Nottingham Kayak Club’s all-female team took on the challenge of the Cheshire Ring Race. This race involves paddling along 96 miles of canal, with 96 locks and three tunnels to negotiate non-stop. They were the only all-female team in the race and faced stiff competition from the other teams entered. Nottingham’s 10 ladies paddled in five pairs as a relay. The team this year consisted of Jane Miller & Abbie Durrant, Taal Millard & Liv Kay, Alison Chmiel & Kasia Chmiel, Sarah Millest & Emily Shepperson and Caroline Jones & Esme Durrant. They were supported by Claire Kay and Chris Holmes.
The ladies started their challenge at midday on Saturday, setting off at a good pace from the start in Adlington, Cheshire. Locks, tunnels, long runs and swans were all tackled with speed and grace as the race continued into the night time. Spirits remained high and, with no navigational errors this year, the team were soon approaching the finish. A cold, clear morning rose on weary paddlers as they pulled hard along the final sections of the race – finally finishing around 6am on Sunday morning. The ladies completed the course in 17 hours 10 minutes, beating their time from last year and retaining the all-female relay team record.