Oarsome family fun on the river

LOCK IN: The paddling comes to a halt as a lock is negotiated.
LOCK IN: The paddling comes to a halt as a lock is negotiated.
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Canoes, coracles and paddleboards set off on an epic water adventure as the popular Sudbury to the Sea returned at the weekend.

Beginning at The Granary in Quay Lane, around 550 people in 300 boats made their way along the River Stour.

The event, which has been running since the 1970s and has seen numbers increase dramatically in the last decade, sees those taking part paddle their way to the Cattawade Barrier before turning around and heading back – a total of 25 miles.

Catherine Burrows, from the River Stour Trust, which organises the weekend, said: “The event went really well and we have had some excellent comments.

“There were lots of youngsters taking part and we even had a family of paddle boarders who stood up the whole way. It was quite an achievement.”

Two coracle boat owners in their 70s also completed the journey, as did sisters Dawn and Amanda Coppock and Juile Byham.

The trio have so far raised around £1,200 in memory of their father David Coppock.

Mr Coppock was a member of the River Stour Trust and volunteered with Sudbury Common Lands Charity. Mr Coppock died in January, 2011, at the 
age of 63 after suffering a 
heart attack.

“I think they struggled at times as they are fairly novice canoeists but they managed to do it,” said Miss Burrows. “We did have a few drop-outs and that shows how difficult it is.”