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A monster row: Aiming to smash Loch Ness record

By Andrew Dixon

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A practise row for the crew of the Trainera rowing boat.
A practise row for the crew of the Trainera rowing boat.

Scottish maritime adventurer, polar explorer and rower Jock Wishart will make an attempt to break a 26-year-old record for rowing the length of Loch Ness next week.

Mr Wishart and a team of 13 experienced rowers will be making the attempt in a unique rowing boat from the Basque region of Spain.

The team, sponsored by Aberdeen Standard, will be at Loch Ness for the attempt at some point from Tuesday to Thursday, depending on the weather.

Mr Wishart said: “We’re excited to be making this attempt on a very tough record.

"It is a monster row – a distance of over 20.5 miles.

"The crew are highly experienced endurance rowers used to breaking rowing records, and many of them have participated in the gruelling London-Paris rowing challenge. Even so, we will have to be in good form to beat the record.

"In theory it should have been beaten a long time ago but the conditions on Loch Ness are highly unpredictable. The weather has not been too great in recent weeks, but we’re hoping for an improvement."

Former world lightweight sculling champion Peter Haining and his partner George Parsonage set the record 26 years ago in a double scull. In April 1993, the pair completed the row up the loch in two hours 28 minutes and nine seconds.

In recent years several crews have attempted to break it without success.

Mr Wishart’s Trainera boat is a design which evolved from fishing boats used on the Bay of Biscay to become a high-performance boat used in coastal competitions.

It will have 13 oarsmen with Mr Wishart taking the helm.

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