As the mist cleared over the water of the river Dart, you could just make out the forms of a team of men and women, clad in charcoal T shirts, emblazoned with the Nkuku logo heading to their boats to take up their oars and make the team proud! Scratch record…..Ok so there was no mist, just burning sun and the t shirts didn’t reach us in time but we were all ready for action and full of enthusiasm!

The competitive edge was lost with chat about summer holidays, new Nkuku products and who was looking after the children… and that was just the men! But hey ho I think we did manage to fool the opposition into thinking we would be easy to take! How wrong could they be!?!

Just to explain the long bow canoe race is an event that takes place every July on the banks of the river Dart. Crews race in Longbow 10-seater canoes along a stretch of the River Dart approaching the town of Totnes. The event is organised by the Rotary Club of Totnes in conjunction with Canoe Adventures and the Dart Totnes Amateur Rowing Club. The canoe boats are traditional, the rules are straight forward –  paddle hard and fast. We wanted to get involved this year with the view of raising money not only for our chosen charity, The Village of Hopes and Dreams, Manacare but also some charities closer to home including the Totnes Food Bank, Erme Valley Riding for the Disabled and Devon Young Carers.

The day was divided into 12 heats of 4. The teams were made up of a variety of local businesses, volunteers and charities.  We started out with a female dominated canoe but we found our rhythm possibly a bit too late and came in fourth…(yes last!!). We would like to point that we were up against some ex marines and rugby players (as some sort of justification!) By the second race the 17 year old braun had arrived which we hoped might increase our chances of success! This improved our position to 3rd place! In the photograph above Angus and Ali and the rest of the crew put their backs into heat number 3. Bee our Financial Director,  braved the all male team in the final race, bringing team Nkuku a glorious 2nd place!

Back at the Nkuku team base camp Sales Manager, Denise and Angus our Trade Show Coordinator size up muscles and strength!!

Ella and Office Manager, Kate relaxing between races enjoying the sun and some rum punch!

The all important ice cream and hug with Dad!

Faithful supporters, Office Manager Kate, Sales Manager Denise, and Ella take a break from the racing to support the troops from the banks of the river Dart.

Sally, our Supply Chain guru had some faithful support from daughter Freya!

The children don some sumo suits – hilarious but also quite hot in the midday sun! All in all a truly magical day was had by all. We managed to reach a respectable 9th place out of 16 and raised £500 for charity.  Next year we’ll be ready!


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  • Nkuku specialise in eco friendly, fairly traded homeware and gifts. Our products are inspired by the traditional skills of artisans throughout Africa and India. We combine contemporary design with age old traditions, natural materials and sustainable methods of production. We passionately support fair trade and consider the environment in everything we do.