THE world record for the greatest distance rowed in open water in 12 hours has been smashed by a group from Lymington.

A five-person team from Lymington Rowing Club broke the record, subject to verification, after rowing a mammoth 122.4 kilometres across Christchurch Bay, through the Solent and around the Isle of Wight.

The crew of Jack Mans, Rob Maltby, Alex Gasper, Dave Mans and Toby Backhouse broke the previous Russian record by more than 2.5 kilometres.

The team had also planned to attempt a number of other open water rowing records however the weather conditions on the day meant they had to focus solely on the 12-hour record.

Dave Mans said: “We knew almost from the outset that the weather was going to make breaking even one record a really hard ask with a strong north easterly wind making progress very challenging.

“We were right up against the clock coming past Cowes and going into the last hour.

“The tide was fading fast and despite having rowed hard for over 11 hours it was all going to come down to a final push for the line.

“After some fantastic steering from coxswain Jack negotiating a large wash from a tanker and a tremendous effort from the whole crew we cleared the needles with moments to spare and the tide stayed with us just long enough to beat the Russian record.”

The challenge raised more than £5,500 for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation and donations can still be made at the website

The team were supported by several local companies including Bradbeers, The Haven Bar, Bluebird Care, Rowing Adventures Ltd and The Pier Cafe, Totland Bay.

It comes just days after a team of mixed amateur rowers from Westbourne set a new world record for rowing non-stop around Britain.

The Westbourne-based quartet spent 43 days at sea, battling the elements and suffering from reduced team numbers as they became the first mixed group to row around Britain unassisted.