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Added by: Office Admin | Added on: May 17th, 2016


Congratulations to Liveryman Douwe Cunningham who won the men's race on the Tour D'Afrique, the Cairo to Cape Town cycle race.  Douwe was the winning male competitor, the overall winner being a female professional cyclist.  Attached are some photographs of Douwe and his parents, Duncan and Annemieke, celebrating at the end of the race.  Shipwrights will be awarethat Douwe has been raising money for the Ark Appeal and has so far raised in excess of £4,000, with a number of pledged donations yet to come in. Donations can be made at











Liveryman Douwe Cunningham has decided to leave his current job in order to cycle the length of Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town, starting in January 2016.  The trip, known as the Tour D’Afrique, will take 4 months and cover a distance of 12.000km.  Douwe has very generously decided to combine his expedition with some fundraising for the Ark Appeal because he entered the maritime sector at a young age and wants to attract more of the younger generation in to the maritime profession.

We all wish Douwe well on his trip and it is wonderful that he has chosen to support the Shipwrights’ philanthropic aims by raising money for the Ark Appeal.  Douwe has created a website, which gives the background to the trip and outlines his reasons for taking on the challenge, at:

Douwe's crowdfunding page has now closed but please support him to raise money for the Ark Appeal at:

"The Long Eight Days...

I am now sitting in Gondor, Ethiopia. I am sleeping on a bed for the first time in over a month and enjoying my first beer since I entered Sudan at the end of Jan. We are now in country number three and the last 8 days of cycling have been non stop and gruelling to say the least. I have met my inner self on a number of occasions and not all of them at the most pleasant of moments!

We set off from Khartoum in high spirits on roads much like those we had been cycling on since Cairo. Flat tarmac. Then after two days of the 'business as usual' we hit the off-road. The camp was excited, to day the least, with tyre changes necessary and speculating what the roads would be like. 'Loose gravel and sand' was the description we were given. Having never cycled off-road except the forestry tracks around Tarbert, UK I was naturally a little apprehensive.

Day one of the off-road was spectacular and we all survived unscathed. Then day two which is billed as a 'mando day' or a mandatory race day (of which there is at least one in each country and usually the most difficult day) was a literal pain in the ass. Within 15km of setting off at least 5 riders had fallen over on their bikes on really corrugated gravel roads. The corrugation was a high as my knee. Minor injuries sustained we set off again and endured a further 85km of heat (>40c) and corrugation. I saw swimming pools and cold beers behind every bush. Gash in my right leg, blisters on my palms, forearms which could no longer sustain the shock of the bumps and dehydration. I think that I drank at least 10L of water on the bike alone... It was a tough day. The reward at the end of the day was a 'donkey shower' or a donkey which brought a can of water with which we could wash ourselves and a spectacular sunset.

Day three on the off-road I thought was the most mentally challenging because your body is in so much pain from the day before. My forearms dod not want to sustain another bump and the heat rose to unsustainable levels again. We cycled through yellow sorghum fields with acacia trees and seriously i swore I saw giraffes (again a fata morgana :-) ) The body does not have sufficient time to recover and that night I have never been so ill with diarrhoea and projectile vomiting. There is definitely a little bug which is affecting all of us riders and our vulnerable immune systems! So the border crossing day (to Ethiopia) I spent trying to rehydrate myself and rode the truck.

We all believed the going was good again with tarmac roads and beer at every stop but in Ethiopia the climbing starts. In the past day we have climbed over 2300m with children throwing stones at you and persistently shouting 'you you you you' in the heat. With the weakness of the illness and the off-road sections before it when I finally reached the Goha hotel in Gondor for a bed I think every emotion was trying to escape me and I had a real sense of humour crisis.... Never happened before on this scale! A sleep, shower and beer has made me come round and appreciate the achievement.

A quarter of the way done and amazing impressions of the landscapes, people and way of life".