TOBY BOOTH and Neal Hatley are in unchartered waters as they take on one of the biggest challenges of their lives in Canada: the gruelling 715km Yukon River Quest, in aid of Help for Heroes.
The duo, who are part of Bath’s new coaching team, have been taking part in warm-up exercises over the past week before setting off today in Whitehorse (to the east of Alaska) on the Quest. They will be joining athletes from all over the world who will race day and night for four days along 715km of rugged and treacherous waterways in the most spectacular paddling race in the world, also known as the “Race to the Midnight Sun”.
They face a 27-hour straight paddle on their first day alone and will be competing in a six-man voyageur war canoe to the finish, which is just below the Arctic Circle, at Dawson City, Yukon in Canada.
Booth and Hatley have joined forces with a team from Interserve, the international support services and construction group, but most of the crew had never canoed before taking on this challenge, so have spent the past few months preparing with paddling instruction and sessions and white water practice out on the River Thames, in Loughborough and North Wales.
“This is an opportunity to compete in a once-in-a-lifetime event for charity and we are proud to be supporting Help for Heroes,” Booth said. “The challenge we face on the Yukon River pales into insignificance when you consider the challenges faced each day by injured servicemen and so if we can even help make a small difference then it will all be worth it.”
If you’d like to sponsor the team, you can donate in two ways:
Text YUKN99£ with the amount you want to donate (e.g. YUKN99£5) to 70070.Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.