Imagine how it would feel to set off into the darkness, already exhausted after three days and 108 miles of racing, hands blistered and bandaged, muscles aching. It is 5.00am on a frosty morning with mists swirling up from the Thames and you face a further eighteen miles of fast moving tidal river. That is what the Cokethorpe kayaking teams faced on the morning of Sunday 5 April as they approached the final day of the Devizes to Westmister Canoe Race.
The Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race starts in Devizes, Wiltshire, finishing just downstream of Westminster Bridge in central London, opposite the Houses of Parliament. The race has been held annually over the Easter Weekend since 1948. The race is 125 miles long and has 77 portages. The first 52 miles are along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading, the next 55 miles are on the River Thames to Teddington. The final 17 mile section is on the tidal portion of the Thames.
There were 80 crews participating this year, with 160 people representing thirteen schools and eight canoe clubs in the junior doubles class. However only 78 crews finished the race. All four teams from Cokethorpe completed the epic journey and should be congratulated on their fantastic achievement.
Please find below the results:
Aidan King (Upper Sixth, Gascoigne) and Mia Biles (Fifth Form, Gascoigne) finished in 48th place in a time of 23:55:53.
Jason Wong (Upper Sixth, Gascoigne) and Christopher Singleton (Fourth Form, Queen Anne) finished in 32nd place in a time of 22:40:56.
James Bennett (Lower Sixth, Swift) and Ellie McBride (Fifth Form, Gascoigne) finished in 21st place, 3rd mixed crew in a time of 21:27:11.
Charles Tobin (Upper Sixth, Feilden) and Samuel Nicholls (Upper Sixth, Gascoigne) finished in 15th place in a time of 20:47:18.