Two intrepid teams from the University of Worcester Rowing Club will row thousands of kilometres during a gruelling non-stop world record attempt taking place in CrownGate Shopping Centre from Monday, March 1st.
The ten-strong teams, one men’s and one women’s, will attempt to smash existing ‘longest continual rowing’ world records by rowing day and night for several days in CrownGate’s Bell Square, to raise funds for local charity Worcester Snoezelen.
The men’s team is aiming to row more than 3,250km, equivalent to the distance from Worcester to Athens, in 11 days, and the women’s team needs to reach 2,000km in seven days to beat the record, currently held by a team from Florida.
One competitor from each team will row at any one time on indoor rowing machines supplied by Concept2, but the machine cannot be allowed to stop – if it does, the record attempt fails.
Testing the endurance of the teams to the limit, substitutions are not allowed – the ten people who start the attempt on each team are the only ones who can compete, even in the event of injury or illness.
Brave members of the public who would like to try their own hand at rowing can also have a go at seeing how far they can row in one minute.
The challenge will begin at 9am on Monday morning, and money raised will be split between club funds and the Worcester Snoezelen.
The Worcester Snoezelen Project is a leisure facility for people who have disabilities, incorporating multi-sensory rooms, hydrotherapy, accessible music making, soft play, creative arts and sensory garden. The project has been thriving for 16 years as a registered charity and currently 450+ children, adults and families travel from over four counties to access the unique service weekly.
Collections will be made in CrownGate during the challenge, and people can donate online via www.row4charity.org
Jamie Wilton, rowing club head coach said: “Though our club is one of the newest and smallest in the country and is funded entirely by students, we punch well above our weight in national competitions, so to smash this record would be such an amazing achievement.
“We’ve been training hard and want to raise as much money as possible for Worcester Snoezelen, which does such fantastic work within the local community, and is a charity that we feel deserves more recognition.”
Erica Burlace, CrownGate centre manager, said: “This is such a fantastic challenge and I really admire the athletes who are pushing themselves to the limit to beat this record and put themselves on the international rowing map, whilst raising funds for such a worthwhile cause.
“I would encourage everyone to come down to CrownGate and show the teams your support.”
Jane Campbell at Worcester Snoezelen said: “Everyone at the Worcester Snoezelen centre would like to say a really big thank you and a good luck to the rowing club. This is a fantastic way to raise funds and we appreciate the amount of hard work the students and organisers have given to this event.”
The University of Worcester Rowing Club was founded in 2004, though fully established itself in 2008-9, when it employed its part-time coach and quadrupled in size. Its active membership is now 46 students, who, on top of their normal academic work complete around ten training sessions per week.
The club is currently training from Worcester Rowing Club’s facilities and the majority of its annual income is generated through fund-raising events such as supermarket bag-packing.
Progress to date – the girls have now broken the 1m metre record and are continuing for the longest row. As this technically didn’t exist before (please don’t mention that!) they are ‘going for glory’, aiming to finish ~Monday morning on roughly 2m metres.
The lads have to keep splits below 2:22 ave and row for longer than 10 days. We are aiming for 11 days and we are substantially quicker – we think we are in excess of 10hrs ahead of the previous record at last calculation (this morning). As we have some phenomenal efforts from the boys it is likely nearer to 12hrs ahead now. They have turned it into a big competition (they even have a leader board for the top scores and there is REAL competition to be on it). At one point one of the lads (Rhys Paul) nearly had all of the top 10 scores. When the others realised they did something about it – we have had 3 or 4 changes at the top since then.
University of Worcester Rowing Club