Bon voyage for Canoe Against Cancer brothers! - East Cheshire Hospice

Bon voyage for Canoe Against Cancer brothers!

Bon voyage to brothers Tom and George Bentham who take the plunge on their coast-to-coast canoe challenge on Monday (Sept 12).

The pair have spent six months preparing for their gruelling 184-mile paddle in memory of their late father Mark, a keen sailor.

The Bentham brothers are hoping to raise £15,000 for East Cheshire Hospice and Macmillan which cared for Mark, from Broken Cross, who died of cancer in September 2019, aged 58.

Tom (left) and George Bentham who are canoeing across the country.

Neither had even sat in a canoe until they launched their ambitious Canoe Against Cancer challenge which saw them buy a second-hand vessel.

Their nine-day adventure starts at Glasson Dock, near Lancaster, where their dad learned to sail as a boy. He became a chef, cooking on private yachts around the world.

The itinerary includes Preston, Burscough, Manchester, Rochdale, Halifax, Wakefield and into the Humber.

A complex route involves four tidal rivers, canals, bridges, tunnels and aqueducts.

Tom, from South Park, Macclesfield, said: “Our training’s gone well and we’re up to doing the distance.

“We’ve had a few emotional training days learning about battling currents and head winds. I broke a paddle but manufacturers Bending Branches, who’d already donated two new ones, kindly sent a replacement.

“A tandem canoe needs synergy to balance up power and steering. We swap over in the front and back every 90 minutes.

“The front is effectively the engine and needs to put in a steady stroke rate, while the back does the steering.

“We’ve put in countless hours and miles of practice training on local canals and two blokes in a canoe in all weathers do draw attention.

“Lots of people have stopped for a chat, including two ladies last weekend who donated to the Hospice.

“It’s been nice hearing other stories about how the Hospice has been important for their loved ones and the feeling of community hospices create.

“It shows just how well-loved and how valued the Hospice is within the community and why it’s so important to make sure it’s there for everyone else when, or if, they need it.

“The hardest thing is going to be keeping up momentum day after day as fatigue builds up. We’ll be paddling for eight to nine hours each day, covering 22 miles on average.”

*  To sponsor the brothers email or visit


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