A potentially disastrous accident failed to deter two determined teenagers completing a 125-mile canoe race – despite finding themselves stranded in the river when their boat overturned.
Marcus Foley, 18, of Burnetts Road, Dedworth and Ryan Smith, 16, of Bell View were in the fourth day of the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe race on Easter Monday – having reached the front five out of 90 competing in the junior boys section. They had reached Chelsea with only a few miles to go when their canoe overturned.
Ex-Windsor Boys School pupil Marcus said: “We were stranded in an isolated part of the river with no way of getting out. Luckily a passing pleasure boat stopped and helped us and our boat on board.
“We warmed up, got changed using our emergency kit and got back in the race.”
The two came in eighth, having only slipped three places from their original fifth.
Marcus said: “I don’t think anyone was any the wiser at the finishing line about what had happened although I had phoned my dad to tell him we had fallen in.”
Marcus and Ryan – who still goes to The Windsor Boys School – are both keen members of Elmbridge Canoe Club.
The Devizes to Westminster International Canoe was quite a challenge, even without the unwanted swim. Over the four days it lasted the pair camped out, ready to start again next day.
Marcus not been put off by last weekend’s challenge.
He said: “I’m taking part in a 12 mile race this Sunday.”