2012 Macmillan World Coracle Championships

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23 June 2012

After a year off, the Macmillan World Coracle Championships took place on Friday 15th June at the Pengwern boathouse in Shrewsbury. Despite the dismal weather and the deluges of the preceding week, the river was only slightly faster than previous years. Just as well, as most of the competitors are not expert coraclers. Needless to say there was a satisfying number of capsizes. The wise were wearing wetsuits under their fancy dress.

A feature this year was that the coracles, sponsored by local businesses, were all built by Arrowcraft. Purists look away now, as the boats were in bright team colours and looked really terrific. Being fibreglass, they didn’t puncture, while the foam inserts under the seat kept them afloat. In fact, if I didn’t already have a few coracles in the garage, I might be tempted to buy one.

The event features teams of four in relay across the river and back. This year’s race was won by Morris and Co. But the real winners were Macmillan Cancer Care. This year is expected to raise about £15,000. Since the challenge began in 2007 it has raised over £100,000. Not bad for mucking about in boats, is it?

Article and photographs: Terry Kenny