BUOTC paddles to victory in 125-mile canoe marathon
11 May 2009
Two teams from the Bristol University Officers’ Training Corps (BUOTC) won trophies in the 125-mile Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race over the Easter weekend.
One of the BUOTC teams comprised John Harris, who is studying for an MEng in Electronic and Communications Engineering at the University of Bristol, and Dan Bracey, a Biomedical Science student from UWE. The pair completed the course in 23 hours, 42 minutes, winning the University Trophy for fastest time in that category. The second BUOTC team, comprising Lieutenant Colonel Kieron Blackburn and Bristol University medical student Rory Riddell, won the Reserve Forces Trophy in 22 hours and 17 minutes.
The teams had to paddle their two-person K2 kayaks for 125 miles, first for 52 miles along the Kennet and Avon canal from Devizes in Wiltshire to Reading and then down the River Thames to just downstream of Westminster Bridge in London, opposite the Houses of Parliament. They had to carry their kayaks around the 77 locks they encountered on the way.
Between them, the two teams raised £845 for Help for Heroes, a charity that provides support to those who have been wounded in Britain’s current conflicts.
The Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race has been held annually over the Easter weekend since 1948 and is a severe test of skill and stamina. The non-stop version of the race is the longest non-stop canoe race in the world.