Last weekend, Nottingham Kayak Club’s all-female team – joined by one Macclesfield paddler – took on the challenge of the Cheshire Ring Race.
This race involves paddling along 96 miles of canal, with 92 locks and four tunnels to negotiate non-stop. They were the only all-female team in the race and were looking to improve on their record from last year.
Nottingham’s 10 ladies paddled in five pairs as a relay. The team this year consisted of Kat Wilson & Molly Lever, Shuna Neave & Ellie Burgess, Jane Millar & Kasia Chmiel, Sarah Millest & Becky Storm and Alison Chmiel & Imogen Burgess. They were supported by Nigel Lever and Pete Ilett.
The ladies started their challenge at 10:30am 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 only a minor navigational error this year, the team were soon approaching the finish.
The darkness fell on weary paddlers as they pulled hard along the final sections of the race – finally finishing around 4am on Sunday morning.
The ladies completed the course in 17 hours 05 minutes, beating their time from last year and retaining the all-female relay team record.
Nottingham Kayak Club will be in action again this weekend, 4th and 5th July, at the National Sprint Regatta at Holme Pierrepont.