Post Barcelona to Ibiza Race Update...
Dear family, friends and everyone else who has supported us,
Well done lads - 3rd place (possibly 2nd after enquiry) - not too shabby for a crew with an average age of 50 and a course record to boot! Plus do not forget the small matter of c£50k raised between us in total to fight HPV related cancers.
Thank you all again so much for your support,
By anyone's standards, it is fair to say that the Devizes to Westminster
race this year was particualrly tough, with exceptionally warm weather
zapping the energy on the canal section and the lack of flow impeding
our speed on the Thames section.
Thank you to everyone for your kind words of support, encouragement, congratulations and contibutions. This truly was a team event and whilst Chris and I may have been the ones in the boat, this would genuinely not have been possible without our dedicated support crew (Adrian, Des, Scott, Kate, Eric, Andy and Tam) who adapted to the conditions, keeping us fed and watered and pampering to our every need (with the exception of where Chris wanted Vaseline).
The video of me ‘getting out’ of the boat @Teddington sums up how we felt towards the end of the race, but you take away some amazing memories and special sights ranging from the beautiful sunsets along the canal and early morning mist on the Thames to the now customary swan attack, near misses of taking a short cut down a weir in the dark (twice), and an additional emergency portage at Marlow Bridge due to the discovery of some WW2 ordnance, the result of which was an early morning bath after being directed to a jetty which subsequently collapsed on top of us as we tried to get out (having just changed into warm clothes for the night section :-() - but that's all part of the 'DW experience'...
It became apparent early on that our sub-22 hour target was unrealistic considering the conditions, and so we set our sights on beating our time from 2017, which we managed by 80 minutes, so we'll settle for that - I like to think we were helped by my ‘Paddlemix’ playlist which included carefully selected motivational tunes such as Stayin Alive, Dancing in the Moonlight, Miami (Devizes) to Ibiza, Swan Song, Fantastic Day, Don’t Stop Me Now and Bonkers... And, of course, Chris' emergency joke helped get through a dark moment.
In 2017, we completed the 125 mile non-stop Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathon, after a 19 year ‘sabbatical’. Thanks to everyone’s amazing support we raised a staggering £18,000 for The Royal Marines and St George’s Hospital charities.
As part of our latest challenge we had hoped to beat the time we set in 1998, although unfavourable weather conditions (see update below), meant the best we could settle for was a finish and an improvement on time from 2017 by an hour and 20 minutes.
Having replaced our paddles with oars, we began training in preparation for part two of our challenge, rowing non-stop in a race from Barcelona to Ibiza, a distance of 200 miles, although this time we have the luxury of a (slightly) bigger boat and three additional crew members…
Having upped the ante on the challenges, it seemed only reasonable to do the same to our fundraising target, so this year we are looking to raise £30,000 - This is where you can help…
If you would like to support us, the charity we are supporting is The NOMAN is an Island: Race to End HPV campaign:
- HPV is responsible for 5% of cancers worldwide
- HPV infects virtually everyone
- 80% of the population will have HPV at some point in their lifetime
- Both men and women are affected by HPV and the cancers it causes
- HPV-related oral cancer is the fastest increasing type of cancer in healthy men in many developed countries
- HPV can be prevented by a cheap, safe, and effective vaccine
- One of the barriers to eliminating this virus is the falsehood that HPV is a female-only virus, and the fact that vaccine is given to women only in most countries
- In most countries, boys are not routinely vaccinated against HPV, but this is changing and the UK announced they will begin vaccinating boys from September 2019 onwards
20-21 April 2019 - The ‘DW’ is the longest non-stop canoe race in the world and has been held annually over the Easter Weekend since 1948. The route follows the Kennet and Avon Canal for 52 miles before joining the Thames for 55 miles to Teddington, with the final 17-mile section on the tideway to Westminster.
22-25 July 2019 - The NOMAN ‘Row across the Med’ race takes place every two years, pitting amateur teams of rowers against each other across open seas on a race that is expected to last 3 days…