British Rowing’s unique global indoor rowing event

27-28 June 2020

1 minute read
Words & Photo Benedict Tufnell
Published 29.06.20

The British Rowing Virtual Championships took place this weekend (27-28 June), offering over 1200 competitors from 30 nations worldwide the opportunity to compete in real-time, side-by-side virtual racing. 

The high number of entries meant over 120 virtual races took place across the weekend, with the packed racing schedule live-streamed alongside commentary and competitor webcams on the British Rowing website. 

Andy Parkinson, British Rowing Chief Executive Officer, said: “We’re delighted to have organised such an innovative event at a time when competitive sporting action has been so difficult to come by. It’s remarkable how many stories we’ve heard from competitors about being motivated and inspired to get on the rowing machine in training for this event and it’s been a real pleasure to be able to offer something so unique and accessible to the rowing community both here in the UK and abroad.” 

The weekend saw a host of exceptional performances such as a British record for Gabriel Obholzer in the Sixth Form boys 2k and a pair of records for 91-year old Val Coleman, setting a British record in the 90-94 women’s 500m and a world record in the 90-94 women’s 2k. 

Also among the world records was World and Paralympic Champion Lauren Rowles, beating her own world record set last December at the Mizuno British Rowing Indoor Championships. 

Speaking about the event, the GB Rowing Team athlete said: “It’s been great to see the community unite together in these unprecedented times and despite not being able to compete on the water we have still been able to keep the competitive fire alive through the British Rowing Virtual Championships this weekend. I’m left happy but hungry for more after setting an age group world record this weekend and I’m looking forward to getting back on the water ready for the Paralympic season.”