Gloucester paddlers raising money for bone marrow transplants in the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic

Jake Bird and Lachlan Howard in action at a paddle event in Repton, NSW earlier in the year. Photo supplied
Jake Bird and Lachlan Howard in action at a paddle event in Repton, NSW earlier in the year. Photo supplied

It's something they've been working toward all year.

Gloucester university students Lachlan Howard and Jake Bird are getting ready to take on the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic while raising funds for Arrow, The Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation.

The pair will be taking to the water on Saturday, October 26 for an 111 kilometre paddle lasting around 16 hours.

While Jake has been around kayaks all his life, Lachlan is fairly new to the sport. It seemed natural that Jake would get involved in the Duval Kayaking Club during his first year at the University of Armidale. Now in his second year, and one of the club's organisers, Jake convinced his old high school mate, and fellow uni student, Lachlan to join him.

As a team they have taken part in five paddling events since the beginning of the school year, with the first one taking place in Repton, NSW.

Recently, they took part in their first competition close to home, the Myall Classic Paddling Ultramarathon, where they paddled 27 kilometres, against strong winds, in just under four hours.

"Even though it was a competition, it was pretty relaxed. We had a bluetooth speaker playing music on the boat," Lachlan smiled.

Their longest paddle up to this point has been around nine hours, with everything being in preparation for the Hawkesbury event. They take to the water at 2.30pm, with the boys paddling throughout the night.

"The speaker only lasts for 12 hours. When it runs out, we'll probably just sing songs, like Row, Row, Row Your Boat," Lachlan laughed.

With a plan to just live on muesli bars, banana and lollies, Lachlan is taking the upcoming event in his stride.

"I just sit back and paddle, Jake does everything else," he joked. "But I do have to keep rhythm with him."

Although the pair are looking to have a bit of fun during their paddle, the whole thing is for a good cause, with each entrant set up to raise funds for Arrow, The Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation.

The Hawkesbury Canoe Classic has been fundraising Arrow since 1994 with almost $4 million dollars donated for leukaemia research and patient support services.

To donate for Lachlan click here, or to donate to Jake click here; otherwise you can search for them by name on the event website, www.canoeclassic.net/