Rowing ergometer times are dominated by heavier athletes. Check out the Concept II rankings for lightweight and heavyweights at every distance. Ergometer rowing is a heavyweight’s game!
The reasons for this are a complex blend of physics and physiology, and the influences differ from one type of ergometer to another and from shorter to longer distances. In fact, the science of rowing and ergometers gives ample opportunity to brush up on a lot of basic physiology, physics, and mathematics.
Tim Granger of Cambridge University has developed an algorithm that allows us to compare rowing scores at different weights. There are some inherent limitations, and Tim explains these on his site, but overall this is an excellent method to handicap rowing scores so that we can compare achievements.
For instance, using this algorithm we find that a 220-pound (100-kg) male with a 7-minute 2,000 meters equates to a 165-pound (75-kg) male rowing a 7:30 2,000 meters.