A GRUELING 125 mile kayak race from Wiltshire to London saw a Sea Cadet snatch bronze.

Over the Easter weekend teens in the 15-17 year-old category paddled for hours at a time over four days to travel from Devizes to Westminster.

Leading Cadet Simon Tilbury-Clarke, 17, took on the 125-mile race with Stephen Leonard, also 17, and secured third place in a time of just under 17 and a half hours.

Simon said: “It’s a very difficult thing to be doing. It is mentally and physically demanding, but the hardest part is the mental side of it.

“You stay on a camp-site in-between, and you make friends with different people and get through it together. You just hope it won’t hurt the next day – but it does. I’m still aching quite a bit now."

They competed against 90 other pairs in the 15-18 category, kayaking for long periods of time – including more than five hours on one day.

Simon, a member of Pangbourne Canoe Club, attends Reading Sea Cadets, where he enjoys water-based activities and helps build other young people’s confidence on the water.

He is now hoping to take a kayaking coaching qualification through Sea Cadets, which welcomes 10 to 18-year-olds.

He has taken part in the race twice before.