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Six Royal Hospital School crews have qualified for the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Marathon. The gruelling qualifying event involved 32 miles of paddling and 28 portages on the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation, all in under 7 hours.

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The results were as follows:

  • Anran Chen and Jordan Scott set a new girls’ record of 6hrs 19mins.
  • Will Hassall and Adam Hunkin set a new Year 11 record of 5hrs 55mins.
  • Matt Cantelo and James Rutledge set a new C2 record of 5hrs 46mins.
  • Cam Kerr and Olly Bagley finished 3rd in 5hrs 43 mins.
  • Zack Tabor and Ed Bourne were 2nd in 5hrs 39 mins.
  • Sophie Murrison and Richard Branch were 1st home in a new mixed-crew record time of 5hrs 35 mins.

The Devizes to Westminster competition sees around 600 kayakers and canoeists take part in a 4-day, 125 mile race over the Easter weekend. This event tests participant’s skill, physical and mental stamina and determination at one of the toughest events in the world. The course is from Devizes in Wiltshire to Westminster in the heart of London and includes 76 locks at which crews must carry their boats out of the water and around the lock. The whole stretch involves around 90,000 paddle strokes – give or take a few thousand – and the junior paddler’s camp between each leg of the arduous journey.

These twelve pupils have put in months of training and preparation under the expert guidance of teachers and veteran paddlers, Lee Menday and Les Thompson, with superb qualifying times and good prospects in the run up to the fiercely competitive event.

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