Between June 2nd and June 8th 2010 British Adventurers Dave Cornthwaite and Sarah Outen will take to the water and Stand Up Paddle between Bath and London, a distance of 150 miles. The two are not strangers to this sort of journey, last year Sarah rowed over 4000 miles across the Indian Ocean, and in April 2011 will begin a global circumnavigation from London to London, Via the World! Dave had paddled the length of Australia’s longest river and in 2006 he broke the world record for skateboarding further than anyone else, ever! He’s also planning a world distance record on a Stand Up Paddleboard in 2011.
The pair’s journey will start at Bath’s Top Lock at 10am on Wednesday 2nd June, following the length of the Kennet & Avon canal via Devizes, Pewsey, Hungerford and Reading, before paddling onto the Thames and making their way to London. They will finish at lunchtime by paddling underneath Tower Bridge.
We’d like to invite members of your club to join Sarah and Dave for a stretch of their journey as we pass through your neighbourhood. You could paddle in canoes, kayaks or on Stand Up Paddleboards, or even walk, run or cycle alongside. We’d like everyone joining us to help us raise some funds for our charities.
Dave and Sarah are big supporters of The Blue Mile project. A Blue Mile is a mile travelled on or by the water. If each paddler aims to raise £10 per Blue Mile paddled with Dave and Sarah this would be absolutely wonderful. We are aiming for a total of 1000 Blue Miles and if we achieve our target, this will mean we’ve raised at least £7000 for our charities, which would be amazing!
All donations and sponsorships should be donated online at www.justgiving.com/greatbigpaddle
Finally, Dave and Sarah will be supported by a small and very fun team who will be making a documentary and taking photos of the event. We’d love to hold fundraising events each evening and if you’d be interested in organising one, please take a look at the schedule on www.thegreatbigpaddle.com and get in touch. We’re also organising where can stay each evening, so any help with this would be greatly appreciated!
This event is all about getting people on the water and promoting exercise, water sports and a passion for the environment, so the more people who take part, the better!
We hope you can be involved, and look forward to hearing back from you.
The Bath2London 2010 Team
Tel: 07872 986084
For full details of the event, please visit www.thegreatbigpaddle.com
To find out more about Sarah, visit www.sarahouten.co.uk
And to learn more about Dave, visit www.davecornthwaite.co.uk
The AV Foundation boosts the quality of school education in several African countries. Funds raised through The Great Big Paddle will be used to install solar and drinking water projects into these schools and their communities.
CoppaFeel works hard to ensure that breast cancer is detected sooner, rather than later. The disease knows no age and has no discrimination, and CoppaFeel encourages healthy conversation and awareness about breast cancer and surrounding issues.
You have to wonder at Usain Bolt. The guy was already a world-beater, a record-breaker. A 22 year-old super-athlete in a class of his own. Relaxed, aimiable, fun, and faster than any other human to have lived, where does it end?
This evening, stood alongside Tyson Gay, a man with an intensity you’d expect from an Olympic standard sprinter, there was a feeling that this could be the night that we see Bolt beaten. Maybe. Just maybe. Gay’s season’s best was .02 seconds faster than Bolt’s but for all of the media hype drumming up the contest there was an edge to the adrenaline crackle that flickers through the body of every sporting fan as the world’s fastest hunker down into their blocks.
This was no mere race. Usain Bolt is more than a supreme athlete, he is our friend and entertainer, his personality just as much as his ability turns support into sentimentality, so what happens when he finally does get beaten? What happens if that defeat comes tonight? He may be a triple Olympic Gold Medalist, but his winning streak hasn’t yet been sustained over a period of time - in the absence of victory on this eve Mr Bolt would lose some of his gloss. And we don’t want to see that, do we? Because not only does he blow us away on the track, but he makes us smile.
If he loses, it will be put down to his lack of apparent concentration before the race. His downfall will emerge from the very antics that endear us to him. But how dare he risk athletic superiority simply to keep up his happy-go-lucky image, they’ll say. Save the archer for the end, when the medal is yours, Usain. Stop dancing, my boy, and focus. Win. Then celebrate.
He can’t do that, though. It’s not rhetoric when he shrugs at all the others with their fixed stares and stiff limbs. He does a little jig and pulls a few Pulp Fiction eye-finger moves. Then he jigs some more, raises his arms above his head when the announcer calls his name. This is how he is. This is what he does. Beside him Tyson Gay pumps himself up internally. This is the race of his life. And he can beat Usain Bolt, he knows he can. The Jamaican rarely has an off day, but just a blip in his start and that could be it. Gay is fierce, quiet, strong. His rival is chatting to the cameraman like they’re on the way to the pub.
Much has been made of Usain Bolt’s start. He’s too tall to shoot out of the blocks and he needs to take his time to rise to the drive phase, otherwise he’ll topple over. But the ‘Set’ is called and the gun blasts almost instantly, and Bolt rises first. He ran 9.69 in Beijing, phenomenal. And he sauntered for fifteen metres.
No such thing today. On this night in Berlin Usain Bolt ran what I think will be the second or third fastest race in his life. We don’t know whether this is his peak because no sprinter has ever come close to what he has already achieved. Tyson Gay ran an American Record of 9.71 seconds tonight, and he didn’t come close to Bolt. The Jamaican set out to prove something to himself, he wanted to sprint 100 metres and test himself. It has been some time since he actually raced the full length of this event, because he has usually won it after 60 metres.
I felt a bit foolish after the race. After I’d sat down again. After I whooped with joy because he’d won, and then whooped again when I saw the clock. How dare I have doubted him? Feared retribution for being the playboy on behalf of him? How dare I even contemplate Usain Bolt not becoming World Champion as well as Olympic Champion?
9.58 seconds is electric, simply incredible. An already stunning World Record was battered down by .11 seconds, by a man who defies everything physics and sports science has ever told us about sprinters at this level. He isn’t too tall, he’s just proved it. Of course he has, this is a man who ate a bucket of chicken nuggets on the same day that he won Olympic Gold, there is nothing left to define him, he defines himself and he stands and runs alone.
As Tyson Gay remonstrates helplessly with himself and Usain Bolt streaks on around the track thumping his own chest, exactly who is surprised that the man has just run 9.58 seconds? Nobody. Nobody at all.