Another World Record

Penrith, New South Wales

2 minute read
Words Tom Ransley
Photography Benedict Tufnell
Published 01.12.22

Australia’s Tokyo 2020 Olympian Georgie Rowe, 30, breaks one of the toughest indoor rowing records. Rowe set the 30 minute overall women’s world record with 8486 meters, and averaged a 1:46 per 500 meters split for the 30 minute attempt at 22 strokes per minute. Concept 2 congratulated Rowe on her “impressive feat”.


Rowe’s record-breaking row came amidst a heavy training block, and it was her third session of the day! Although Rowe is no stranger to smashing records (she set four during the Covid pandemic) she says before starting the piece she had “no intentions of setting a record”. But the former surf boat rower felt good during the warm up and decided to write the target meters on a Post-It note. She stuck the Post-It on the ground beside her erg, and set off. “Let’s go for!”

Typically Rowe rates 20 strokes per minute during her 30 minute ergs but this one was a set at 22 strokes per minute by Rowing Australia’s Women’s Head Coach John Keogh, perhaps as a tantalising nod towards a record attempt. With the record in her sights Rowe clocked 1:45.5 per 500 meters split and 24 strokes per minute in the last five minutes.

“If you’ve spent enough time on this machine you’d know that someday’s you’re lighting it on fire and other days every single muscle in your body is screaming at you telling you to get off,” posted Rowe on her Instagram account. “Today was a good day and I couldn’t have done it without my @paddlingpanthers and JK [John Keogh] letting me off the leash in the last 3 minutes ❤️‍🔥 It ain’t official baby but can I get a hell yeah!!”

Rowe’s awesome power was put to good use in the Australian women’s eight. During the Tokyo Olympiad Rowe claimed respective silver and bronze medals at the 2019 and 2018 World Rowing Championships. At the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games her crew finished fifth. The 2022 season saw Rowe move to the stern and race from the seven seat, the crew won a bronze medal at World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland, and gold at World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland. Her crew finished fifth at the 2022 World Rowing Championships, in Racice, Czech Republic.