Canoe believe these two?

We did it ... Fred Welham and Tina Baker raised around �1,200 for Cancer Research UK by paddling 49 miles in one day.
We did it ... Fred Welham and Tina Baker raised around �1,200 for Cancer Research UK by paddling 49 miles in one day.

A PADDLE-MAD pair from Sudbury Canoe Club helped raise money for charity with a sponsored kayak journey on Sunday.

Fred Welham, from Hoxter Way, Sudbury, and Tee Barter, from Tostock near Bury St Edmunds, battled the elements and currents as they travelled from Cattawade to Sudbury and back – a distance of 49 miles.

Mr Welham said: “When we started at 2am, we hadn’t expected thick fog – we couldn’t even see as far as the front of the boat.

“Thankfully by 6am we had some visibility, but it delayed us quite a bit.”

Combining their efforts in a double kayak, the duo arrived at Sudbury’s Quay Theatre at around 11.30am, before promptly turning around and heading back.

“When we were doing the upstream, where the river narrows, the current was quite strong, so paddling up against it was a challenge, but of course it made it easier on the return trip,” said Mr Welham, 57.

Having completed one-way trips over the course of two days a handful of times, and paddled sections of the course throughout the year with Sudbury Canoe Club, the idea to double the distance and halve the time came about last month during a club outing.

“It is difficult,” said Mr Welham. “Of course, this time of year you lose the daylight very quickly, and we did the last two hours in the dark.”

Mr Welham and Mrs Barter finished at 9.30pm – 17-and-a-half hours after setting off. They managed to raise around £1,200 for Cancer Research UK.

For the full story see last week’s Free Press.