Richmond Canoe Club.

Today a crowd of mainly first time canoeists descended upon Richmond Canoe Club for their Thames baptism ( literally in the case of 2 paddlers ).

The plan is that most of the lads that were on my ill fated bike trip are going to undertake a Devizes to Westminster challenge in late September to raise money for my charity, it being a journey trodden by me quite a few times before.
The guys will canoe/cycle/run/row/stand up paddle the 125 miles over 3 days, and I’ll do what I can too..

It’s a plan hatched by Roy Merritt, organiser supreme, and fully supported by the others.
Toby, Neil , Dickon, Nick, Ian, Sam, Alistair and John were all canoeing yesterday, expertly coached by Piran, Rob, Chris and Rich.

Given the lack of experience, the fellas did bloody well, in tough conditions. The river was at high water and flowing fast, hardly ideal for novices in unstable boats, but the boys braved the water and came out unscathed ( well, except for Chris, who later got 10 stitches in his foot – after stepping on something nasty, mid rescue ). Thanks, Chris for carrying on and not complaining at all.

The plan now is for all the crew to canoe regularly and become adept enough to canoe 40 miles a day for 3 consecutive days – no mean feat.

A couple of the lads did ask me, after their hour on the water, how the hell I could have canoed a 1000 miles in 6 days?
Yes, that was a bit tough now you mention it.

I was very proud of them all and so wished I was able to get into a boat still, but I guess I’ve had my fair share already.

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