Twenty six hardy canoeists braved atrocious weather to take part in the first Santa Splash family canoe paddle this Saturday.
We were hoping to attract more than 100 Christmas-attired paddlers but strong winds and torrential rain deterred all but the most determined.
Coast to Coast project manager Greg Brookes said: “Sadly the weather conditions today have been very challenging. However I want to say a big thank you to everyone who donned Santa hats and attached reindeers and Christmas trees to their canoes in a tremendous effort to bring some festive cheer to the waterway.”
The first Santa Splash took place over a two-mile course between the start of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the heart of the Eldonian Village, Liverpool, and the project’s hub at the SAFE Regeneration centre in Bootle. Canoeists, which included Duke of Edinburgh award participants from Knowsley Youth Mutual, were rewarded at their destination with hot chocolate, a hog roast and other festive treats.A similar event was staged the following day in Burscough, West Lancashire.
The events form part of a five year project to create The Desmond Family Coast to Coast Canoe Trail across the Pennines. Funded by a £1.3 million grant from the Desmond Foundation, the 150-mile trail starts in Liverpool, follows Britain’s longest canal, the Leeds & Liverpool, links into the Aire & Calder Navigation in Yorkshire and finally reaches the east coast at Goole.