Our Sport and Outdoor Education lecturers will be putting all their skills, experience and fitness to the test when they compete in the world’s toughest canoe race, Devizes to Westminster over Easter 2015. The team of four have taken on the challenge in order to raise funds for the RNLI Forever by the Sea Fund which was set up in memory of Cheeki Rafiki crew members, including former Sparsholt student James Male, who were all tragically lost at sea in May this year.

Scott Fancourt who is leading the team of lecturers said: “James studied Outdoor Education here at the college and is remembered very fondly by the team. We wanted to show our support by giving something back and felt this gruelling challenge would be a fitting tribute to an adventurous young man with a great passion for the outdoors, in particular water sports.”

Devizes to Westminster is described as one of the toughest, open to all, endurance events in the world. Last year there were 611 kayakers and canoeists in 334 boats. Lecturers Scott Fancourt, Lawrence Blair, Gareth Rogers and Kaj Berendsen will be competing in the Senior Doubles class which is racing non-stop over 125 miles including 77 portages. The first 52 miles are along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading; the next 55 miles are on the River Thames to Teddington. The final 17 mile section is on the tidal portion of the Thames. The race is a severe test of skill, physical strength, mental stamina and planning.

In order to be race ready the team are already training five days a week on both the water and the Kayak Ergometer.

For more information regarding the race please go to www.dwrace.org.uk. To support the challenge and make a donation please go to https://rnli.tributefunds.com/fund/Devizes+to+Westminster+Kayak+Marathon/showFund/