A historic event will kick off at a Wiltshire town after more than £30,000 was raised to protect it.

The Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race, known as the “canoeist’s Everest”, has run from Devizes since 1948 and sees participants tackle the daunting 125-mile journey to Westminster.

But this year organisers announced the race may no longer finish at Westminster, with a lack of entries making it financially unviable.

Over £32,000 has since been raised by community group Friends of DW to ensure the Senior Doubles can complete the full distance.

The group hopes to help safeguard the long-term future of the race moving forward.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Racers in 2023Racers in 2023 (Image: Trevor Porter)

A spokesperson said: “You will all be aware of the simply outstanding effort by the Friends of DW to launch and run an appeal to enable a Senior Doubles Westminster finish to happen, and at the same time secure the financial stability of the organisation for the short term.

“We set a target figure to be raised of £30,000 – it looks like the total will be in excess of £32,500.

“Once again, we say a massive thank you.”

The junior doubles will terminate at Dreadnought Reach, and the remaining classes will end at Thames Young Mariners.

The first junior crews leave on Good Friday at 7am and the Senior Doubles leave on Saturday at 7am.