British indoor rowing records broken by Perse student
3 Jun 2020
Ed Gaskarth (Lower Sixth) has rowed his way to more record-breaking brilliance – without taking to the water.
In April, he clinched the British indoor rowing record for distance covered in 30 minutes in the men’s heavyweight (above 75kg) 17-18 age category using a machine with slides – in which the movement is more akin to regular rowing – when he chalked up 8,257 metres while competing in the virtual Concept 2 Spring VIII Series.
Not content with setting one standard, Ed has since added three more national records to his tally, including:
• 1,290 metres for distance covered in four minutes.
• 35min 25.6sec for 10,000 metres.
• 6min 20.2 sec for 2,000 metres.
He said: “I have found it satisfying to break these records as with the cancellation of the British Junior Rowing Championships a couple of weeks ago, meaning racing is more or less all cancelled, there isn’t any real opportunity to compete and push myself right to the limit on the water for this season.
“I did look up the previous records before doing these pieces to give myself targets to shoot for, with the four-minute piece being the closest to the previous marker as I only broke it by five metres. However, the other two (10,000m and 2,000m) were more comfortable as they suited my strengths as a more endurance-based athlete. The previous times were also relatively weak compared to the records for an indoor rower not on sliders.”
Despite being unable to hit the river during the coronavirus lockdown, Ed has been training for around seven hours a week on his indoor rowing machine and maintaining his fitness with running, cycling, circuits and weights sessions.
Ed, who won a National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships title in February, added: “I’ve used trying to break the records more as motivation and goal-setting without the racing season rather than as a replacement or consolation for not being able to go on the river. However, it is nice to be able to feel like I have pushed myself as much as possible on a piece and records are a bonus.”