March Bulletin

ARA Erg Championships

The Central Alberta Rowing Club played host to the 2024 ARA Erg Championships on Saturday March 9, 2024.  With a record 159 athletes in action across 6 different clubs the ARA erg Champs has become one of the largest indoor rowing competitions in Canada.  Young and old, lightweights and heavyweights, men and women all pushing their limits in front of the support from their teammates is one reason why has the ARA Erg Championships is a can’t miss event on the rowing calendar.  The ARA commends our coaches, officials, volunteers and clubs for the success of this year’s event and a big thanks goes out to the Central Alberta Rowing Club for their efforts year in organizing this annual competition. 

Results from the event are posted online here.
A great article on this year’s event can be found here.

Alberta News

The 2024 National Indoor Rowing Day was held on Saturday February 24, 2024.  The event is designed to get Canadians active and help grow the sport of rowing across the country.  This year, Albertans crushed it by exceeding their 2023 target by 500,000 metres in rowing nearly  1,150km – or simply put the distance from Calgary to Brandon Manitoba.   Congratulations to all who participated. 

Rowing Stories

For those from this writer’s era the story of the 1992 Olympic Games is legendary for most fans of Canadian Rowing.  Four Olympic Gold medals and a Bronze make the 1992 Barcelona Games the most successful Olympics to date for Canadian Rowing.  To most the Barcelona Games are virtually forgotten about, with few knowing little about the athletes behind those medals.

 The story from those games and for good reason was Silken Laumann.  Laumann entered the Olympic year as the defending world champion and the winner of Canada’s Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year (the first and only time a rower has won this award).  In a warm-up event leading into the Olympic games Laumann’s right leg was shattered when a German men’s crew rammed into her shell. Told she would never row again, after five operations and a desire to prove her doctors wrong, Laumann arrived at Barcelona walking with a cane to her boat.  Despite the obstacles she faced Laumann won a bronze medal as Canadians from coast to coast watched our country’s newest sporting hero at home in the early hours of the evening.  A video from that 1x race can be found here.

While Laumann emerged as the hero of those games a lesser known story evolves around Canada’s gold medal winning 8+ which featured an Alberta athlete – Bruce Robertson.  Leading up to the Olympics, Canada’s Men’s 8+ was the defending silver medallist from the 1991 World Championships.  However, leading into Barcelona there was tension amongst the crew who felt that the boat was not achieving the speed it needed to win Olympic gold and beat the defending World Champions – Germany.  Moments before the team’s departure to Barcelona, Derek Porter had a one on one meeting with then coach Mike Spracklen about his concerns and suggested that he replace John Wallace (Silken Laumann’s future husband) as the stroke of the boat.  Spracklen acted on the advice of Porter and the boat went onto win Olympic gold by the slimmest of margins.  A video of that 8+ race can be found here.


Once again, the ARA intends on facilitating a training camp in Invermere B.C at the end of April 2024.  The camp is designed to assist athletes in preparing for the on-water season and will be open to all experienced athletes* (Junior through Masters) across the province.  Do note that at this time the ARA has not finalized the date for this camp but expect it  to take place April 19-21, 2024 (weather dependant).  As in years past athletes will be responsible for their own transportation to and accommodation in Invermere.    

*Please note that athletes who wish to attend must be proficient rowers capable of rowing in all types of conditions (Any exceptions must be granted by the ARA)

Upcoming Events

ARA Training Camp– Invermere, British Columbia – Tentative
RADAR Submissions Due by March 31, 2024