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Hingham High crew now has Guinness World Record in tow

The Hingham High varsity crew team after their Guinness World Record tow of teammate Cotter McCarthy on water skis Saturday morning.Taylor Howell

HINGHAM — In early August, the Hingham High 8-man crew team towed their coxswain, Cotter McCarthy, across Hingham Harbor on water skis for 2 minutes and 23 seconds.

On Saturday morning, in chillier temps and in front family, friends, and classmates on the nearby beach, the boys from Hingham set an official Guinness World Record for the “longest duration water skier tow by a rowing boat.”

Their time of 4:08:22 blew their previous mark out of the water.

The Stanford University crew was credited with the creation of the event after appearing on an episode of Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters,” and pulling a skier for 54 seconds.


“Records were made to be broken,” said Hingham senior captain Jack Metzger. “There is nothing stopping [Stanford] from trying to beat our record, but they’re going to have to be a little bit better.”

With Guiness World Record adjudicator Hanna Ottoman overseeing the event, the boys put the stamp of approval on their attempt.

“In order to be successful, the rowing boat could be rowed by a maximum of eight rowers,” said Ottoman.

“And the water skier had to remain upright and out of the water for the duration of the attempt.”

All eyes fell on McCarthy, who wobbled across the 60-degree water on the record-setting run.

“When they took a stroke there was a lot of slack,” said McCarthy, a junior at Hingham High. “So I had to adjust my body in order to account for that.”

The morning temps barely reached 50 degrees, but McCarthy downplayed the conditions having any impact on his ski.

“I grew up on the harbor, so I’m used to this kind of stuff,” said McCarthy, who was wearing a wetsuit. “I’ve [water] skied in colder temperature before.”

And at the completion of the run, Ottoman officially etched Hingham High’s name into the record books.


“Today you are officially amazing.”

Under the direction of head coach Evans Liolin, the Hingham crew featured Tyler O’Connell (bow), Andrew Sandberg (2), Brendan Chase (3), Geoff Hewett (4), Ethan Quinn (5), Jared Freeman (6), Metzger (7), Wil Mullin (stroke), and Jonas Fryer (coxswain).

The Hingham crew, with McCarthy seated in the stern, will be back in the water next Sunday, competing in the Head of the Charles. The Stanford crew will be there too, but has turned down a challenge from Hingham.

There will be no water skiers in tow.