Royal Paddling Challenge 2018. Saturday October 20th. More details will be released nearer the time.
The world’s oldest canoe race
The Paddling Challenge is a race with an unrivalled history.
Royal Canoe Club was founded in 1866. The first club race recorded started at Kingston Bridge and came
downstream to “one-mile tree” which was reputed to be an oak tree on the bank opposite the club.
It wasn’t until June 1st 1874 that the club committee asked members to support the purchase of a challenge cup for its first
official canoe race which was a mile long. This race has been run every year since, except during both world
The winner’s trophy is among one of the oldest sporting trophies in the world, playing a huge part in our
country’s sporting history. Archived minutes from the time reveal that the cup cost £42.17.6d which is £3650 in
today’s money but using today’s labour and materials a replacement would cost approx. £21k.
The race distance has evolved to 10km (6 miles) which is more suited to today’s paddlers’. It now starts and
ends at the Royal Canoe Club, Trowlock Island in Teddington, racing upstream along the River Thames.
Warrington Baden Powell (Founder of The Sea Scouts & author of Sea Scouting and Seamanship for Boys)
Olympian – Tim Brabants (treble winner)
World champions Alan Williams (ROY) 3x winner. Ivan Lawler (ELM) 2x winner and
Current Club Commodore Jon Boyton (ROY) 3x winner
Sailing Challenge Cup
In 1993, the Sailing Challenge Cup was purchased for a women’s race. Notable winners include Royal’s very own Olympian, Jess Walker