A 14-man team of rowers from Surrey have made history by rowing the length of Loch Ness in a record-breaking time.

Successfully navigating the 21-mile length of the world-famous Scottish lake, the intrepid crew — led by Kingstonian adventurer Jock Wishart — made history by finishing in a record time of of 2 hours 26 minutes and 57.04 seconds, smashing the previous record by 1 minute and 12 seconds.

The original record set by two Scots (Peter Haining and George Parsonage) 26 years ago, and had stood since 1993 despite several attempts to best it until this week.

The Surrey crewmen are all members of Thames skiff clubs and had trained on the Thames ahead of their record-breaking endeavour.

Reflecting on their achievement, Mr Wishart praised his team for their remarkable efforts.

"I am absolutely delighted to have broken this record which stood for such a long time.

"The Thames skiffers were terrific. They used their power and stamina to achieve this and I suspect their new record could stand for some time," he said.

The 14-man crew used a modern version of special boat known as a 'trainera' that is unique to the Basque country in Spain, and is specially designed to resist the choppy and unpredictable waters found in the region's coast.

The popularity of the racing boats in the Basque county mean they draw often draw crowds of thousands to weekly races there, and this sparked the team's interest in importing that model to the UK for their record-breaking feats.

Mr Wishart described the scale of the challenge as "truly monster" and revealed that they had battled a lacking tail wind and hotter-than-expected temperatures during the attempt.

"This has been a truly monster row at almost 21 miles and we had hoped for a bit more assistance from a tailwind. But that eluded us for a large part of the row.

"You just never know what the weather is going to do here on Loch Ness and today it was fairly kind to us, even though the temperature was higher than expected," the Kingstonian said.

Mr Wishart's previous adventures include rowing the Atlantic, rowing to the North Pole, leading the Cable and Wireless Adventurer team on a record-breaking circumnavigation of the globe in a power boat.

The team and their record attempt were sponsored by Aberdeen Standard Investment.

The team members were:

  • Jock Wishart (Kingston), The Skiff Club
  • Simon Leifer (Kingston), Ditton’s Skiff Club
  • Andy Tompkins (Kingston), Wraysbury Skiff Club
  • Dave Jillings (Kingston), Ditton Skiff Club
  • Mike Lanzer (Weybridge), The Skiff Club
  • Richard Carless (Weybridge), Dittons Skiff Club
  • CD Riches (Putney), The Skiff Club
  • Paul Reynolds (Teddington), Dittons Skiff Club
  • Andy Wells (West Ewell), Dittons Skiff Club
  • John Parker (Molesey), Sunbury Skiff Club
  • Nick Mepham (Walton), Thames Valley Skiff Club
  • John Graham (Sunbury), Sunbury Skiff Club
  • Andy Graham (Walton), Sunbury Skiff Club
  • Duncan Graham (Walton) Thames Valley Skiff Club

The crew now reportedly intend to try to break several other records over the summer including a channel rowing record.