Shoreham teenagers beat tandem rowing world record

Two teenagers from Shoreham have beaten the existing world record for the mixed 19 years and under heavyweight category in tandem rowing.

Melissa Shaw, 19, and Jack Bates, 18, both members of Shoreham Rowing Club, started the row on Tuesday, August 31, at 10am and finished on Thursday, September 2, at 10am – 48 hours later.

They both took it in shifts to continuously row for the two days in a bid to beat the current world record of 37 hours.

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Christel Shaw, Melissa’s mother, said: “Melissa and Jack beat the last record by an amazing 11 hours.

Jack and Melissa in full swing at Shoreham Rowing Club during their 48-hour row to beat the world record in tandem rowing

“The information has been sent off for validation and we are awaiting confirmation.

“Both Melissa and Jack are next in action later this month at the South Coast Rowing Championships in Southampton.”

Melissa said the first day of rowing ‘felt great’ but it got harder. She added: “We were both really feeling it in our backs and joints.

“We knew we would make it to 11pm which marked 37 hours which was the previous record but it was the second night that was really hard because no one was there and we were both feeling the strain on our bodies at this point and Jack was sleeping and I just had to keep on pushing.

Jack Bates from Shoreham Rowing Club taking his turn on the rowing machine to beat the exisiting world record in tandem rowing

“Once it got to about 7am it was a relief as I only had a hour left of rowing and I could start counting down.

“It felt brilliant to know we’ve broken the record and to do so by 11 hours.

“We both wanted to break a record before we went off to university, and we thought that this one would be a challenge and really push us.”

Jack said: “Even though it was a tandem event and me and Melissa were both competing together, I still felt pretty isolated because when I rowed she was off making food and resting up, just like I did when she rowed.

Melissa Shaw and Jack Bates from the Shoreham Rowing Club took place in a 48 hour row to beat the exisiting tandem rowing world record

“This forced me to look for other motivators. The appearance of other club members at 11 at night and four in the morning was a refreshing surprise for both of us, and gave us a much-needed distraction as we rowed.

“We also took inspiration from watching the Paralympics and seeing some of GB’s top athletes push themselves to their limits.

“This support and inspiration helped to significantly contribute towards our success and completion of the 48 hours.”

Roxanne Addison, Shoreham Rowing Club captain, said: “We are all so amazed by Melissa and Jack’s efforts – it was a fantastic achievement but also to see the club come together to support them, bringing donuts, brownies, and fans.

Melissa Shaw from the Shoreham Rowing Club taking her turn at rowing in a bid to beat the existing world record in the mixed 19 years and under heavyweight category in tandem rowing

“Members dropped by at all points throughout the 48 hours to give them support.

“Between them, they rowed 442,524 metres (the equivalent of rowing from Shoreham to Manchester).

“Everyone at Shoreham Rowing Club wishes them well as they head back to University, Jack to Reading and Melissa to Harper Adams.”