triumphant team slash 10 minutes off world record

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A Buckingham rower is celebrating after her team smashed a world record for a cross-channel row on Sunday.

Alice Draper, aged 24, was coxing when her team from MK Rowing Club and MK Dons SET beat the world record for an all-women’s team by 10 minutes.

Cross-channel rower Alice Draper from Buckingham.'130311M-B505

Cross-channel rower Alice Draper from Buckingham.'130311M-B505

She told the Advertiser: “It was probably about halfway across when we realised we were within a shot of the record. And then it was a case of, let’s put the effort in.

“In the last hour it ramped up gradually. I happened to be coxing for the last bit, and from the cox’s seat I was trying to think of anything I could say to motivate them. By the end I’d pretty much lost my voice.”

The team was geared up to make the attempt last Friday, but then had to wait all weekend for good enough weather.

“There were very high emotions over the weekend,” said Miss Draper, who works as a lab technician at the Royal Latin School.

“We could not have asked for better conditions,” she said. “There was hardly any wind so the water was really flat.”

After their win, she said: “It didn’t quite sink in for about a day. We were all cheering and excited but we didn’t really comprehend till we started talking to other people.

“I fell asleep on the boat on the way back. I think most people did.”

And despite being cooped up together in a boat for the five hours and 14 minutes it took them to row from Dover to Calais, the women didn’t exchange a single cross word.

Miss Draper said: “We had a great time – we talked and we sang songs and we rowed.

“It was lovely – just a real sense of team spirit.

“We’re hoping to meet up in the next week or so and recall all the good memories.

“We were all surprised at how enjoyable it was.”

The event has already raised £12,475.68 including Gift Aid to support the two clubs.

To help them meet their £15,000 target, scan the QR code with your smartphone or use the quicklink at the bottom.