Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race
The annual Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race is the world’s longest non-stop canoe race. Frequently referred to simply as DW, the race starts in Devizes, Wiltshire, and follows the Kennet & Avon Canal to join the Thames at Reading. The finish is in the heart of London at Westminster Bridge. Covering the 125-mile distance in kayaks or canoes, DW is one of the toughest endurance events in the world and is open to anyone with the necessary determination and commitment to train for it.
DW takes place over the Easter Weekend every year and is an established fixture in the world canoeing calendar. As such, a large number of volunteers and organisations, including the PLA and the Environment Agency, give their support to DW either directly or indirectly.
The non-stop Senior Doubles event is a colossal achievement, completed in one continuous effort starting on Easter Sunday and finishing on the Tideway on the ebbing tide of Easter Sunday morning. Most paddlers will take around 24 hours to complete the course, not stopping to eat, sleep or rest. Alternatively, the race can be tackled in four stages starting on Easter Friday and finishing on Easter Monday.
The race started as a wager in a pub in 1948. Sixty years on it has grown into a firm fixture in the world's canoeing calendar that is open to all comers. Around 200 crews from Britain and abroad attempt the course every year and between 50 and 80 per cent make it to the finish – this is not for the faint-hearted! Previous competitors include Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Olympic Silver medallist Guin Batten, TV tough guy Donal MacIntyre and first British woman to summit Everest, Rebecca Stephens. All rate this as one of the toughest events for mind and body.
To learn more about this event and how to enter, please visit the DW website.