When James Hollard found out a new indoor rowing record for the 13-14yr age group had been set, he knew he was running out of time to attempt the record himself. With one day left before turning 15, the Tauranga Boys' College student thought he'd may as well "have a go". Adyn Ogle reports.
It was an Instagram post that gave rower James Hollard the motivation to have a crack at a world record - and he smashed it.
The day before James' 15th birthday, the Tauranga Boys' College student claimed the indoor rowing 13-14yr 30 minute world record, powering to an astonishing 8007m.
"I saw in an Instagram post that a new record had been set so thought I better get in quick before I get out of this age category. I saw what he set and thought I might as well have a go. One of my mates said I would have it in the bag," James says.
He emptied the tank on the final stretch during his successful attempt on October 17, and comfortably surpassed the record by 400m.
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"In the last 5-10 minutes, I saw what the metres were and it predicted I would go past 8000m. I thought 'if I keep holding on I have got this in the bag'. It was a big relief, I didn't really know how else to react, I was just trying to get my breath back.
"I was knackered. I tried walking around but my body didn't cope and I started to shut down a little bit."
Coach Simon Aubrey says James' world record is an outstanding achievement.
"He is a tough competitor. I have been coaching quite a few years and I have never seen someone damage himself so much, he couldn't walk or talk afterwards. He is a very focused teenage kid and just loves his rowing," Aubrey said.
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"It is a very big number for a 14-year-old [now 15] to go past 8000m, he beat the previous record by 400m. He has very bright future there is no doubt about that."
Hollard says indoor rowing does provide its own challenges, but his preparation is no different to races on the water.
"You prepare the same, the mental game is a big part of it and you are planning your eating the same."
Hollard will compete for Tauranga Rowing Club and Tauranga Boys' College this summer with club regattas in the first part of the season before the National Secondary Schools Championships in Twizel in March provide the pinnacle of the school season.
Indoor Rowing World Record
13-14yr 30 minute event