The Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race starts in Devizes, Wiltshire, finishing just downstream of Westminster Bridge in central London, opposite the Houses of Parliament. The race has been held annually over the Easter Weekend since 1948.
The race is 125 miles long and has 77 portages. The first 52 miles are along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading, the next 55 miles are on the River Thames to Teddington. The final 17 mile section is on the tidal portion of the Thames.
The race is a severe test of skill, physical and mental stamina and planning which produces a memorable sense of achievement for those successfully completing it.
There are 5 classes within the event:
1. Senior Doubles – crews of 2 adults who race non-stop from start to finish, starting on Easter Saturday, finishing on Easter Sunday
2. Senior Singles – adult single paddlers who compete over 4 days starting on Good Friday, finishing on Easter Monday
3. Junior Doubles – crews of 2 juniors who compete over 4 days, starting on Good Friday, finishing on Easter Monday
4. Veteran / Junior – crews of 1 adult (over 35) and 1 junior who compete over 4 days starting on Good Friday, finishing on Easter Monday
5. Endeavour – a non-competitive doubles class held over 4 days starting on Good Friday, finishing on Easter Monday
The race may be only undertaken in kayaks or open canoes. We recommend selecting a stable boat as water conditions on the final section of the race can be extremely challenging.