Boys' smash world rowing record and raise $21k

Ed Lopas with his rugby coaches Anthony Washington and Andrew McGill during the world record...
Ed Lopas with his rugby coaches Anthony Washington and Andrew McGill during the world record attempt. Photo: CBHS/Facebook
A Christchurch school rowing team believe they have created a new world record and raised more than $21,000 for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand in the process.

More than 60 Christchurch Boys' High students have taken part in a bid to break the record for the longest continual team erg (rowing machine) by a group aged under-19.

The previous world record was 96 hours. But by the time the team finishes about 1pm tomorrow at a school assembly, in which cancer survivor and CBHS rower Ed Lopas will complete the final hour, the new record should exceed 140 hours.

The team passed the world record mark on Sunday, just before 2pm.

CBHS rowing team manager Ricardo De Sousa said the level of support has been amazing.

Charles Nicholson-Sell after the team went past 1090km in 78 hours. Photo: CBHS Facebook.
Charles Nicholson-Sell after the team went past 1090km in 78 hours. Photo: CBHS Facebook.
“We know that most people have been touched or impacted by cancer throughout their lives so to be able to raise awareness and fundraise like we have has been great," he said.

“We knew logistically it would be tough trying to organise 61 schoolboys but we are so proud of them.

"Not one of them has missed a shift - a few have cut it close but they’ve all done their bit.”

As of yesterday afternoon, they had rowed more than 1600km combined since their marathon effort began on Wednesday.

The team initially hoped to raise $5000, but yesterday their total stood at $21,145.16.

Ed, 16, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, in July last year.

After five months of successful chemotherapy, Ed was cleared to start physical activity again and hopes to row at the Maadi Cup regatta on Lake Ruataniwha near Twizel next month.

Ed Lopas training with the CBHS rowing team on Lake Hayes. Photo: Ricardo De Sousa
Ed Lopas training with the CBHS rowing team on Lake Hayes. Photo: Ricardo De Sousa

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