Oriel undergraduate student Kate Culverwell has been nominated for the 2018 World Paddle Awards after tandem kayaking 4,000km across Europe.
In April 2018, Kate Culverwell and her team member Anna Blackwell set out on a world-first tandem kayak expedition from England to the Black Sea. The five-month expedition saw them travel over 4,000km along canals and rivers through 13 countries, including navigating almost the entire length of the Danube River.
In addition to this impressive feat, the women used this expedition to raise over £50,000 for Pancreatic Cancer Action in memory of Kate’s father, David Culverwell. They also collected data along the way for FreshWater Watch – an Earthwatch research project investigating the health of global freshwater systems.
Kate, who is studying for a BA in music, says of her experience: ‘Kayaking the continent was a truly amazing experience, and conquering the difficulties and challenges only made the achievement more memorable. We did have to navigate around the white cliffs along the Kent coast in fog, and go through whirlpools and rapids along the rivers. On top of this, the cargo ships on the Rhine, Danube and along the industrial canals made our kayak seem particularly small and vulnerable, as well as the storms we were forced to camp in. Yet, we saw Europe in a beautifully unique light and were constantly astonished by the generosity and kindness we were shown throughout the 5 months. Above all, the friendship between Anna and I was what made this trip so special - nothing a good laugh and giggle couldn't fix!’
You can vote for Kate and Anna by going on the website and clicking the thumbs up button at the bottom of the page. Voting closes on 9 December.
Having already reached their £50,000 fundraising target, Kate and Anna are now aiming for £75,000, with the money raised going to Pancreatic Cancer Action. More information about donations can be found on their website.