The youthful Nigel, one of our longest-standing coaches, turned 60 last year, during the pandemic, so the party that had been carefully planned had to be rapidly shelved. However, it wasn’t forgotten and over just a year, plus two months, we sprung him a big surprise.
Nigel isn’t one for surprises, but he dealt with it well considering. At least it was better that the planned rescue session he thought he was running – a ruse to get him down to the club on a Saturday afternoon.
Erika, Brian and the troop of helpers had planned some crazy silly team games on the water – Death Match, Tug of War, canoe relay, race circuits, charioteers … they packed those games in, sank a few boats and laughed their way through. All rewarded with a slap-up barbecue and lots of birthday cakes.
Nigel was presented with the latest Garmin watch and heart rate monitor as a present from all at the club – he’d been eyeing it up for a while.
Happy Birthday Nigel. Sorry for the surprise, but we hope you enjoyed your party nonetheless!
First it was to be the 2020 Championships, but we know what put pay to that. But July 2021 loomed and the Nationals team held tight, kept a steady course … and without the slightest wobble, put on an amazing National Marathon Championships on 10th and 11th July.
From the outside, it looked like a walk in the park, but hours of careful preparation since January had gone into the project. The pandemic, of course, meant there was yet another layer of complexity to the event.
Despite Covid, 52 clubs from all the country, including Scotland and Wales, entered the competition, with 385 K1 entries and 213 K2s. There was some great racing and some really exciting finishes. Biggest race of all was the Mixed K2 race, of course. 75 entries in total – that was one mad start! Biggest K1 race was the U16 boys, with 38 entries. Another super choppy start.
Best of all, however, was that Reading Canoe Club was the overall winner in number of points, winning the Spanish House Trophy, plus we won the Spanish Galleon Trophy for U12s. All together we received 20 promotions, eight 2nd places, eight 3rd places and four National Champions – Ruth Shephard, Harry Freeland in K2, Brian, of course, for O69M and Josh Drummond in U10 K2. Full individual results
Well done to everyone who paddled and a big thank you to all our volunteers. So good to be back racing again.