The World Rowing Indoor Championships (WRICH) has official world championship status. In "normal" times, the race changes venues each year, showcasing a truly international sport and bringing the best athletes together from all corners of the globe.
In 2021, the event will be a virtual live race, with competitors facing off with other finalists between February 23–27. (”Virtual” indicates that competitors do not need to share the same physical space to compete, as their performances can be compared online. “Live” indicates that this virtual comparison of performances will happen in real time.)
Last year’s WRICH in Paris marked the third championships held in conjunction with World Rowing. This was also the event where Concept2 and World Rowing announced they were teaming up for another four years, joining forces to present the 2021–2024 annual championships. Concept2 is excited and proud to be the presenting sponsor of this world-class competition.
There are two different ways you can qualify for the 2021 event: either as one of the fastest athletes from one of the virtual continental championships, or through an “open” process that allows anyone with access to a static Concept2 rowing machine to complete and verify a qualification piece between November 27, 2020 and February 7, 2021. For more information on the qualification process, and how to enter, please see the World Rowing website.
On November 28, the African Continental Qualifier was hosted by the St. Andrew’s School for Girls, in Gauteng, South Africa, in conjunction with the 2020 African Rowing Indoor Championships. Along with several winners being named as African Champions, a number of top finishers in many of the events—including Namibia's women's single sculler Maike Diekmann—qualified to compete at the 2021 WRICH. Full results here.
Additional qualifying events around the world:
- The Oceania Continental Qualifier took place December 5, 2020. Hosted by the New Zealand Indoor Rowing Association, this event also served as the 2020 Oceania Rowing Indoor Championships. Full results.
- The European Continental Qualifier took place December 5–6, 2020. Hosted by British Rowing, this Continental Qualifier was held as a part of BRIC Online (this year’s edition of the British Rowing Indoor Championships), which also acted as the 2021 European Rowing Indoor Championships. Full results.
- The Asian Continental Qualifier January 24. Hosted by the Hong Kong, China Rowing Association on behalf of the Asian Rowing Federation.
- The Americas Continental Qualifier February 6–7, 2021. Hosted by the Canadian Indoor Rowing Association.
The combination of virtual and live racing opens the door for World Rowing to expand the reach of this event to athletes around the world.