Lincoln rowers smash world record in 72-hour challenge

Two members of the Lincoln Rowing Centre have broken a world record by continuously rowing indoors for over three days.

Chris Farrell and Sally Hoonaert spent their Bank Holiday weekend taking turns on a rowing machine outside the Holiday Inn on the Brayford waterfront. On Monday morning, they finished with a time of 72 hours and 2 minutes.

The previous record was 60 hours. The pair passed that at 10.30 on Sunday night but powered on until the following morning. Farrell explained that the original plan to swap every hour and rest periodically didn’t work, as their bodies weren’t able to cope.

He said: “We did that for the first two days but we had to change our shift pattern to 2 hours on, 2 hours off. We were burning more calories than we were taking on and needed the energy. By the end of it, we only had around 4 hours sleep in 4 days.”

In 2011, he completed a solo world record attempt by rowing for 41 hours. However, having Sally as his partner didn’t make the weekend’s three-day challenge any easier.

Farrell said: “It was such a relief when we got to 72 hours. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I hope the record isn’t broken any time soon but if anyone wants to attempt it, feel free.”

Sally Hoonaert, shortly after breaking the 60-hour world record

Photos: Steve Hill/Lincoln Rowing Centre