Canoeists brave the Lancaster canal for charity

Fundraisers took part in a canoe challenge in aid of Age UK Lancashire.
Fundraisers took part in a canoe challenge in aid of Age UK Lancashire.
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Brave fundraisers took on a canoe challenge along the Lancaster canal in aid of Age UK Lancashire.

The challenge is organised by the charity as part of their fundraising activities and requires participants in teams of two or more to canoe 25 miles from Preston to Lancaster.

This year there were 10 teams involved who were all keen to complete the course and help support the charity.

Starting from the Hand & Dagger pub in Salwick, Preston the participants have to reach the finishing point in Lancaster before the end of day light hours.

Event organiser David Ward said: “This challenge is great to be a part of and very difficult but we had our fingers crossed all week that the weather wouldn’t impact the challenge, but that certainly wasn’t the case. We started bright and early in very cold but dry conditions. The teams made a really good start but the wind really held them back further along the route”.

Supported by members of Age UK Lancashire and a local scout group the participants fought through high winds to make it to the 14 mile point at Garstang Marina. Many teams were able to get to further up the course with one team even making it 20 miles.

David Ward said: “The teams did brilliantly to get as far as they did but in the end we had to make the decision to finish the event early as the conditions just took over and became too dangerous.

“The safety of the teams is paramount and after we had a team capsize and others simply had no more energy to give, all due to high winds and snow blizzards we had to make a call”.

All the teams were taken to the finishing point at the canal side Water Witch Pub in Lancaster who welcomed everyone in and provided free chip barmcake’s for all the participants.

David Ward added: “This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Hand & Dagger and Water Witch Pubs. The teams were delighted with their welcome at the end and each received a medal too. We’d also like to thank Tesco’s and Morrison’s for providing drinks and food which kept the participants going during the challenge”.

The event is on course to raise the charity over £4000 made up from sponsorship money collected by each participant.

The event is one of the biggest the charity hosts in the year and will be back for a fifth time next year.