Successes of the Fowey River Canoe Club
Wednesday 24th April 2019
Over the Easter weekend, several teams of paddlers from the Fowey River Canoe Club based in Golant, took part in the 125th Devizes to Westminster (DW) International Canoe Race. The race includes 77 portages around locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal and the River Thames.
The Club won both the Senior and Junior crew trophies at the Waterside Series, the four preparatory races held on the Kennet & Avon Canal in the run-up to Easter. Success in the Watersides is the best indicator of form among paddlers aiming to win DW, reputedly the toughest canoe race in the world.
Dan Palmer and Peer Wilkes raced in the non-stop Senior Doubles class, leaving Devizes on Easter Saturday and planning to arrive at Westminster Bridge in Central London early on Easter Sunday. The pair had been tipped as second favourite to win the race but unfortunately, they had to retire at Hurley due to illness. Tim Baker and Doug Reid from Looe who had only been paddling for seven months before the race finished halfway down the pack in a very creditable 52nd place but the veteran crew of Steve Gilbert and Steve Rush were forced to retire only 17 miles from the end due to exhaustion and illness.
Meanwhile, in the Junior Doubles class, Matthew Collinge and James Drage destroyed all comers coming 1st and beating the next placed crew by just over 2 hours. Not to be outdone the Junior Ladies, Bronte Holden and her partner, also came in first and were also placed 3rd overall and the Junior Doubles Class. The Juniors do the race in 4 day stages starting on Good Friday as do the men's and ladies singles classes. Mike Southey, who had been lying in 3rd place for the first three days, sadly dropped to 4th on the last due to a shoulder injury. Alice Bray was the 3rd singles lady home and also finished 11th overall in the singles class. A brave Chloe Dobbs also finished but capsized just under Westminster Bridge.