North East Indoor Erg Championships includes BikeErg and SkiErg

Durham University Boat Club (DUBC) held its annual North East Indoor Erg Championships (NEIEC) at Maiden Castle on November 12th which happened to coincide with the Long Distance Sculling and Autumn Small Boats Head competitions in Durham – not great planning given that DUBC wished to attract more club and gym competitors and moved the event from its traditional Wednesday afternoon to Saturday.

This year’s University Indoor and Adaptive Rowing Series, organised in conjunction with BUCS and now in its 12th year, required for the first time that institutions bid for the right to host a regional round on the weekends of either November 5th/6th or November 12th/13th. Entry fees for the core BUCS events (open, lightweight, adaptive, beginner) were set at £7.75 with BUCS taking a 20% admin fee, while hosts were welcome to set their own entry fee for additional events.

As well as the usual RowErg at NEIEC competitors had the opportunity to try their hand at BikeErg and SkiErgs. Roger Stainforth who was DARC’s only representative explains, “DUBC knew about the clash of events with Durham LDS and ASBH but explained that November 12th was the only day Concept 2 could provide BikeErgs and SkiErgs”.

“2000 metre competition is my objective, a chance to measure how training is progressing, however, this year there were races involving the BikeErgs and SkiErgs and Ergathlons”.

Roger who won a gold medal in the age 75-79 2000 metres at the virtual World Rowing Indoor Championships in February was using the NEIEC to prepare for the Scottish Rowing and British Rowing Indoor Championships, both set to return to in-person events over the next month but both now sadly cancelled because of shortage of entries.

Roger was pleased with his performance at the weekend, “I raced the 2000m and posted a time of 7:39.3, that’s only 1.02% off my winning time in the February World Championship 75-79 category so I’m content with that score”.

“Now, back in July 2022 Concept 2 held an online World Championships for BikeErg enthusiasts over 4000m (equating to 2000m on the rowing machine). I thought I would like to have a go because in my youth I did a lot of 10 and 25 mile time trials and, thanks to Crossfit gym at Mandale Business Park who kindly let me use their BikeErgs; I had two practice sessions then did the 4000m. I logged my time of 7:41.0 and was very surprised to see that I came third in my age group. The upshot was that I acquired a BikeErg in August. It is a very useful alternative training tool”.

“When DUBC announced the NEIEC would include BikeErgs and SkiErgs races I decided to enter the super sprint Ergathalon comprising 500m Row, 500m Ski and 1000m Bike. I’d not used a SkiErg but watched training/technique videos on YouTube and had one practice before the race. My result was 500m Row 1:46.6,  500m Ski 2:09.5,  1000m (500m) Bike 1:52.0 –  6:08.1 including 10s for each transition. Quite an experience and yes, I would do it again and aim to get under six minutes next time”.

“What was really sad was that DUBC’s attempt to open up the event to a broader spectrum of rowers and gym goers just did not attract the entries it deserved”.

Link to results.