2021 Americas Qualifier for the 2021 World Rowing Indoor Championships
2021 Americas Qualifier for the 2021 World Rowing Indoor Championships

While races saw tough competition by the 700-plus rowers who connected virtually from around the world, only the top performing citizens of nations in the Americas could earn automatic berths for the upcoming World Rowing Indoor Championships finals.

“Despite being physically apart, there were many close finishes,” Race Director, Susan Kitchen, told World Rowing. “Rowers could see on their monitors that they were being closely paced.”

Canada and the United States furnished the majority of top results qualifying racers for the WRICH finals. Uruguay also had some stand-out performances, taking top spots in the under-23 women’s 2000m race as well as the under-23 lightweight men’s 2000m race.

Spotlight races

As expected the open women’s and men’s 2000m races added to the excitement of the weekend with some top performances.

The premier women’s race was going to be tough right from the start as Kirsten Kline (USA) blasted off the line to a 2.5 second lead over second place Canadian national team rower Marilou Duvernay-Tardif in the first 500 metres of the race. By the half way mark, with Kline’s margin now 3.3 seconds ahead, it looked like her fast start was paying off. But as Kline’s speed steadily slowed, Duvernay-Tardif plowed on with some impressively executed pacing, narrowing the gap back to 3 seconds with only 500 metres left in the race.

With the line approaching fast, Duvernay-Tardif edged closer, shaving down Kline’s lead by another second. Kline began to sprint and managed to hold on to claim gold with a time of 6:51, two seconds faster than Duvenay-Tardif. By placing in the top two spots, both Kline and Duvernay-Tardif qualified for the WRICH finals.

Watch out for this re-match later in the month. It will be streamed live on www.worldrowing.com

Kline’s performance was all the more remarkable as it came a day after she claimed victory in the women’s 30 and above 2000m event. Kline adds these wins to an already impressive pedigree of success including holding a number of current American and World records on the Concept2 indoor rower.

The open men’s 2000m race started similarly with Gregory Davis (USA) pushing ahead to cross the first 500 metre mark with an early lead over fellow US competitor and former US College football player Matthew Stankiewitch trailing 3 seconds. From here, Davis continued to move away, leaving Stankiewitch and Dan Bennett, another US racer, in a battle for second place through the middle of the race. In the final stretch, Bennett was now ahead of a flagging Stankiewitch. Bennett claimed second place and a berth in the WIRCH finals while Davis finished 10 seconds ahead to win the race. Davis’ time was 5:53 with Bennett at 6:03 and Stankiewitch at 6:12.

It was a near tie in the under-19 women’s 2000m race between Ellie Sousa (CAN) and Ella Barry (USA) and Anna Pamenter (CAN). The lead changed several times over the 2000m race before finishing with Sousa just in front (7:16). Sousa and Barry were a mere 0.1 seconds apart and now have the chance to face off again at the WRICH in a few weeks’ time.

A Successful Event

“From an Organising Committee perspective we picked up a great deal of experience in the new world of virtual hosting,” said Kitchen, who added that she was “really proud of the team this year who made it work and kept smiling right to the end.”

That positive sentiment was shared by long-time Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships co-organiser, Lynda Dundas. “When you consider that all the competitors were pulling this from home and without a big crowd cheering them on, it was amazing to see the level of intensity,” said Dundas. “The event was a monumental undertaking, but we did it and I think did it well.”

Selected results
Note: this is not the final list of qualifiers for the World Rowing Indoor Championships. See link below for full results.

Women 2000m
Under-19 CAN




Ellie Sousa

Ella Barry

Under-23 URU




Zoe Acosta

Nicole Yarzon

Under-23 lightweight CAN 7:34.2 Abbey Maillet
Open USA




Kirsten Kline

Marilou Duvernay-Tardif

Lightweight CAN




Manuela Fahme

Jasmine Carter

Para PR1 MEX 15:57.5 Daniela Sanchez
Para PR3 MEX 9:39.0 Angeles Gutierrez
Women 500 m
Under-19 USA




Sydney Huber

Sydney Swick

Under-23 CAN 1:43.6 Kirpa Dhillon
Open USA




Morgan McGrth

Busola Akinwale Manthei

Lightweight USA




Heather Kenton

Jasmine Carter


Men 2000m
Under-19 CAN




Michael Caryk

Kai Bartel

Under-23 CAN




Sam Stewart

Aidan Hembruff

Under-23 lightweight URU 6:14.5 Bruno Cetraro
Open USA




Gregory David

Dan Bennett

Lightweight CAN




Stephen Blankenship

Benjamin Boehm

Para PR3 ARG 7:00.4 Louis Alberto Salas
Men 500 m
Under-19 CAN




Shane Keagan

Rajvir Sidhu

Under-23 CAN 1:32.4 Cedric Pecora
Open CAN




Chris Glasgow

Nicholas Thomas

Lightweight USA




Jeff Wolff

Tyson Whitt

Find full results including all masters’ event winners qualifying for the 2021 WRICH here.
Find out more about the upcoming World Rowing Indoor Championships here.