Further success in Slalom, June 2017

Over the past few weekends the Reading slalom section have tried their skills on moving water! Emily, Natalie and dad Andy Neville went to Cardington. Emily put in a strong run and gained a promotion to Division 3 with a second place. Andy did very well in his first Division 3 race winning the event, commenting, “I managed to win but not by much and against such small kids – they are so fast!’

Last Saturday 6 paddlers competed at Shepperton and experienced their first weir slalom. With the noise and flow of water from the weir, our paddlers were quickly out of their comfort zone. With grit determination and after many swims, they made big improvements in their water skills.

Alex Tonkin recorded a good run at his first ever slalom beating many paddlers from the higher division and gaining promotion to Division 3. Also, after much practice and a few swims, Duncan Edwards achieved a fast final run to win the Division 3 competition.

All must be commended on their perseverance on new and challenging water conditions. Special mention to Peter Skinner who even after 8 or more capsizes never gave up and received Best under 12 in Div4!

Taster Sessions during Reading Children’s Festival, May 29th -31st

The club provided 12 taster sessions over three days as part of this year’s Reading Children’s Festival. The Festival is a programme of activities around the town over half term. 72 children attended the taster sessions, learning the basics about paddling K1 kayaks and the fun of paddling a bell boat. As a result several children have indicated they would like to try out the under-10 fun sessions and the Junior beginner courses.

Thank you to all our volunteers who helped over the three days.

Nottingham June Interclubs Regatta 2017

We had a smaller team at June Interclubs regatta this year, just 26 paddlers in all, but some great results. Reading CC finished 5th out of 55 clubs and only 27 points behind the winner, Richmond. Below are some highlights of the weekend.

K4 Masters

First off, great performance from the weather – bright and sunny with increasing winds, but not a dreadful gale … like the very wet and gusty following two days.

Here are some highlights of the results:

Among the juniors:

  • Boys D K4 500m, with Finlay stroking it, took a clear 1st
  • Boys D K1 500m Rory Tietema was 1st in Final 1 and Sam Betts was 1st in Final 2
  • Boys D K2 1000m, 500m and 200m Alex Tonkins and Sam Betts were each time 2nd and every time so close to first
  • Rory and Conor MacNab (borrowed from Pangbourne for the weekend) were 1st in Boys C K2 500m and 2nd in their K2 200m
  • Lilli was 2nd in Final 1 of her K1 500m race and 1st in her K2 Women’s C 1000m and 500m with Kat
  • Fred’s K2 200m race was his best this regatta – a convincing 3rd in Boys A/B
  • Dan Atkins was racing in Boys A for the first time and got into the final for all 3 of his K1s

Great to see Annabel and Phoebe both back on the water racing.

Among the Seniors/Masters:

  • Kat was first in every one of her races. Small field or not, she was determined to win them all
  • Nigel took three 2nds and a 3rd in his K1, K2 and K4 races. Indeed, Nigel and Brian’s K2 500m time was 2:15:31, while 1st place was 2:15:09. A hair’s breadth difference.
  • Masters C/D K4 with Nigel, Brian, Nik and Lee, in those lovely blue & white Mohicans, were 2nd and so close to 1st
  • All our Women’s D/Womens Masters B K2s 500m got into the final – that’s Silke and Miriam, Rachel and Rachel, Vicki and Vicky
  • Nik Topham was 1st in his K1 500m, easily – promotion for you, Nik?
  • Nik & Lee were 2nd in their K2 200m final

Rachel Spanton, Silke, Nathan Betts and Jim Towell were all new to Nottingham sprints and took to it with gusto. Silke used to sprint for the National German team, so she seemed to feel very much at home.

Rachel & Rachel
Miriam & Silke

Well done to you all – a great team and finishing 5th out of 55 clubs with just 26 paddlers is a great achievement.

RCC Medal win at Piestany International Sprint Regatta – 27th/28th May 2017

While most of RCC paddlers were battling it out on the Thames at the Reading hasler, RCC junior Fred Kemp was representing GB at Piestany International Regatta.

Fred’s strongest performance is usually in 200m and this certainly proved to be so at this regatta. In K1 200m, he took first in both the heat and the semi-final and in the final fought his way to 5th. In the K2 200m with Alex Greaves (RLS), they won the heat, so went straight to final and there took a convincing Bronze medal.

The GB team did very well overall, coming home with three Silver and three Bronze medals overall.

Big well done to Fred.

Reading Canoe Club’s K4 races, May 2017

The weather was kind and the enthusiasm high as teams gathered from Reading, Wokingham, Pangbourne, Southampton, Weybridge and Addlestone for the first K4 event of the year.

A change to the norm …

With a smaller field than usual entering the K4 race, the Club had decided to make it a single 5km handicap race, followed by 200m sprints. The teams were ranked according to their combined division for the handicap 5km race and two rockets were first to start.

Fastest boat on the water with a whizzy 19:10 mins was Reading’s Under 23 Div 3 boat of Imogen Collins, Jim New, Connor Macnab and Alex Sheppy. Not far behind were Southampton/Wey with a 19:50. While 3rd place went to Reading Vets Nik Topham, Yan Rasiborski, Kevin Smith and a mystery paddler.

200 metre sprints

After the 5km race, heats were drawn up for the 200-metre sprint. The 2 fastest from each heat went through to the semi finals, and the winners of these made the finals. There was a consolation final for the ‘losers’ too, so everyone got a chance to race more than once. It was all lots of fun, with the winning cup going to the speedy Reading crew again.

It was a great morning for all ages and abilities. Thanks to everyone who took part, the visiting teams for making it up to Reading and to the organisers. Here’s to the next one in October!!

Success at first slalom

Congratulations to the Reading Slalom paddlers for their success at Winchester Slalom on 14th May. Ten Reading paddlers competed in their very first slalom against other division 4 paddlers. Competition was fierce. Many of ours achieved clean, fast runs posting excellent times.  Everybody deserves to be very proud of themselves for giving their best on the day.

Success was also achieved in a wave hopper competition – 750 metre dash down the river resulting in a 1st for Duncan Edwards and awards to Marc Gutteridge and Andy Field. Maybe more WWR racing in the future?

Special mention to….

Jodie Barker -1st in Div 4 K1 women, overall winner and promoted.
Natalie Neville – 2nd in K1 Div 4 women and promoted.
Andy Neville – 2nd in K1 Div 4 Men and promoted.
Duncan Edwards – 5th in K1 Div 4 Men and promoted.
Duncan Edwards – 1st in C1 Div 4 Men and promoted.
Andy Field – 1st in Open Class.

Here’s to an incredible achievement from all, well done!!

Jolly Japes with Reading Canoers

‘There’s nothing half so much worth doing as messing about in boats’, so said Water Rat in Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows – set nearby on the Thames.

For novices at Reading Canoe Club it can seem a little far away this ‘messing about’, as you are encouraged to join time trials and circuit training, core focus and rowing machine sessions to carefully calibrated rock music.

The offer of a ‘Gentle Social Paddle’ with a pub lunch sounds just the ticket to adjust the balance.

As usual for RCC the proceedings started at the crack of dawn. We were ordered to be at the club by 9 for drill with our paddle and life saver.

Milling about

A friendly and expectant crowd milled around at the corner of The Warren where the club is located. Boats were loaded, lifts were arranged, satnavs coordinated. Suddenly the trailer rushed off – to deliver the boats to the start point and then to be parked by the finish at Abingdon. Several minutes later a very handsome canoe was brought to the road for loading. O dear! Too late! Back to the shed! I didn’t realise at the time this was ‘my’ boat.

North of Oxford the Thames is split into several streams and one of these near Wolvercote is our start point. One of the first to arrive spotted kingfishers flitting around the water by the bridge.

It was here I learned that, because a boat had been left behind, three of us would be allocated to a boat with two seats.

One of my co-canoers was desperate to get going – maybe to claim one of the two seats, so I felt obliged to join him. We floated around on the water, quite comfortably while others threatened us from the bank.

Bombing the beginner

When Nigel was ready we floated off, pushing hard on the paddles. These Canadian canoes are steered by the person sitting at the rear. Me, I sat in front and just kept at it. I never saw what my steersman (or rather, steerswoman) did, but I could detect a little critical banter between our midshipman, perched on a pile of life vests in the middle of the boat, and the boss in the back. Eventually we got rid of the dissenter when he climbed over to another boat with three seats.

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