Banbury and District Canoe Club raised about £1,000 in donations for the Bone Cancer Trust at the recent Ross Warland Canal Challenge.
Run annually in memory of Ross, who died of bone cancer in 2000 aged just 21, this event combines fund-raising with the very best of marathon canoe racing. The 20-mile winners were all fresh from this year’s World Championships with Charlie Smith (Leighton Buzzard CC) and Dan Johnson (Chelmsford) the overall winners and taking the K2 title, and Benji Cabrera (Foy) coming up from Cornwall for the K1 win – and still a junior. In the relay classes, BDCC members Rob Jefferies and Neil McAra won the K1 section, with Solihull paddlers Leo Turnell-Ritson, Thomas Moseley, Rachael Jefferies, together with Wey KC’s Chris Carson taking the K2 option.
It’s not just about the elite though. Nearly 200 paddlers took on the challenge, which covers the 20 miles from Cropredy to Nell Bridge, Aynho and back. In fact, so popular is the event that, even though Covid-19 meant it couldn’t be run at Cropredy last year, the paddling community still supported it as a virtual event. Around the country, they chose their own 20-mile route wherever they were, and raised a “lockdown” £2,000 for the Bone Cancer Trust in Ross’s name.
Photo credit: Mark Hopkins