Rowing title for college boy Jake

PUBLISHED: 16:47 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:55 10 June 2010

A young Exmouth Communituy College athlete, who hopped on a rowing machine for a school test, has become South West champion just weeks after trying the sport for the first time.

A young Exmouth Communituy College athlete, who hopped on a rowing machine for a school test, has become South West champion just weeks after trying the sport for the first time.

Jake Gilbody, 12, of Budleigh Salterton, first tried a rowing machine this year during gym class.

Now the youngster is keen to get out on to the estuary and row for real after winning the South West Indoor Rowing Championships in Plymouth.

Jake, who represents his school at cross-country and rugby, said: "Our teacher wanted us to row flat out for two minutes, and I managed to get the highest distance. Then he entered me in the SW championships, and I won with 554 metres. I now want to join a rowing club."

Jake beat 60 pupils to win the title - all competitors rowing in line on indoor machines for two minutes, and watching a computer graphic of their boat's progress.

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