Last week, the Burton Beach Rowing Club’s Gabrielle (Gabbie) Graves set a new world record for 16-year-olds on the indoor rowing machine, when she rowed a distance of 339 meters (about 1,112 feet) in one minute — besting the old record by 2 meters.
Graves, a member of the U.S. junior national team crew that claimed a silver medal in the women’s eight last summer in Racice, Czech Republic, has been putting in long hours on the water and surprised coach Richard Parr when she asked about going after the indoor sprint record.
“One day for some reason I just had this sudden urge to break a world record,” she said. “So I chose the shortest one and tested it out. I tried the piece twice and came very close to the record — 1 and 2 meters off — and on the third one I finally did it. I couldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for my amazingly supportive team that cheered me on for all 339 meters.”
Graves’ effort was witnessed and recorded by teammates and Parr, and has been officially certified by Concept II, the company that makes the erg (rowing machine) that most rowers all over the world use, and keeps track of indoor rowing records. The achievement is now listed on the World Records page of its website.
Just before press time, Parr reported that Graves, unsatisfied with just one world record, went after two more. Watch coming issues of The Beachcomber for further news on her efforts as it becomes available.
— Written by Richard Parr, coach of the Burton Beach Rowing Club, and Sarah Low, Beachcomber reporter and Parr’s wife.