Firm’s expert help for record attempt pair

IN TANDEM Jerone Walters with Olympian and adventurer James Cracknell
IN TANDEM Jerone Walters with Olympian and adventurer James Cracknell
8/8/17

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QE Discussion at Trafalgar Gate, Portsmouth.

Sam Lockwood, QEC Maintenance Engineer at the Amutiny Centre.

Photography by Habibur Rahman PPP-170908-002128006

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WHEN Olympic rower James Cracknell decided he wanted to break the tandem cycling record from Lands End to John O’Groats, he had a little bit of local help.

Voxit Ltd, a small IT company based at the Gosport Basepoint centre, was on hand to develop the team’s website so their supporters could follow their progress.

James was joined by trialist cyclist Jerone Walters for the attempt to break the 50 hour, 14 minute record.

But they were forced to abandon the attempt just 68 miles away from their destination after fatigue swept over them both.

Voxit built and maintained the website project7racing.com that documented the attempt.

Barry Gorman, the firm’s operations manager, said: ‘The opportunity to play a part in one of James Cracknell’s epic challenges was simply an honour and privilege.

‘The tension leading up to and during the event itself was thrilling.

‘The support backing the pair’s attempt at the roadside and also on social media networks was incredible and inspiring.

‘We then received the brief update that the attempt had been abandoned to safety reasons with less than 10 per cent of the distance remaining.

‘The thrills turned to overwhelming concern for the pair’s safety, followed by relief to discover that the duo were intact and able to take this long-standing nemesis on another day.’

The record is still held by Pete Swinden and the late John Withers, who set it 45 years ago.

They managed to cycle the 842-mile route, in tandem, in 50 hours, 14 minutes and 25 seconds.

Two years ago James partnered Olympic cyclist Rebecca Romero to try to beat the record, but the pair had to stop after Rebecca’s knee swelled up.

And in 2010 James had to recover from a brain injury after he was knocked off his bike by a truck in America.

This time James and Jerone struggled for the first 24 hours but they managed to reach Inverness with seven hours to go.

James said: ‘Our support team congratulated us and the lovely folk who had come to cheer us on clearly knew the record was still possible.

‘A few hours later the support crew pulled us over, not because we looked erratic or unsafe but because our average speed was lower than at any time over the previous 48 hours.

‘Quite simply, I found my fatigue capacity.

‘What’s clear is that the capacity to endure discomfort, pain and tough it out was greater a generation ago – despite all the technical, nutritional and training advances, the old record still stands.’