Corrections / statement re ocean rowing records
“I welcome the current discussion about ocean rowing records. Following consultation with Kenneth Crutchlow at the Ocean Rowing Society International, I believe that the proposed solution of having two classes of ocean rowing boat is a great improvement over what has been the previous state of affairs. By having two classes it means that we as a sport welcome future innovation in boat design whilst still allowing those rowing in more traditional boat designs to compete for world records and recognition amongst boats of the same class.
I have discussed with Kenneth about formation of a committee [to be named before mid-April] to both try and agree on a set of rules which define whether a boat can be included in the Classic class. Also the committee would sit when approached by a prospective ocean rower seeking clarification on their design of ocean rowing boat before construction begins. I am extremely optimistic that by having a committee to define the classic class boats and to advise future ocean rowers on their boat designs that together we can move the sport forwards to the benefit of all.”
If any ocean rower feels he/she
is eligible for a record please contact ORS asap on
We have recently been asked to review crossing times of ocean rowboats that differ from the vast majority of ocean rowing boats.
Out of 513 departures of ocean rowing boats since 1896, 494 can be described as classic, which are mono-hulls and allow for rear cabin to accommodate a 6.00 feet tall man or woman to sit up-right; 10 are "open class", built according to rowers’ specifications.
The common denominator of all the "open class" boats is they have the possibility to be propelled faster than classic boats by getting an extra advantage of wind.
On a study of the photos of the boat it is clear that the design is significantly different from the majority of other designs and it has more of an area that could/would take advantage of the wind.
Click on images below to view larger pictures
The source of pictures: http://www.andrew.rowtheatlantic.com/
It means that no classic boat would be expected to beat this crossing time and therefore can be considered as being at a disadvantage before rowing a stroke. This takes away the whole idea of competing for breaking an existing record, which – to make it fair - should be based on equal possibilities and chances for all challengers.
Hence forth there will be the following categories for ocean rowing records:
1.The fastest crossing of an ocean in a classic ocean rowing boat
2.The fastest crossing of an ocean in an open class ocean rowing boat
(The fastest open class Solo, Double etc.), which in its turn will be divided into mono-hulls and multi-hulls.
We believe this division will enable future record seekers to compete on equal basis (in classic ocean rowing boats) and/or give almost unlimited freedom to come up with new boat designs to those who would prefer to go in an open class category.
So the following ocean rowboats go under the category of open class:
We have recently received information regarding an ocean rowboat that has claimed a record, which prompted us to reconsider their record in order to maintain the integrity of ocean rowing records.
It is “ORCA”, Team of Four, Atlantic E to W, December 15 2007 – January 20 2008
We received an email
from a person, who wishes to remain anonymous,
”Here are the pictures. Showing the oars used as a mast.
Take nothing away from the other crew members who continued to row
hard. However I personally do not want to be part of a world record
knowing this had happened.
During the row in 2007-08 we accepted request of ORCA captain that he himself would give us daily positions update because he could not afford sat tracking system onboard. Therefore the communication with ORCA was provided by sat phone and was regular until Day 14 of the row (December 29 2007) after then it stopped. On January 2nd there was a message from a passing by ship that forwarded us - at the request of ORCA captain - information that sat phone on ORCA failed to work.
The row did happen and a crossing was accomplished and it was the first multihull ocean rowing boat that completed a crossing.
We have calculated the average
miles accomplished presuming without oars standing upright and the
‘sailing system’ during the first week of the row and used this as
an average for the time to the finish (60 miles a day),