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    Kimbolton School students take on gruelling Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race

    In a display of determination, resilience, and athleticism, eleven students and a teacher from Kimbolton School embarked on the daunting challenge of canoeing 125 miles over the Easter weekend as part of the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race.

    Despite facing adverse conditions, which eventually curtailed the event at Reading, the Kimbolton canoeists (known as the Purple Paddlers) exhibited unwavering perseverance – covering an incredible 54 miles in just two days.

    The Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race is a legendary event that spans four days and attracts participants from across the globe. Commencing in Devizes, in Wiltshire, the race normally culminates at the iconic Westminster Bridge, opposite the Houses of Parliament. However, this year, the event was halted at Reading for safety reasons, with the Thames tideway red flagged due to high water levels.

    Throughout this year’s race, conditions were exceptionally tricky. Heavy rain meant that canals and rivers en route were flowing fast. This led some paddlers to retire early; while others canoed as far as Teddington Lock.

    Commenting, Jon Sweet, Outdoor Pursuits Instructor at Kimbolton School, said:

    “We are immensely proud of the six teams that took part in the extraordinary Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race. This is a strenuous and demanding event in normal weather and water conditions. Faced with adverse weather it can be incredibly challenging. Despite everything they faced, our teams demonstrated resolve and strength, embodying the true spirit of Kimbolton School. Their dedication to teamwork and their ability to push through exemplifies the values we instil in our pupils. Well done to all involved for their commitment to training and for the effort invested in this challenge.”

    Kimbolton’s Purple Paddlers were:

    • Rachel and Emily in Canoe 117
    • Toby and Zac in Canoe 118
    • Izzy and Tom in Canoe 119
    • Aaron and Olivia in Canoe 120
    • Tom and Theo in Canoe 121
    • Emma and Mr Gray in Canoe 605.