Devizes to Westminster – Day Four

THEY MADE IT! All five of our paddlers are now DW Finishers, with the medals to prove it!

The final stage was ‘only’ seventeen miles, but the paddlers had to contend with strong currents and other river traffic. After three long days of racing, all of the crews were suffering with aches, pains and stiff muscles but were eager to make it back on to the water. At least, Csaba, Attila and Stephen were – Duncan and Lauren almost missed their start time! It turned out that they’d had a puncture en route, but thankfully they made it just in time and slightly out of breath.

All of our crews set off within about twenty minutes of each other. Although there were no portages today, the support teams went to check up on them at the halfway point at Hammersmith Bridge. After frantically indicating the right line to take and seeing them all safely under the bridge we scrambled back to the cars and sped through London to Westminster Bridge.

Lauren and Duncan heading under Hammersmith Bridge

Lauren and Duncan heading under Hammersmith Bridge

The crews made fantastic time and all finished with huge smiles on their faces and glowing with pride. It has been a brilliant weekend watching them overcome the huge physical and mental challenges that DW presents. They paddled brilliantly and truly deserve their medals.

Stephen, Attila and Csaba shortly after finishing

Stephen, Attila and Csaba shortly after finishing

Final times:

Csaba – 18 hrs 50 mins 27 secs

Stephen and Attila – 21 hrs 13 mins 31 secs

Lauren and Duncan – 21 hrs 40 mins 28 secs

Of course, they could never have made it without the months and months of very early mornings, extra training sessions, driving to and from canals and rivers, and general care and support that went into preparing them for the race. And, of course, the support teams have spent the past four days frantically driving from lock to lock to feed, water and cheer for our crews. We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who was involved in getting Csaba, Stephen, Attila, Lauren and Duncan over the finish line – they couldn’t have done it without you! Attila and Stephen would particularly like to thank Dan, who has been with them every step of the way. He not only put a huge amount of time and effort into their race preparations, but he also effected some very speedy rudder repairs and provided much-needed encouragement, advice and support at the most difficult moments during the race.

Over and out from some extremely tired DW support crew members. We’ll see you next year!