Event 4 Harry’s Heroes Solstice paddle.

In the past Paddlers for Life Windermere participated in a solstice paddle, for human powered craft, the the 10.5 mile length of Windermere.

More recently we have arranged a weekend event to paddle to the southern end of Windermere and back with an overnight stay at the YMCA.

This year we used this solstice paddle to support a team who are doing a fundraising challenge, Event 4 Harry’s Heroes.

We were joined by 13 paddlers from this fund raising team. They are raising funds for various paediatric services as a ‘Thank You!’ for the special care their son Harry received when he was only eight days old.

Some of the team had walked 100 miles over 40 Wainrights and 30,000+ feet of ascent earlier in the week and were now aiming to do a 20 mile paddle ‘channel crossing’ for their grand finale.

First a safety brief.

The dragon boats are nearly ready for the start of the challenge.

and a warm up.

The event leader, Dom, eloquently reminded us of the reason for his fundraising. Paediatric services provided hospital transfer, family accommodation, surgery and specialist intensive care for his 8 day old son who needed critical heart surgery.

Two dragon boats with mixed teams of paddlers headed south from Low Wood in windy headwind conditions with some relatively inexperienced paddlers.

It was a challenging paddle southwards on Windermere with head winds and squalls along the way.

The two dragon boats made slower than expected progress. The wind that impeded our outward leg did not drive our return. The single dragon boat with mostly event participants and three PfLW members helming, drumming or paddling took advantage of the calmer conditions. A sustained paddle saw us make good progress back to Ambleside and then returning to Low Wood. Paddling 21.86 miles according to my gps.

Steve Hillman of Steve Hillman Photography took these photos from a nearby cruise boat as we completed our final mile.

This distance of sustained dragon boat paddling is an incredible effort for anyone. For inexperienced paddlers to push through and meet this challenge shows their true physical determination and passion for these causes. They should be incredibly proud of what they have done.

Listening to Dom and Sarah talk so passionately about the support they received from various paediatric services when their son Harry was so poorly, you know these organisations are so dear to them.

If you can, please acknowledge the event team’s amazing effort by donating here at…


2 Replies to "Event 4 Harry's Heroes Solstice paddle."

  • comment-avatar
    carmel mcderby
    June 26, 2023 (2:39 pm)

    Thank you Nick and all the paddlers for life for supporting us and the event. Good luck in your sixteenth season this year.

  • comment-avatar
    Michael Ball
    June 26, 2023 (2:50 pm)

    Thanks for helping such a worthy cause. I’m sure Dom Sarah and all the other newbie rowers appreciated your very generous help. Good luck in your future rows.

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