Oar-some feat for dad and daughter
PUBLISHED: 07:24 12 April 2007 | UPDATED: 10:19 31 May 2010
A FATHER and daughter team completed the world s longest non-stop canoe marathon on Easter Sunday - and were met by a Gurkha piper as they crossed the finish line. Ian Abrams, 50, of Debden, and his daughter Carley, 22, of Saffron Walden, finished the his
A FATHER and daughter team completed the world's longest non-stop canoe marathon on Easter Sunday - and were met by a Gurkha piper as they crossed the finish line.
Ian Abrams, 50, of Debden, and his daughter Carley, 22, of Saffron Walden, finished the historic 125-mile Devizes to Westminster race in 27 hours and 47 minutes.
And they were swathed in garlands and handed glasses of champagne and plates of food by members of the Gurkha community from
Carver Barracks when they arrived in the capital in their two-man canoe.
Carer Carley and architect Ian were both delighted to finish the course and raise £2000 for a child day care centre in Nepal at the same time.
Carley said: "I'm very glad to have done it, but I don't intend to do it again just yet! "The worst part was the cold during the night. It dropped to minus one degrees and, although I had layers and layers of thermal clothes, I just couldn't get warm.
"Once the sun came up again, I was alright."
Her father, who had attempted the course three times before, said he was thrilled to get over the finishing line with the help of his daughter.
"I'm very lucky to have a daughter who is determined enough to train for, and finish the course," he said.
"I felt very low during the last 15 miles, and she got me through that. We are a good team.
"I've tried to do this race several times before, but have never managed to finish, so I'm over the moon to have finally finished the course, and with my daughter."
He added they could not have done it without their support teams, which included Radwinter builder Colin Taylor, retired Gurkha Captain Gau Gurung, carer Laura Hammond and his wife and Carley's mother, Sheila.
Mrs Abrams said: "I cannot express how proud I am of them. The canoes look so tiny and very vulnerable when they are on such a big river, so I was ecstatic to see them arrive safely at Westminster.
"I can't speak for the men, but Laura and I were shattered as we'd been awake and working hard for 31 hours before they reached Westminster, but we hadn't been paddling for 125 miles as well!
"Ian and Carley were tired, bruised, aching and very sore in places, and their hands are still painful - but they finished with a smile and are remarkably fit and well, considering the ordeal they have been through."
The race was first run in 1948 when a group of Scouts from Devizes accepted a challenge to complete the course in under 100 hours and earned themselves £20. If you would like to donate to Ian and Carley's cause, call the Abrams on 01799 543726.