Thames Meander Challenge 215 Miles Non-Stop

Thames Meander Challenge 215 Miles Non-StopUsing an Advanced Elements Expedition inflatable kayak, Pete Burrell will be attempting to kayak the Thames non-stop from its source at Halfpenny Bridge at Lechlade in Gloucestershire to Gravesend Pier which a journey of 215 miles!!

The trip will take place on 8th - 10th July. It has been done before in 43 hours and 40 minutes and is a challenge of distance and perseverance with very little or no sleep at all. This will be a test of stamina and determination, and the reason he is doing this is to raise as much as he can for the children's cancer charity, CLIC Sargent.

CLIC Sargent helps children and young people with cancer and their families with the trauma of diagnosis, the often long journey through treatment and continues to support them afterwards. Every day in the UK, 10 families are told that their child has cancer.

Diagnosis often comes as a shock, with treatment usually starting straightaway and sometimes lasting up to three years. CLIC Sargent is there with clinical, practical and emotional support, every step of the way.

Every penny really does make a difference so please sponsor Pete and help support children and young people with cancer.

Please help to support this great cause, no matter how small. You can either visit the Virgin Money giving page at or send a cheque made out to 'Clic Sargent' (please put Peter Burrell on the back) and post to: Carmen Burrell, 41 Markham Square, London SW3 4XA.

Update 13th July 2011

A message from Peter:

Thames Meander Challenge 215 Miles Non-Stop"Firstly a huge thank you to all of you for supporting such a great charity in Clic Sargent. They do a fantastic job for all of the children who have cancer and for all of the parents who need this vital support at such a traumatic time. You have all been so generous and it has been an honour to carry out the challenge and between us all it looks as though the total will be in excess of  £8,000!!

Carry out the challenge I did!! Carmen supported me throughout and has attached a photograph of the final fathom for your enjoyment. I started at 3am at Lechlade on Friday morning and went well for the first four hours getting through five locks by 7am when disaster struck.... a rather wet and sinking feeling developed along with two or three inches of river water in the kayak. I had caught it on the previous lock and I had a gash in the bottom. The weather was really bad but somehow by draining it at each lock I got to just below Abingdon before stopping and thought that hypothermia was next. 3 cups of tea and a very hot bath later I slept for a few hours and carried on.

Nick Pipe who supplied the kayak ( rode to the rescue and supplied a free new outer skin that was shipped to Carmen who then delivered it to me near Reading. What a relief and I made it all the way to Chertsey that night where I slipped in to a marina and tied up under the stars for a really awful few hours rest and then left at 5.30am in order to reach Teddington for the 10am high tide. Sadly it doesn't really get going until Putney Bridge but by then I was exhausted and when I did get in the rip I realised that I was too tired and decided to pull up at Cadogan Pier. So it was not quite Gravesend but with Friday's excitements I felt that it was mission accomplished.

It was by far the most exhausting thing I have ever done and my hands are only just starting to lose the swelling and blistering but I really feel that we have made a difference and thanks to all of you two children and their families will have a really worthwhile support system and some excellent care during their treatment for cancer."

Well done Peter, a fantastic sum raised for Clic Sargent! A truly heroic effort. Thank you.

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