sculler Jamie Koven beat a competitive Men’s 30-39 Hwt field to win in 5:57.0 while the day’s only world record was set by Roger Borggaard in the Men’s 65-69 Hwt with a time of 6:41.4. The junior events also saw some strong races and, in the Men’s Junior Hwt race, Sverri Nielsen won the Faroe Island’s first ever gold medal at these championships with a time of 6:04.8. The Men’s Junior Lwt event saw a terrifically tight clash with Jonathan Young of St. Louis RC just emerging victorious in 6:25.4. In the Women’s Junior Hwt, Jeanne Ghuysen from Belgium rowed excellently to win with the very good time of 6:57.5. Anna Ionson, meanwhile, won the Women’s Junior Lwt in 7:16.0, comfortably ahead of second place. One of the most exciting races of the day was in the Men’s 55-59 Hwt, where former Kansas City Chiefs Linebacker Steve Krum opened up a big lead before hitting the wall with a couple of hundred meters to go, managing to hold off a fast-closing Walter Updegrave by just two-tenths of a second.
The day also saw the second-ever adaptive race at the CRASH-Bs, with nearly 70 competitors taking part in 26 different categories. Racing over 1000 meters, rather than the usual race distance of 2000 meters, the athletes got some of the biggest cheers of the day. The adaptive race now looks set to be a feature of these championships for some time to come.
You can find 2011 results and replays on our website. If you’re interested in indoor racing, there are still a number of races left this season. For full details of these, check out the race calendar.