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POST RACE UPDATE
Ahead of the race, we carefully prepared for all eventualities and scenarios. 9 consecutive races have taught us that anything can happen and to prepare for any unforeseen events.
Well, In the end, this 10th race didn't disappoint! The heavy rain and snow fall of the last few weeks and months all caught up with the race's organisers. On Friday bank holiday, we were alerted that due to excessively high water and dangerous flow on the Thames, some restrictions would be put in place to guarantee the paddlers safety. There were options to split the non stop overnight race to avoid negotiating the unmanageable Thames in the dark. We were warned that if 'conditions changed or worsened, more drastic measures might be required'.
In the end, we allowed leave Devizes at 10.45 and worked hard in VERY BUMPY waters and ongoing wet and cold conditions to reach Reading at 21.48. There the race was effectively stopped, as the Thames had burst its banks !
A very wet ending, where none of the participants could safely compete against the conditions !
Thanks for all your support and good wishes.
Barry and crew
The last previous 9 years and races have taught me 2 things:
Firstly, it doesn't seem to matter how often my paddling partner Gary and I take part in the DW, we still approach it every year with the same nervous anticipation. The logistic and physical challenge of paddling for 24 hours non stop certainly doesn't seem to be getting any easier!
Secondly, it doesn't seem to matter how many hurdles Arc as a charity has to face, year in, year out, they always meet each of them with the same undaunted enthusiasm. This year alone, the service supported another 228 individuals in recovering from painful events and it is my privilege to be Arc's chairman.
'What counts is not the enormity of the task, but the size of the courage' is the slogan chosen by my generous colleagues for this year's race. I dedicate it in turn to all the people Arc has supported in the last 10 years.
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