Friday, October 18, 2013 at 1am

Cambridge Judge Faculty Member Breaks Guinness World Record: MBA News

Cambridge Judge Faculty Member Breaks Guinness World Record: MBA News main image

Mark de Rond, a Cambridge Judge Faculty member, together with Anton Wright, a rowing coach for the University of Cambridge, have together picked up a Guinness World Record after successfully navigating the entire length of the world’s second longest river, the Amazon.

This 2,077 mile row began in Nauta, Peru on September 13 and was completed in Macapá, northern Brazil earlier this week, October 15.

For Mark de Rond, the trip came with a clear motivation of helping him to provide his students at Cambridge Judge with an insight into how teams and individuals react to difficult situations, through his own personal experience.  

It is a tactic he has used in the past by working with stand-up comedians and joining up with military surgeons deployed in Afghanistan. However, he is now also the proud owner of a Guinness World Record for his efforts in the name of academic research.

“This was always intended in part as a research project into the dynamics of collaboration under pressure. The entire experience has been such a rollercoaster of emotions. I’ve felt afraid and vulnerable but I have felt immense gratitude too – often to locals whose hospitality we will never be able to reciprocate”, said de Rond in an article for Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS.)

Cambridge Judge global network a valuable resource for expedition

As well as benefiting from the generosity of locals along their route, the Guinness World Record holders also have the extent of Cambridge Judge’s global network to thank, after an alumnus and one of de Rond’s former students, Elise Erikson, was able to provide the two men with valuable assistance from her home in the UK.

 “The CJBS global network was a great help as Elise, who is Brazilian and did her executive MBA at the school, helped them sort out logistics at the finish”, said Nathalie Walker, external affairs director at Cambridge Judge.

His partner in this endeavor was Anton Wright – chief rowing coach at Clare College, Cambridge University. Wright has experience of long-distance rowing having previously traversed the Irish Sea, and said he came up with the idea on a river-rafting expedition along a stretch of the Amazon in 2012, before checking to see whether anyone had ever rowed it before.

 “People have kayaked it, walked it, swum it, but never rowed it, so I thought that's me, then,” Wright told Reuters before their journey began. As well as securing a Guinness World Record, the two men were also raising funds for UK-based charity, Leonard Cheshire Disability, and their partner organizations in South America.

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