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2022 has proved a record year for Churcher’s College at this year’s Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathon (DW).
The school entered the biggest squad ever in the Junior Doubles category – 30 paddlers in 15 K2 kayaks - and team wins in two categories: Fastest Schools Junior Doubles Team and Fastest Junior Ladies Doubles Team.
Jamie S. and Henry P. were the fifth fastest Junior Double but by far the biggest result was 15 teams out and 15 back safely.
Andy Rowley, Head of Adventurous Activities at Churcher’s College, said: "What a squad we have this year – a phenomenal set of paddlers and supporters! The young ladies and gentlemen paddlers have made me immensely proud and happy. Watching them persevere and grow, from capsize chaos in October to portage hell in November and chilly paddles in January; before the nerve-wracking build up races and then the main event itself."
"The whole journey has been absolutely amazing throughout."- Andy Rowley
Andy continued: "I believe that DW 2022 will remain a treasured memory for these 30 heroes as one of their greatest challenges, and learning moments, for many a year to come."
Mr Rowley also congratulated and thanked the coaches, parents and support crew for their invaluable energy, team spirit, enthusiasm, commitment and which played a very special part in the squads' success.
The Devizes to Westminster International Canoe race is an ultra-marathon that takes place every Easter weekend and is the longest non-stop canoe race in the world.
Starting in Devizes in Wiltshire, the race travels down the Kennet and Avon Canal until it joins the River Thames at Reading, then follows the River Thames to Westminster in the heart of London.
The race is usually 125 miles long and includes numerous locks, so as well as arduous paddling, there is a considerable amount of running involved too. The 2022 race was held over 3 days and 108 miles due to logistical challenges at Westminster this year.
Junior crews and single craft can only race in stages over four days, but senior doubles crews can opt for the non-stop race, paddling and running continuously throughout the day and night until they arrive at Westminster—125 miles later.