Dubai resident rows for straight 50 hours 17 minutes, breaking world record

A Dubai resident rowed for straight 50 hours and 17 minutes and snatched just six minutes of sleep for over two nights to break a world record for the most prolonged continual rowing.

A Dubai resident rowed for straight 50 hours and 17 minutes and snatched just six minutes of sleep for over two nights to break a world record for the most prolonged continual rowing.

Sean Burgees overcame brain fog, exhaustion and hallucination to gather funds for a primary school in northern Tanzania. He travelled for almost 421,954 metres which he started on Friday, 22 April, at 8:30 am, which is equal to 10 back to back marathons.


Everyone cheered when Burgees completed the challenge successfully on Sunday, 24 April, at 10.47 am at The Physical Training Company in Al Quoz.

Sean Burgees said, “I was nervous about falling asleep on the rower. There were moments I was closing my eyes and rowing because it was the only way I could relax.”

The thrill of going past the 50-hour mark was instantly replaced by severe fatigue after efforts of continuous three days.

“In the final hour, my body was racing on adrenalin because I knew I was about to finish. I was laughing and talking when I finished, so many people thought I was fine,” said Mr Burgess, challenge director at Gulf For Good, a UAE-based registered non-profit that operates adventure challenges around the world.

“But five minutes later, I just crashed. I could not really speak properly, and my mind was foggy.”

“I recognise just thinking, and I have to get home,” he further said.


Sean completes a 50-hour rowing challenge, and even after much deserved sleep and rest, he is still aching. Still, he is delighted to have reached close to his target of around Dh25,000 to enhance facilities for 800 students of Enjoro Primary school.

Sleep deprivation was the main obstacle faced throughout the challenge, with Mr Burgess catching two minutes on the first night and four on the second.

Tariq Saeed


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