Challengers come from far and wide

Only 20 miles to go ... Boats are packed in close as they go through Cornard Locks last Saturday.
Only 20 miles to go ... Boats are packed in close as they go through Cornard Locks last Saturday.
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CRAFTS of various shapes and sizes took on the challenge of navigating 25 miles along the River Stour during a two-day voyage.

Around 300 boats, including kayaks, canoes and the odd coracle, took to the water as part of Sudbury to the Sea at the weekend.

The annual event, which is organised by the River Stour Trust and began in the 1970s, drew participants from far and wide.

“We had people from all over, not just Suffolk and Essex,” said trust member Catherine Burrows.

“Someone came over from Spain and we also had an Australian taking part.”

Paddlers started the two-day adventure from The Granary in Sudbury, before taking a well earned rest for lunch at Bures Recreation Ground.

Many then camped overnight in Wissington, before departing for the Cattawade Barrier and the end of the 24.5-mile trip.

“It is quite a feat to finish the event and I am sure lots of people will be proud of their achievement, while also having a few aches and pains,” said Mrs Burrows.

She added that the number of boats had been limited to 300 as a result of its popularity and the figure was likely to remain the same for next year’s event.

“The challenge has really taken off over the last few years and people keep coming back time and again,” said Mrs Burrows.

“People get to see so many changes in the Stour along the route. The whole weekend went very smoothly.”

n Eight-year-old completes challenge – see Sport, Page 68