On Friday 20th April 2018, a team of 17 personnel from 13 RAF units met at RAF Linton-on-Ouse to undertake the large team 100km indoor rowing record. The time we needed to beat was 4hrs 26mins 17.6 secs (1:19.8ave).
After a short period of discussion and planning, our order of play and the transition process was finalised. With the Stn Cdr, RAF Linton-on-Ouse starting us off, the plan was for each rower to pull between around 15 – 20 strokes and to keep the average split under 1:19 per 500m. Unfortunately it quickly became apparent that we really should have practiced our change overs a bit more! After a couple of sloppy changes and few falls off the seat, we were struggling. The first 10km passed by at around 27 ½ minutes. An impressive time to say the least, but did have us 0.1sec off WR pace. As the time and meters went by, the changeovers did start to improve, but the split was ever so slowly increasing. By the half way mark, it was obvious that we were off target, with our average split being 1:20.8. For those people that have used the indoor rower they will know 2 things; 1. It’s brutal and 2. The monitor doesn’t lie. With the screen displaying just under 50km to go and the average split showing us that we were off pace, with nothing we could do about it, it was time to dig in deep. Despite some of the lads pulling an astonishingly low 1:12 average split, we were unable to pull the time back. With each rower giving it as much as physically possible for the duration and even with cramps, niggles and back aches starting to kick in, each and every stroke was given a 100% by every person. Never once did our heads drop and the spirit and comradery throughout was fantastic.
The final result put us at 4hrs 32min 2.7secs (1:21.5ave) and despite missing the WR time by just under 6 minutes, it is still the 2nd quickest ever large team 100km and the fastest known military time.
We even managed to raise just over £420 for the RAF 100 appeal.
Sgt Danny Graham.
Danny Graham-Linton-On-Ouse, Tom Jackman-Honington, Mike Barnes -Shawbury, Gerry Armstrong-RAF Brize Norton, James Saxton-Boulmer, Paul Savage-Honington, Rich Peregrine-RAF Brize Norton, Jake Addison-RAF Waddington, Joshua Davies-RAF Cosford, Luke Meldon-RAF Odiham, Edward Wilkinson-Welbeck, Danny Morgan-RAF Linton-On-Ouse, Jamie Davis-RAF Brize Norton, Tom Windibank-MOD Stafford, Joshua Randell-RAF Odiham, Pete Clowes-RAF Wittering, Matt Smith-RAF Valley.
Sgt Graham said,
A big thank you to all involved, including Cpl Ian Cooper for providing some valuable rub downs, all the supporters on the day and to RAF Linton-on-Ouse for letting us use their facilities.
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Article written by: Sgt Danny Graham.