World records set, and broken, by Westergate rowers

The challengers - Sandy, Tom and Hazel
The challengers - Sandy, Tom and Hazel
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'A masterclass in determination', that is how the duty manager of Orminston Six Villages Sports Centre summed up the efforts of a trio whose epic 24-hour rowing challenge ended this morning.

Richard Cox added it was 'an amazing performance by these three, inspirational effort'.

In action, the three rowers and a support member

In action, the three rowers and a support member

The world record attempt, which started yesterday, saw Sandy Clarke (79) row 168,171m in 24 hours, setting a world record in the 70 to 79 heavyweight women's category.

Tom Blaylock (63) covered 214,150m, falling short of a record in the 60 to 69 lightweight men's category but setting a new personal best by 26,000m.

Meanwhile Hazel Spencer (69), who joined the challenge for the first time this year, smashed a record set in 2005 by 46,000m by covering 147,784m to take the 60 to 69 lightweight women's category title.

The centre's manager Simon Wagstaff said: "They all did extremely well, Tom didn't get to his record but he did 30,000 more than last year which is a great achievement. To do 24-hours of anything is difficult, never mind something as physical as this.

Supporters watching the final few minutes

Supporters watching the final few minutes

"It is amazing, we are all in awe, it was rather emotional to be honest.

"Hazel's daughter is in Australia and we got her on a Skype call for the last 15 minutes so she could be there for support. We had some rough patches but as we got towards the end, when everything was here, with the buzz - it lifted us all."

The trio have no gone home for a rest, but more about their efforts and how it feels to set new records - both world and personal ones - will be in next week's Observer.