Kate Culverwell and Anna Blackwell (Great Britain) with Kayaking the Continent - Nominees for the 2018 Foundation Award
Born: 1993 & 1998, Represents: Great Britain, Sports: Whitewater Kayaking, Downriver Kayaking.
In April 2018 Kate Culverwell (20) and Anna Blackwell (25) set out on a world-first tandem kayak expedition from England to the Black Sea. This extreme journey saw them paddle over 4000km along canals and rivers through 13 countries, including navigating almost the entire length of the Danube River, Europe’s second-longest river.
While taking on such a tough challenge is admirable in itself, the women used the expedition to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer Action in memory of Kate’s father, David Culverwell. Pancreatic cancer is the UK’s fifth-biggest cancer killer and therefore raising awareness of the disease and helping improve statistics was an integral goal of the expedition. While paddling, Kate and Anna also collected data to contribute to the research of FreshWater Watch, an Earthwatch research project investigating the health of global freshwater systems.
Completing their challenge in September, Kate and Anna had already smashed their £50,000 fundraising target and are now aiming for £75,000. The money raised will be going to the Pancreatic Cancer Action.
“Kayaking all the way across Europe wasn’t easy. We dealt with rapids and whirlpools, we narrowly dodged cargo barges that were several hundred metres long and we survived long nights camping amidst raging storms. Yet our friendship, giggle fits and determination continued to get us through whatever was thrown at us.” — Anna Blackwell
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