- Join a club and learn correct technique - see Canoe Clubs Supporting DW Paddlers
- Concentrate, above all, on training in the boat
- It is not normally helpful to cover distances greater than 35 miles in training
- Practice portaging as there are 77 in the race and they can cost a lot of time
- Train in the dark – this is a must for Senior Doubles and can be necessary for all
- Learn the course – this is vital, especially for Senior Doubles
- Incorporate your support crew in your training so they know what you need
- Practise capsize drills in a safe environment
- Choose a stable boat that you can handle, particularly vital on the tidal section
- Always wear buoyancy aids during training
Learning From Others
- Talk to people who have done the race and pick their brains
- We strongly recommend Brian Greenaway’s book – “The Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race”. Unfortunately it is out of print at the moment and we don't have any copies. You may be able to track down a copy through the internet.
- Take a look at these training guides provided by BCU National Development Coach John Handyside. Devizes Westminster Training (click here for a PDF, opens in a new window) provides an overview of planning and preparing for a DW campaign. Devizes to Westminster Race Final - A Checklist (click here for a PDF, opens in a new window) provides a checklist of what you need to do. Don't leave it to the last minute to open this one.
Marsport run free seminars, explaining all aspects of the race. They are held at the Wokingham Waterside Centre near Reading. Full details at DW Seminars. For further details, contact Marsport on 0118 966 5912.
Marsport run training days at £50 per paddler and £20 per supporter which provide comprehensive practical tuition, on land and on water, of the skills required for DW. Full details at DW Training Days. Contact Marsport on 0118 966 5912 for further information.
Warm Up Races
We strongly recommend that paddlers should enter as many of the Thameside and Waterside series races as possible. They offer excellent opportunities to learn the course, practise portaging, become accustomed to your boat and for support crews to learn their role. Details of these races may be found through the Links section of this website.
Prepare your DW Compulsory Race Kit
Every crew is required to carry Compulsory Kit. More details available in race rules. Prepare this in advance and avoid unnecessary stress and worry on the race day.
(We will be offering race kit compliance checks at Waterside D if you would like to check if your kit is acceptable. Note: it will still have to be checked and approved at Devizes on race day).
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