86-year-old amongst Axe canoe race competitors

More than 100 paddlers take part in the tough five mile challenge from Whitford to Axmouth

MORE than 80 kayaks and canoes braved difficult weather conditions to take part in this year’s River Axe race.

Some 100 paddlers of all ages – from under 12s to the oldest competitor at 86 - completed the five mile challenge. They came from across the south west to take part including Wiltshire, Hampshire and Gloucestershire.

For the first three miles the race follows the river from Whitford Bridge as it weaves its way in meandering fashion through the countryside and valleys before entering the wide estuary and a further two mile dash to the finish at Axmouth harbour.

The Axe Vale Canoe Club, which organises the annual event, acquitted itself very well in the medal table - with 14-year-old Mike Parla being first to the finish line, for the second year running.

A spokesman said: “It was particularly encouraging to see that the junior paddlers turned out in even greater numbers than usual, proving that not all youths prefer to stay in bed on a cold, wet and windy Sunday morning and are willing to take to the water to test themselves and their fellow competitors.

“All in all a very successful event, enjoyed by everyone, and we want to say a big thank you to the many members of the club who pull together to make this race the annual success that it has become.”

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