Records tumble at the Mizuno British Rowing Indoor Championships 2019

Two world records, seven British records and 62 Championship records were set at the world’s largest indoor rowing event.

Over 1,800 competitors took to rowing machines at the iconic London 2012 velodrome at Lee Valley VeloPark today for the Mizuno British Rowing Indoor Championships.

Officially the largest indoor rowing event in the world, there were over 2,300 entries across over 140 events, with athletes from as young as 11 right up to age 88 all racing in front of a sold-out crowd.

Benjamin Pritchard smashed the world record for the PR1 Men’s 2k in a time of 7:23.0, wiping a staggering 33 seconds off the previous record set by Russian athlete Alexey Chuvashev. A successful day for the GB Rowing Team was capped off by another world record for Giedre Rakauskaite finishing with 7:03.1 in the PR3 Women’s 2k.

There were several world records across different age categories. Justine Reston brought home a second surprise record of 7:18.3 best in the Masters 50-54 Lightweight Women 2k, beating her own world best of 7:19.0 just two weeks after setting it at the Welsh Indoor Championships in Cardiff.

Speaking afterwards she said: “I’m absolutely made up. Today was about just trying coming to enjoy the race, and I broke my record again! I honestly didn’t expect it.”

“The atmosphere definitely helped. I heard the commentators shouting, ‘Come on let’s get her down to the world record!’, and then the crowd cheering and I thought yes, here we go!”

Adaptive athlete Lauren Rowles led the way shattering the British PR2 Women’s 2k record with a time of 8:18.1, wiping over a minute off the previous best. Her GB teammate Oliver Stanhope also set a new PR3 (PD) age group world record of 6:40.1. Luke Reeson, Sean Gaffney and Kevin Peacock each set PR3 world records in their respective age categories, while Luke Theophilus pulled a British record of 7:25.2 in the (PR3-PD & IV) Men’s 2k.

Several more British records fell in the Masters events. Antoinette Jucker shaved 5 seconds off the British best for the 70-74 Women’s 2k in a time of 8:40.7. Rod Stewart nearly broke the 7 minute mark, setting a record 7:02.8 for the 65-69 Lightweight Men’s 2k. Roger Stainforth took 4.5 seconds off the 75-79 Men’s 2k record, completing the course in 7:25.2. Jilly Tovey also snuck a record in the Open Lightweight Women’s 500m by just 0.2 of a second, setting a new best of 1:40.4.

Breaking records for the juniors, Olivia Harrison pulled a 1:35.1 in the Year 11 Girls’ 500m. Georgia Walker also set a new age group world record of 8:36.6 in the Sixth Form Girls’ PR3 2k, recording the first official time for this event in Britain.

The excitement continued into the evening with the relays as Olympic champion Eric Murray from New Zealand joining the action. Taking part in the Open Mixed 4k with a wild-card team drawn from all the competitors entered, he said: “BRIC is such an iconic event worldwide, it’s great to be able to come here, share a bit of advice, talk to people and just experience what it’s all about.”

“There are so many passionate people just getting out there and giving it a go. The best bit is it’s not all about winning, you can focus on just being better than yourself. If you can come here and set a new personal with a thousand odd people watching you, that’s such a cool experience.”