Araminta Cullinane |

The virtual landscape and rowing

Is the future virtual for rowing? With the asensei British Rowing Virtual Championships taking place on 11 September, Araminta Cullinane from Junior Rowing News explores the virtual landscape

To say that the past year has given us ample opportunity to assess how rowing can be adapted would be an understatement. Of course, now that some degree of normality has returned, the last thing most people would want to think about is more (and this time, voluntary) change, but the truth is that rowing will have to adapt to keep ahead of the competition in the technological age. 

Speaking of technology, indoor competition has been part of the sport for a while, but lockdown forced the powers that be to come up with a way of competing both on land, and without being in person. Last year, a slew of virtual competitions were born, with the British Rowing’s Virtual Championships being held again this year on Saturday 11 September with asensei as new title sponsor. The question now is are these events here to stay?

Virtual competitions becoming more common would solve several of rowing’s most significant drawbacks: they can be done from home, as we all showed last year, and with considerably less — and less expensive — equipment. This would make the sport much more accessible and means competitions could still happen when factors like weather and travelling complications prevent time on the water.  

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