Corporal lines up world record 135km paddleboard trek for 'gleaming' Bobby

Sergeant Bobby McCaigue based at RAF Wyton

Sergeant Bobby McCaigue, pictured, died in April after a battle with brain cancer and built a close friendship with Corporal Shane Hart. - Credit: Paddle for Bobby

A man who has “bitten off more than I could chew” will attempt to set a new paddle-boarding world record for a close friend who died after a battle with cancer. 

Corporal Shane Hart is preparing to pass through the likes of Ely and Littleport as part of a 135km non-stop stand-up paddleboard trek along the River Great Ouse. 

He aims to conquer the route in under a day for Sergeant Bobby McCaigue, who died of brain cancer in April after the illness returned last year. 

“135km in under 48 hours on the river has never been done before, and no one has done it in one hit,” said Cpl Hart. 

“I will probably make it in around 27 hours, but trying to get it around 24 hours.” 

Cpl Hart will begin the challenge on Tuesday, May 24 at Mill Lane in Kempston around 6pm before paddling through Ely and Littleport on the Wednesday afternoon. 

Paddle for Bobby River Great Ouse challenge

Corporal Shane Hart will take on a 135km trek along the River Great Ouse in memory of Sgt Bobby McCaigue. - Credit: Thomas Somerville

It is a challenge that initially took Cpl Hart by surprise, despite having previously taken on a trip around the Isle of Wight in a paddleboard last year. 

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“I’m looking to get to The Cutter at 12-2pm and Swan on the River an hour later,” he said. 

“I did endurance paddle-boarding at the Isle of Wight, around 90km, which was quite a big challenge as the waves were horrendous. 

“I thought I’d do something for Bobby but I’ve underestimated the distance, so we’ve bitten more than we could chew on this challenge.” 

Sergeant Bobby McCaigue of RAF Wyton

Corporal Shane Hart has lined up an attempt to set a world record for the fastest stand-up paddleboard trek along the River Great Ouse for friend Sergeant Bobby McCaigue. - Credit: Paddle for Bobby

Cpl Hart worked with Sgt McCaigue in the 42 Engineer Regiment as geographic technicians and knows the route after paddle-boarding along the River Great Ouse before. 

Apart from brief stops including at The Cutter, Cpl Hart will aim to continuously paddle until he arrives in King’s Lynn at around 9pm on May 25. 

The world record challenger, based at RAF Wyton, has already raised over his £1,000 target for the Farleigh Hospice which looked after Sgt McCaigue. 

Paddle for Bobby team ahead of River Great Ouse challenge

Corporal Shane Hart will take on a 135km trek along the River Great Ouse in memory of Sgt Bobby McCaigue. - Credit: Thomas Somerville

“Bobby was a gleaming bloke,” added Cpl Hart. 

“Part of the challenge is mind-numbing; it will get messy come 12 hours or so onwards, so I’ll eat dried fruit every 15 minutes and drink mineral water. 

“But, the end game is doing it for Bobby.” 

To donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/shane-hart1.