The Cockleshell Endeavour and the Devizes to Westminster Veterans Challenge is only possible thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and supporters. In particular we would like to thank Simon Bolze who has kindly donated the kayaks the five pairs will be using during the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe and Kayak Race.
Here’s a few words from Simon about why he has chosen to support the Cockleshell Endeavour:
For several years, we had wanted to sponsor a veteran group as we believe that the folding boat class is an excellent tool to assist those recovering from disabilities incurred from the effects of war whilst at the same time, increase the public awareness of the benefits of folding kayaks. Originally our thoughts were along the lines of those who were physically disabled, but then Prince Harry launched the Invincus Games which is a very good neat concept. We hadn’t thought about PTSD till Mick and Steve approached us, and it clicked straight away that the Cockleshell Endeavour and supporting recovering veterans and service personnel was a project we were keen to be involved with and support.
Myself, being hearing impaired, attended a school that catered for all kinds of disabilities and it was there that I saw the importance of setting and achieving difficult goals. No matter what disability you had, you strived to be the best you could be to overcome obstacles at sport days, swimming galas and other competitions. After school I volunteered for National Service and then stayed on in the Army for 3 years during the Rhodesian Bush War in the late 70’s in a non-combat role as an HQ Unit Armourer, so have maintained interest in the military since then. It was also at the same school that I built my very first kayak which was a skin on frame tandem, with most of the paddles being done solo at night at a local dam that prohibited boating!
We are very happy to support Mick’s aims and goals regarding PTSD.
Of all the current folding kayak brands that Simon and his team supply, work with or have detailed knowledge of, why does he believe NERIS is the best boat for the five pairs to use during the Devizes to Westminster race?
NERIS is a new brand in the UK that ticks the most boxes regarding weight, costs, reliability, supply and ease of maintenance in the DW training and racing environment. Of the entire Neris range of six different folding kayak models, the Neris Valkure-2 is the best fastest stock standard double seater kayak to use for the DW folding boat class. This ensures that the Cockleshell Endeavour teams will have a competitive boat that still compares reasonably well against other folding kayaks used by the other teams.