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600 racers pass through Newbury in world’s longest-running canoe endurance event

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Mayor Anthony Pick restarted the second leg of the 125-mile, four-day event from the field behind Northcroft Leisure Centre on Saturday.
The canoeists and kayakers headed along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading, where they joined the River Thames, passing through Marlow, Windsor and Teddington, before crossing the finishing line in London.
At the same time, senior double crews were setting out from Devizes, aiming to complete the course non-stop by the following day.
The race was won by non-stop senior double pairing Ryan Pearce and Mike Southey, of Fowey, Cornwall. They finished in 17 hours and 23 minutes and are believed to be the youngest team to have ever won the senior doubles race.
Race spokesman Peter Hutchinson said that their eventual finishing time was amazing, considering they were both under the age of 23.
This was the 66th event since 1948, making it the longest running canoeing endurance event in the world. In total, more than 600 kayakers and canoeists took part this year.

  • The start of the race was delayed on Good Friday after the body of a Devizes’ resident, Mark Stobbart, aged 44, was found in the Kennet and Avon Canal.

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