All posts by nikki

National Marathon short course championships April 30th/May 1st

by Evan Sheppard, Marathon team leader

I really want to say a huge thank you to everyone who travelled to Peterborough for the Short Course Nationals!!! It was amazing to see so many Reading vests on the water and even more Reading people on the bank, volunteering and supporting. Results wise we all had a fantastic day with an almost uncountable number of podiums.

With 10 juniors racing, we had more juniors on the water than any other club (jointly with Falcon) which is a massive achievement and a credit to all of you.

Our senior and Veteran paddlers – six of them – had a slightly smaller representation but my they delivered! Every single one of them stood on the podium at the end of the day!!!

Special congratualtions to our National Champions this year:

Kevin Smith

Edgar Boehm

Kat Wilson

Harry Freeland

Anna Palmer

Oli Mazur

Harry Freeland, nippy on the portage
Laurence P and Edgar on the portage

Devizes to Westminster 2022

2022 must have been the sunniest DW to have taken place – a recompense perhaps for the two years that the event has had to be cancelled.

It was great to see some Reading CC members competing, and with great results. Congratulations to Duncan for coming 3rd in K1, Damon White for 3rd in C1, plus Peter Skinner paddling K2 in junior/vet with Marc (LTC) – they came 1st.

Alex Lane completed the course K2 with her mum, as did Nick King with Ruth, who is partially sighted, so Nick was navigating from the back.

Great success for the paddlers and their dedicated support crews.

Duncan setting off again from Reading Water Centre
Peter Skinner and Marc Gutteridge won Junior Vet K2

Nottingham April Regatta 2022

by sprint team leader, Erika

The 2022 sprint season was off to a smashing start with the April Nottingham regatta, despite the windy conditions on Saturday. Reading Canoe Club had the most entries out of all the clubs – 33 RCC  competitors with a total of 98 entries.

There were so many great results achieved by our paddlers that I am only going to highlight the top three A final results:

Harry and his K2 partner Gabriel (FOX) came 2nd in Boys U18/16 K2 500m.

Finlay also came second with his K4 on 500m in Boys U18/16.

Oli was on fire in Boys U14, he was 3rd in K1 200m, 2nd in K1 500m, 3rd with Marcell on K2 1000m.

Our U14 Boys (Oli, Marcell, Bob and Tom from ROY) also won the K4 500m event.

The girls were doing a fantastic job too. In the U16 Girls, Annabel came 3rd in K1 200m, 2nd in K1 500m and 2nd in K1 1000m. She also came 3rd in U18/16 Girls with her K2 partner Mollie (DEV).

Annabel and Mollie also did a K4 with our Georgia B and her K2 partner Iona (ESK) and they came 2nd in U18/16 Girls.

Our younger girls were working hard too: Alice & Charlotte came 2nd in K2 500m in U14 Girls and Hanna was 3rd in the same race with her K2 partner, Daisie (DEV).

It wasn’t just the juniors who were getting great results, our Masters were making us proud too:

Balint and Julian came 3rd in K2 500m in Men D+Masters C/D

In Men B+Masters A/B, Edgar was 3rd in K1 1000m and Laurence was also 3rd in K1 500m.

Laurence and Edgar won their K2 500m race.

It was lovely to see coach Freddie race too. He was delighted to join Edgar, Laurence and Jeremy in a K4 on 1000m and they won their race.

Our only C1 paddler, Anna, came 2nd in 500m and 1st on 5000m; she also won the 500m C2 with her partner.

We had a fantastic weekend. Congratulations to the whole team but especially to Oli, Jacob and Charlotte for their promotions.

JDS Training Day at the Club, 21st January 2022

Saturday, in late January, the club played host to 60 junior paddlers taking part in a Junior Development Squad training day. These juniors came from over 12 clubs, 13 paddlers from Reading Canoe Club itself.

It was specifically a crew day, with two K4 sessions (getting 15 K4s together, from all over the country, was quite some task). The first session focused on skill development in same-ability crews; the second mixed up crews, both gender and ability, and practised wash-hanging skills.

It was terrific to have RCC’s 2019 Junior World Champion sprinter, Dan Atkins, there to give a talk about motivation.

A thoroughly enjoyable and productive day for juniors, tailored to have minimal impact on club activities. Big shout out to the club for supporting this event and allowing it to take place there.

K4s racing up river, with coaches alongside on bikes, mindful of pedestrians on the prom

Stafford & Stone slalom competition, January 2022

RCC slalom paddlers headed up to Stafford and Stone canoe club for the winter mini-series. Despite the chilly weather, Peter, Emily, George, Andy N and Craig all enjoyed an excellent competition.

A handicap system meant everyone was in with a chance of the overall win. With well over a hundred competitors on the day, George took top spot among the Reading paddlers coming in an impressive 15th overall. Well done to all. There’s a picture below of Emily twisting and turning. No capsizing here!

Litter pick, Sunday 7th Nov

Jan and Sue will be leading a river clean-up this Sunday, in Canadians. Please do come and lend a hand – Jan and Sue and the environment will appreciate your help, even just for an hour.

Meet at the club at 2pm.

This occurs the first Sunday of every month.

Nigel’s birthday surprise

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!

We played some crazy, silly games on the water
We made a collection and bought Nigel a Garmin watch. Now he can see the numbers
There were many cakes, but this was the biggest!

August Children’s Festival Taster sessions

This was our third set of taster sessions we offered to children outside the club (including those for Emmer Green) – another full house, with at least 30 on the waiting list.

Blessed again with good weather, we had 90 happy children over three days trying out club marathon boats, as well as slalom. The nervous were reassured, while some seemed to revel in capsizing.

Many were very keen to sign up for courses or U10s early next year.

Our lead coaches and our main coaches were outstanding, with lots of great feedback:

‘Thank you for a brilliant day. Connor was a bit nervous but your staff, especially Emily, was very kind to him. He had a fab time’

Yes, Leo loved it, so just waiting for a space on a course.

“It was AWESOME!’. 

“He said Emily and Patrick and all your coaches were super, and loved the racing kayak with the steering. He had a thoroughly lovely time. Thank you so much.

“The children thoroughly enjoyed the kayak session today. They haven’t stopped sharing their experience since.

A huge thank you to you & your amazing team!”

Teaching the new children what to do with their paddle

National Marathon Championships 2021

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.

K4 Race Day is back

Covid restrictions in place, all spectators banished to the prom side, our first of two K4 race days took place on 27th June. How lovely to have a taste of normality again.

start of C1 race

There was a high demand for boats – with 38 entries in total from nine clubs, and a record number of 7 in Race A, the fastest group. Well done Reading for drumming up 13 great crews. All paddlers raced with gusto. It was a great day.

Huge thanks to Brian, as ever, who put all the leg work in, supported by an enthusiastic team of volunteers. Special thanks to Nik T stuck out on the safety boat all morning, rain or shine.