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G' town man sets rowing record

Date Released: Mon, 19 November 2012 09:51 +0200

Grahamstown athlete Ryan Palmer broke a world record during the global indoor 24-hour Rowathlon at the weekend.

The event, organised by members of Ubunye Challenge, was held in Grahamstown. Ubunye Challenge aims to raise R250 000 for early childhood development projects in the Eastern Cape and Zimbabwe.

The Ubunye Challenge crew plans to row across the Atlantic in January 2014 with the goal of breaking the world speed record.

During the indoor rowing event, the team rowed for 24 hours.

The aim was to row the furthest distance possible in the time allowed.

Rowers from around the world took part.

They were doing their thing in Johannesburg, Harare and even London.

Palmer set the new 24-hour individual male record for indoor rowing. He clocked up 314 348m. The previous best was 313 250m by Phil Craze in Edinburgh last year.

Palmer broke the record with five minutes to spare.

He is a member of the Ubunye Challenge Atlantic rowing crew.

"I will be rowing across the Atlantic in 2014. It was my first time rowing in a single and it is also the first time that it is done in South Africa," he said.

Palmer hopes to raise awareness about the Ubunye Challenge and attract sponsorship for the Atlantic crossing.

"To prepare myself for the big day, I have been doing marathon and ultra-marathon distances up to 100km on a regular basis for the past year-and-half during training."

Ubunye Challenge member Cameron Bellamy said the organisation was formed by former Rhodes University students.

Bellamy said it had grown to include many people from outside the university and others from around the world.

"We want to inspire the new generation of youth in the Eastern Cape to be adventurous and courageous in helping the region to grow," she said.

The group's main focus is to organise and participate in extreme endurance events.

"Our team has previously cycled in the UK and swum the English Channel solo," she said.

Written by: Yoliswa Sobuwa

Picture credit: http://ubunyechallenge.com

  • This article was published on The Herald.