Thames Kayak 100 mile challenge - advice needed

Hampshire Avon drainage and eastwards, with the Nene as the northern limit
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Thames Kayak 100 mile challenge - advice needed

Post by Duggy100 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:32 pm

Hi All.

At the end of March I am attempting to Kayak 100 miles of the Thames in 3 days from Lechlade to Windsor, this is all being done to raise money for Sport Relief.

We were going to do the trip in open Canoes but after two training sessions and not being able to go in a straight line we have opted for double Kayaks.

We set off in 10 days and have done very little training, in fact we will only get 3-4 practice sessions in each before we set off.

Is what we are attempting to do possible with our level of experience and is there anything we should do to make this easier etc. As it is for charity we cannot back down even though we have not been able train.

Our plan is to do 33 mile days. Day 1 Lechlade to Sandford Lock (camping at Kings Arms next to the lock). Day 2 Sandford to Reading (camping in the marina). Day 3 Reading to Windsor.

We are planning on setting off at first line and expecting each day to take us 11 hours, this is based on 5mph and 15 mins to portage at each lock.

Is there anything of the above that we should change avoid or anything that will help us at all? Any reccomendations for alternate camping sites.

Many thanks

Mal Grey
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Re: Thames Kayak 100 mile challenge - advice needed

Post by Mal Grey » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:10 pm


If it were open canoes, of which I have plenty of experience, I'd say it was a big ask to do 33 miles a day without training. This may be slightly easier in a double kayak (of which I have no experience), which will certainly be faster, depending on what type of kayak it is. Its going to hurt though I'm afraid! Hopefully you'll have a bit of current to push you on, but so far this year its not been exactly massive!

15 minutes to portage a lock is generous, so use this time to have snacks/drinks etc to keep the energy levels high. Sometimes you will arrive at a lock when boats are using it, so you can lock-through with them to save energy portaging and have a rest. 15 mins would be typical for this if there is no or little queue, which should be the case in March.

Being comfortable is key - good clothing, with dry, clean spares at all times. Blisters on hands may be an issue, be prepared to treat these, and make sure you have comfortable mitts if this is what you paddle in.

Plan a good food regime, nutritious and filling evening meals, a good long-lasting breakfast and plenty of enjoyable snacks to have with you. Lots of fluids.

Are you supported, or carrying the camping gear with you?

Finally, best of luck, and why not stick a link to a charity fund raising page on the thread in case paddlers wish to sponsor you! And have fun too!

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