The 2023 World Rowing Indoor Championships (WRICH), presented by Concept2, was back this weekend providing the world with two full days of exhilarating indoor rowing racing. Featuring some of the world’s best indoor and on-water rowers competing head-to-head on a global stage, the event marked their first in-person competition since 2020. The objective for all competitors was clear: to become world champions in their respective age categories, by competing in 2000m or 500m indoor rowing races.
This year the WRICH was staged as a hybrid event, with 1850 competitors competing either at home, or at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga, Toronto, Canada. The racing was live-streamed on worldrowing.com across the weekend, and on CBC’s YouTube Channel. The first World Rowing Versa Challenge event also took place providing a packed, record breaking indoor rowing event.
150 rowers represented Great Britain at the championships, with personal and season bests being accomplished. 26 medals were brought home by Great Britain rowers, comprising 8 gold, 10 silver and 8 bronze.
Celia Whittam in the Women’s 65-69 category pulled off a fantastic double podium finish over the two days, winning silver in the 2000m racing on Saturday, and following this up with a gold medal in the 500m in a time of 01:48:2 on Sunday.
Shaun Callaghan in the Lightweight Men’s 55-59 also pulled off a double medal winning weekend, with a gold in his 2000m event in a time of 06:55.8, followed by a hard-fought bronze in the 500m event.
Zara Lachlan also became a double bronze winner, achieving these in the 19-20 age category across her respective 500m and 2000m races.
500m was certainly Great Britain’s strongest category over the weekend with 16 medals won across all three medal colours in a variety of age categories.
One of the closest finishes of the championships and highlights of the weekend involved Great Britain’s Phil Clapp. Phil won World Championship Gold for the 4th time in the M23-39 500m race, smashing out a phenomenal time of 01:11:2. Having to chase down the gold in a final 100m showdown, Phil went neck to neck against Canadian Cameron Wharram, grabbing the win on the finish line and pushing Cameron into second place in a time of 01:11:3.
Charlotte Dixon also achieved a joint silver medal for Great Britain, finishing on the podium as part of the first World Rowing Versa Challenge event. A category new to indoor rowing, this event undertook a format across 4 different events throughout the weekend. Points were gained in each event and the final scores across the whole competition generated the top 3 male and female medal winners. The event provided a great new way to showcase an athlete’s skill, composure and accuracy, as well as endurance and speed using the indoor rowing machine.
Completing the end to a great weekend of indoor racing for Great Britain, Team RN RA Workforce achieved a bronze position in a very tough 2000m Mixed Team relay race in a time of 05:58:1. They were closely followed by two British Army teams who finished 4th and 5th respectively.
Huge congratulations to all of the GB rowers, and to World Rowing and Concept2 for showcasing a successful hybrid indoor rowing event. The weekend was a spectacular showcase of the very best in indoor rowing racing.
Saturday 25th February 2023 GB Medal Winners
- Shaun Callaghan – LM 55-59 2000m (06:55.8)
- Toby Clay – M45-49 2000m (06:17.3)
- Phil Clapp – M23-39 500m (01:11.2)
- Carol Woodward – LW 60-64 2000m (07.59.8)
- Celia Whittam – W 65-69 2000m (08.18.7)
- John Scott – M 60-64 2000m (06:37.4)
- Ellie Bladen – LW 21-22 500m (01:46.8)
- James Wade – M40-44 2000m (06:06.4)
- Paul Winton – M 65-69 2000m (07.18.5)
- Zara Lachlan – W 19-20 500m (01:41.6)
- Laura Barrigan – LW23-29 500m (01:38.7)
Sunday 26th February 2023 GB Medal Winners
- Marjorie Roome – W70+ 500m (01:54.3)
- Celia Whittam – W65-69 500m (01:48.2)
- Joanne Blundell – W60-64 500m (01:39.5)
- Matthew West – M50-54 500m (01:16.8)
- Sally Lancaster – W40-44 500m (01:32.5)
- Raymond McAvoy – M65-69 500m (01:29.7)
- Andrea Dixon – LW55-59 500m (01:46.4)
- David Rackstraw – M40-44 500m (01:18.0)
- June Gjoka – LW40-44 500m (01:58.1)
- Charlotte Dixon – Women’s World Rowing Versa Challenge (37 Points)
- Shaun Callaghan – LM 55-59 500m (01:29.7)
- Guy Blackburn – LM50-54 500m (01:28.1)
- Zara Lachlan – W19-20 2000m (07:58.0)
- James Thomson – M45-49 500m (01:21.9)
- Team RN RA Workforce – 2000m Mixed Team Relay (05:58.1)
All the results and races can be watched back at https://worldrowing.com/event/2023-world-rowing-indoor-championships