The Devizes to Westminster International Canoe race (DW) is an ultra-marathon that takes place every Easter weekend and is the longest non-stop canoe race in the world.

Starting in Devizes in Wiltshire, the race travels down the Kennet and Avon Canal until it joins the River Thames at Reading, then follows the River Thames to Westminster in the heart of London.

The race is 125 miles long and includes numerous locks, so as well as arduous paddling, there is a considerable amount of running involved too.

Junior crews and single craft can only race in stages over four days, but senior doubles crews can opt for the non-stop race, paddling and running continuously throughout the day and night until they arrive at Westminster125 miles later.

The Royal Marines have a daring history when it comes to boats, especially when it comes to OP FRANKTON, where Folding Boats were used to paddle behind enemy lines to blow up ships in Bordeaux and created what we know as the ‘Cockleshell Heroes. One of the reasons for participating in this event is the similarity between active service and the demands of DW. Each is like a military exercise, demanding training, teamwork, and logistical planning both in K2s and folding boats.

The Royal Marines Team went out hard over the weekend after an intensive and arduous training package – and it most definitely paid off!

The team saw their most successful event yet, winning the following accolades over the weekend:

  • 1st and 2nd place fastest Service Team boats (3 boats in a Team)
  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for the Folding boat team
  • Fastest Navy Boat
  • 2nd and 3rd place fastest senior doubles boats

The team hasn’t seen success like it and it comes in good timing within a year of commemoration and celebration of the history of the Royal Marines with events throughout the year raising money and awareness of the 80th Anniversary of the Commandos and the 40th Anniversary of the Falklands conflict.

The team are always looking for new paddlers to join the team, if you’re interested here’s the POC for Royal Marines Kayak Association (RMKA): Maddocks, Lee Capt (NAVY MR-RMR LONDON HQ AO) <Lee.Maddocks522@mod.gov.uk>

RMA – The Royal Marines Charity would like to thank all the team for their monumental efforts and their supporters in raising a phenomenal £7602 (with Gift Aid £9126.51) for the charity. Without awesome efforts such as these, the Charity would not be able to continue the vital work in support of our beneficiaries. Thank you to all involved in this fantastic challenge.