History was made at the 75th annual Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race when a 44-year record was smashed.

Every year, on Easter weekend, competitors attempt to row 125 miles from Devizes to Westminster via the Kennet and Avon Canal and River Thames.

This year the record for the fastest time, set in 1979, was beaten by 14 minutes and 37 seconds as Keith Moule and Tom Sharpe stormed to victory.

Despite a reduced turnout due to weather conditions, which meant only 38 paddlers were allowed past Reading, former footballer and reality TV star Ashley Cain was among many who flocked to Devizes to take part.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Ashley Cain at the Devizes to Westminster Canoe race.Ashley Cain at the Devizes to Westminster Canoe race. (Image: Trevor Porter)

The former Coventry winger, who also appeared on MTV’s Ex on the Beach, was pictured setting off on Sunday morning.

Devizes site controller Keith Bennett told this paper the race is still a huge event for the community 75 years after its inception.

He said: “It’s very important and it’s the canoeists Everest because it’s that tough.

“It brings between 2,500 and 3,000 people to Devizes over the weekend so it’s great news for local businesses and it’s a great sporting event that shows no sign of stopping now.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Keith BennettKeith Bennett (Image: Trevor Porter)

“It was a great race and I’d like to congratulate all those who finished and thank the 300 plus volunteers that made it happen.”