THREE friends took on an incredible challenge over the weekend – rowing for 50 hours non-stop and breaking three world records in the process.

Dave Holby, Simon Rayner and Stuart Dimond completed the challenge on rowing machines in Festival Place, forgoing sleep and pushing their bodies to the limit to raise cash for charities The Pink Place and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Beginning at 11am on Friday, they stopped for only ten minutes each hour for some much-needed stretches, water and food, before finishing on Sunday, August 26 at 1pm.

Rowing side by side, they broke three individual continual endurance world records.

Stuart, from Oakridge, broke the lightweight world record in the 19-and-under age category for non-stop rowing, which stood at 35 hours. Simon, from Tadley, broke the lightweight 30-39 age group world record, which was 30 hours, and Dave broke the heavyweight 30-39 age group world record of 37 hours.

Neither Simon, 34, nor Stuart, 19, had ever been on a rowing machine before they started training for the challenge.

Dave, from Chineham, has more experience, having become the first man to row around the world in a static rowing machine covering a distance of 40,000 km.

Dave, 32, said: “The guys I’m rowing with are incredible.

“We had all been talking about what we could do to raise money and we just said ‘why don’t we just get together and just do it?’”

Donations made through their page will go the national charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer. A collection for Basingstoke charity The Pink Place during the row, raised £1,000.

Janis Taylor, 52, set up the charity at Taylor’s Hair & Beauty Salon in Wote Street two years ago, offering women suffering from breast cancer a range of pampering services.