Double Triumph for Purple Paddlers
Canoeists win CCF and School Team trophies in the 2017 Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race.
Kimbolton canoeists claimed two top prizes at the 2017 Devizes to Westminster (DW) International Canoe Race over Easter weekend, with strong performances from all six of our crews. The ‘purple paddlers’ retained their 2016 trophy for the fastest team of three Combined Cadet Force crews, as well as clinching the School Team Trophy – our best performance in recent years.
Senior School pupils Victoria Bowland, Archie Brocklebank, Will Day, Josh Denton, Zak Hall, Matt Harrington, Michael Lee, Michael Millington, Peter Salkield, Edmund Gray and James Thompson and Frankie Winter all completed the tough 125-mile race – an achievement in itself, especially as storms curtailed last year's event after three days. Even in good weather DW is an extreme test of skill, stamina, and planning; during this year’s race our canoeists faced many challenges including a broken steering wire, a snapped rudder, an argumentative swan, and a parent falling into the canal!
The Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race was first held in 1948 and is often described as 'the canoeist’s Everest'. Starting in Devizes, Wiltshire and finishing downstream of Westminster Bridge in central London, the 4-day race is 125 miles long (split into 34, 36, 38, and 17 miles per day) and passes 77 locks which competitors must portage. The first 52 miles are along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading, the next 55 miles are on the River Thames to Teddington. The final 17 mile section is on the tidal portion of the Thames.
Head of Outdoor Pursuits Mr Jon Sweet said: “This year’s race saw great team spirit and determination both on and off the water – paddling together, putting up each other’s tents and raising spirits when low. We also had a fantastic support team of 30+ parents, siblings and staff. That's what makes it so special. In the build-up to DW, our canoe team also retained the Waterside Series Junior Team and School Team trophies for the second year running. The Waterside D school record was broken by Archie Brocklebank and Will Day on Sunday 2nd April; a clean sweep of Waterside records for them!"
DW2018 takes place from 30 March to 2 April 2018; in the meantime there’s an opportunity for our 4th-L6th Forms to find out more about the race after half-term, after-school on Wednesdays at Outdoor Pursuits and on the pond.
DW 2017 Individual Results
Brocklebank and Day - 10th, 18hr 51min 42sec (not quite a new school record)
Harrington and Denton - 14th, 19:16:11
Lee and Millington - 29th, 20:46:58
Salkield and Hall - 38th, 21:25:44
Gray and Thompson - 85th, 26:20:25
Winter and Bowland - 87th, 26:32:48
Photo: Mr Jon Sweet