2012 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show visitors have seen Andrew Abrahams, a popular rower, beat the world record attempt at the Million Meter Row. Breaking the record in the freezing solitude of 1am Sunday morning, he has managed to smash it by a massive 8 hours, 47 minutes and 10 seconds.
The record was previously held by Nigel Gower, from the UK.
For his herculean efforts, Andrew wins “a shirt and a pair of shorts” and the title of course from the makers of his Concept2 rowing machine, which he calls “Elvis”.
“But the real point of it all is to raise funds for seriously ill kids,” he said this morning, enjoying his first cup of coffee in five days.
“I feel good, pretty tired,” he added. “The first thing I am going to do is lie face down on the bed. I am hungry but it’s hard to eat. I have flavour fatigue from eating so much during the row.”
Still at the boat show on the final day, Sunday 27 May, Andrew is taking challenges this morning from staff and exhibitors wanting to stretch their muscles. He said that after the Million Meter Row, he needs to row for an hour a day and gradually wind it back to ensure his muscles recover.”
His team has not yet counted the funds raised and pledged, but Andrew said people have been extremely generous. “Everybody has been very supportive. They told me they saw me on ‘Sunrise’ and came in to support us.”
Andrew is raising funds through Lions and Couee Community. Through the Lions Club of Rochedale Springwood and Couee Community, Andrew is able to guarantee that all profits from this campaign will go directly the cause, and not be wasted in overhead costs and wages of other charities. They will purchase much needed equipment for children in need, and approach charities for wish lists.
The Lions are all 100% volunteers and proud to be involved. Couee Community has the same beliefs and are focused on helping wherever it’s needed in the community.
Next up on the list is the Woodvale Challenge Atlantic Rowing Race 2012. Andrew is a co-founder of the successful Big W Townsville to Cairns Bike Ride, a three day and 350km long event raising funds to support research into children’s cancer. Since its launch in 1999, the event has raised more than $2.1 million for childhood cancer.
Then the big one at the end of 2013, when Andrew takes on the Atlantic in his kayak on the “Ultimate Test of Strength and Endurance”, a 5000km race in open ocean, from La Gomera, Canary Islands to English Harbour, Antigua.
In the next 18 months, Andrew Abrahams will have to master the art of dodging shipping and prepare himself for the many physical and mental challenges he will face along the way.
“I am constantly reminded of the pain and suffering that the children and their families go through when sickness or injury has struck a family member, so I use that energy to help me find a way to help. Now when things get tough, as I prepare myself for the Ultimate Test of Strength and Endurance, I say to myself with a smile on my face, I’m rowing the Atlantic,” he said.
On this once in a lifetime challenge, which begins December 2013, Andrew will be pushed beyond his mental and physical limits as he faces sharks and whales, extreme temperatures, powerful storms and 30ft+ waves. He will have to adjust to the stark living conditions on board: constant motion, no bathroom facilities, limited cooking ability and desalinated water.
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