For some paddlers it’s all about winning. For others the focus is completing a challenge. Whilst our juniors have focused on preparing for national sprint and marathon regattas, a number of senior Devizes paddlers have been taking on endurance challenges. In April and June seven of our paddlers (Mark Bouch, Andrew Park, Dan Colby, Graham Burgess, Kevin Crabb, Matt Wilks and Pete Clarke completed the 125 mile virtual DW challenge. Paddlers did this challenge with a GPS tracking app generally alone, in ones and twos and on their local water. The challenge has raised thousands for the 2020/21 DW charity, Dorothy House which was chosen by the late Kevin Dobson.
More recently Matt Wilks, Stephen Best, Andrew Park, James Papworth-Smith and Jill Priday (all K1s) and Paul Papworth-Smith/Mark Bouch (C2) completed the Tim Jones Memorial Worcester Ring Challenge on Saturday 3rd July. This classic marathon race over 21 miles winds through some beautiful countryside and follows an interesting circular route on canals and the river from Worcester Canoe Club down the River Severn, up the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, west along the Droitwich Canal to rejoin the River Severn. It’s a challenging route with 32 locks to portage but a fabulous day out. On Saturday the weather was kind, with rain before the start and after the finish but generally cool and bright conditions. All Devizes paddlers completed (but also competed) this significant challenge with distinction on a day which saw multiple new records set in K1M, K2M, C1F, C2M and C2F classes.
Event details, results and course records are at https://worcester-ring.org/