The ORS Int. is the official adjudicator of ocean rowing records for Guinness World Records

 


ROWER IN CHALLENGE PROTEST

BY KATINA READ

11:00 - 21 April 2003 

Newton Abbot's solo rower, Simon Chalk, has lodged an official protest against another record-breaking attempt.

Simon, 30, is aiming to set a record for rowing solo across the Indian Ocean from Kalbarri on the west coast of Australia to Reunion Island near Madagascar. But Portsmouth rowers Rob Abernethy and Mike Noel-Smith have embarked on an attempt at the same record.

However, property developer Simon is protesting because he says his journey will be 60 km longer.

The start of his journey took much longer than anticipated until he got further out to sea and into deeper water.

He believes plans by the Portsmouth crew to be towed 60km offshore from their start in Carnarvan, Australia, prior to officially starting the row invalidate their record attempt.

He said: "Under the guidelines of the Ocean Rowing Society, an ocean rowing boat should only be towed if a specific danger exists.

"From our team's research of Carnarvan, no such danger exists when using this port as a starting point."

He added: "It has never been acceptable to take a long tow from starting port.

"If, or when, this double-handed attempt is successful, the new time will be used as a guide to other double-handed attempts across the Indian Ocean."

Simon says he took a minimal tow of about one mile to clear a dangerous reef and then rowed through "incredibly testing conditions" before he was clear of the shoreline of Australia and took two days to clear 60km.

He has so far rowed more than 1,800 miles in 52 days and has around 2,400 miles still to go before he reaches his destination.

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