Hundreds do battle at 2014 EIRC

The English Indoor Rowing Championships (EIRC) 2014 took place at the Manchester Velodrome on Sunday 2 March, with hundreds of indoor rowers vying to become the new English Champions.

Run by Hollingworth Lake Rowing Club, the event saw over 650 competitors participating in 25 races with categories from J11 to 70 years and over. Rowers came from schools, gyms, armed forces and rowing clubs as far afield as Exeter and Bideford in the south west through to Edinburgh in the north.  

Juniors competed in single and relay events with the atmosphere electric as the relays started with teachers, coaches, parents and other spectators screaming encouragement.

The occasion inspired everyone with many juniors achieving personal best times. In the WJ13 category, Hollingworth Lake RC made a clean sweep of medals with Hannah Lowe (gold), Sally Tisdall (silver) and Molly Archbold (bronze) all achieving personal bests.

In the adult categories, Gill Prescott of Durham ARC set a new world record in the women’s 50-59 category, clocking 7.20.1 to break her 2013 world record in the same event. 

The former gold medal winner in the British and World Indoor Rowing Championships, said: “This is the best organised indoor rowing event I have been to, in the best venue. All the help and support given to the contestants makes it a great event to compete in.”  

Teams of competitors varied in size and experience, from the three members of the Edinburgh Indoor Rowing Club, recently founded, and first time attendees, to the 45-plus team of open water rowers from Scarborough ARC who picked up a fine tally of medals. 

Bradford’s Gary Scott, gold medal winner in the 50-59 category, said afterwards, “It’s a fantastic, wonderful event – brilliant organisation and always a pleasure to take part.”   

But the oldest competitor was 81-year-old Charles Morley, who took part in the 500m sprint and 2,000m. Taking up indoor rowing aged 70, he explained: “Running marathons got too much. I couldn’t manage the whole distance anymore.” Since then Charles has competed at the EIRC for the last ten years, winning two golds and two silvers along the way.

Competitors of all ages made the event a huge success with aches, pains and memories forged into their bodies, minds and hearts – whether medal winners, first time competitors, or just those who enjoyed being part of a great experience.  

More details and results will be available soon at

Andrew Lowe