Alumni break world rowing record

They rowed continuously for 30 hours.

Helena Keeble

At 3am on Sunday 14 January, Team Atlantic Discovery broke the world record for the longest continual row on an indoor rowing machine by a small mixed team on Founders Square at Royal Holloway.

The team consisted of Issac Kenyon, Benjamin Ajayi-Obe and Jack Hopkins who set up their machines in Founders Square on Friday 12 January, beginning their task of beating the previous world record of 30 hours. They rowed continuously through two nights and one day with support crewmembers Camilla Zupi, Leanne Hubbard and many supporters visiting them, including some “very confused students” after Friday’s Students Union night. At 3am on Sunday morning the team claimed their feat, surpassing the previous 30-hour record by 10 percent at 33 hours. The team is currently waiting for confirmation by Concept2, who are to maintain and adjudicate this record.

The team of alumni emphasized their gratitude towards the support they received by both existing students and staff at Royal Holloway, who were commended for their invaluable support and help before and during the event.

The world record was an ‘early stepping stone’ for Team Atlantic Discovery in their training to compete in the Talisker Whiskey Challenge, a rowing race across the Atlantic Ocean in December 2018 to raise funds for the charities Multiple Sclerosis Society (MSS) and BMSTC. This race consists of ‘propelling a rowing boat for 3000 nautical miles, in two hours shifts, from La Gomera, Spain to Antigua’. Like their weekend at Royal Holloway, the shift pattern of this challenge means that while two team members row, the other two will be resting and sleeping.

Team member, Benjamin Ajayi-Obe emphasized the importance of the two charities that they are raising money for, particularly for himself since his mother was diagnosed with MS in 2002, a lifelong condition which can affect the brain and spinal chord, causing a wide range of problems such as issues with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.

The team are currently looking for sponsorship and commercial partnerships to help acquire the required expedition equipment.

You can donate to the Team’s #DiscoverAMile campaign to have your name emblazoned on the inside of the boat – the ‘Elida’ – or you can simply donate.

Anyone wishing to support the Atlantic campaign can also get in tough with Team Atlantic Discovery through social media or their email:

Helena Keeble


Featured image: Atlantic Discovery Row The Atlantic on Facebook

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