World Rowing: 131 indoor world records broken since March

Records tumble globally in face of Covid-19 lockdown

2 minute read
Words & Photos Benedict Tufnell
Published 01.06.20

World Rowing say at least 131 official world records have been broken on the indoor rowing machine in the last 75 days. A report released last week lists the records broken on indoor machines since much of the world entered lockdown in March.

New Zealand’s two-time Olympic gold medallist Hamish Bond was among those to have broken records, as was New Zealand Olympic single sculler Emma Twigg.

Photo Hamish Bond, 2019 World Rowing Championships, Linz, Austria.
Credit Benedict Tufnell

Bond managed to row 9,449 metres in a 30 minute test, and 1,412 metres in a four minute one. “Mine are actually age grade records, so that’s the perk of being over 30,” laughed Bond of his achievements. Bond’s proudest lockdown moment however was when he set a new personal best over 2k on the rowing machine. “It was pretty satisfying at 34 years of age to sit in my garage and do a PB and suffer through a 6 min test,” he said afterwards. 

Photo Emma Twigg, 2019 World Rowing Championships, Linz, Austria.
Credit Benedict Tufnell

Emma Twigg broke two records, rowing 10,000 metres in 35 minutes and 33 seconds, and a half marathon distance in one hour, 17 minutes and 42 seconds.

In the report World Rowing say that while many rowers just wanted to log miles during isolation training, many would have been aware that there were world records just within their grasp and went for them.  

Of particular note is junior American rower Isaiah Harrison, 16, who now owns all 13 indoor rowing World Records for his age group – from 500m to the marathon – most of which were broken during lockdown.

Photo Erik Horrie, 2019 World Rowing Championships, Linz, Austria.
Credit Steve McArthur

Australian para-rower Erik Horrie also proved he could hold his own on the indoor rowing machine and holds the best score in the 1 minute, 100m, 500m, 6’000m and the Marathon. 

According to World Rowing’s report, Australian indoor rowers did best by recording 36 World Records since March, followed by the USA (26) and Italy (12).

See the full list of records broken here.