All posts by Reading Canoe Club

June 2018 Reading Canoe Club K4 Race Day

K4 race day – always the best of the year – and just like usual, Brian had arranged clear blue skies and, hurrah, minimal wind. Everyone loves K4 race day.

Twenty nine boats from 12 different clubs competed in the five races, each one split according to the speed of the paddlers.

The Juniors were on winning form: Freddie, Daniel, Jim (not Junior!) with RLS Philip Miles came in first in Race A. Fran, Sam B, Jarvis and Rory took top spot in Race B. Bruno, Annabel, Toby and Immi (not quite junior!) came 2nd in the Rocket race, while Reading took 3rd (Chris B, Conor, Danny and Matt) and 4th (Debbie, Vicky, Timi and Nikki) in the C1 race. Thanks Matt A for jumping in last minute to the Vets boat.

Well done to all who competed. It was a great day, with just the right balance of competition and having fun.

June 18 Handicap time trial race and bbq No.2

What an evening! What a turnout of boats! 28 must be a record. The chop on the water was super-lumpy ‘fun’. Must have Kat’s extra large bump!

Youngest on the water was Miss Ruth Shephard with Brian G, both sporting RCC mohicans, with Noel-the-Iron-man in the superhero K2 with Jim second youngest. Which was the fastest. Tricky for both in the front, as there wasn’t much rudder in the water.

The Betts boys – Toby and Sam – made an excellent partnership, and they won a prize … for simply being awesome!

Suited up for the occasion we had Alex and Magnus … very nearly getting the fastest time, but that went to Dan and Freddie, although they didn’t quite break the RCC all-time record.

Great bbq work from Nathan and Mark Kubisch – thanks so much – and fabulous salads from volunteers. Thanks Kat and Immi for organising and hosting, and all the ever-helpful helpers, too. Good turnout!

Children’s Festival Taster Sessions 2018

Every year Reading Canoe Club hosts 3 days of Taster Sessions as part of Reading’s Children’s Festival. This year we were delighted to welcome 84 children to the event and introduce them to the world of kayaking. The weather was kind – sometimes sunny, sometimes wet, but always warm.

Our volunteer coaches comprised Seumas, Mark King, Alex Lane, Tamsin, Miriam, Hannah and Evan, with extra help from Juniors Sam B, Alex T and Thomas. Obviously they provided a lot of fun, because a handful of children insisted on coming back for more and a good number have signed up for Junior beginner courses. They got to paddle K1 – yes, there were a few swimmers – then finished the session altogether in the bell boat, jumping into the river for those who dared. A big thank you to all for giving up your time to help.

Welcoming the children and parents were Keith, Jo, Ana, Nicola and Katy – thanks all for doing a brilliant job, explaining all the necessary to participants, making them feel very welcome and extolling the virtues of joining the club.

Ladies Training Day, May 2018, hosted at Reading Canoe Club

May 26th saw the second Ladies Training Day, again hosted by Reading Canoe Club. Kat Wilson and Alice Murphy, with the support of the MRC, organised the event that saw 37 athletes participate from 17 clubs. They were delighted to welcome paddlers from afar afield as Scotland, Swansea and Cornwall. The date was neatly chosen to dovetail with the Reading Hasler the following day, so paddlers could stay over and participate in both.

What’s more there were great conditions for both – minimal wind, plenty of sunshine and none of the torrential rain, thunder and lightning that had been forecast!

The age range for the day spanned 12 to 57 and divisions 2 to 7, from GB team to junior beginners in this all-inclusive day. For the morning K1 session, athletes were separated according to speed and divided among 8 coaches from various clubs. Focus was given to wash hanging, turns, technique and portaging (on Reading’s ready-assembled hasler pontoons).

The second half of the morning was presented by sports psychologist Danielle Adams. Formerly a competition swimmer herself and with seven years experience as a sports psychologist, she has provided support for both GB’s swimming elite and slalom teams. She gave very interesting insights into the mindset of competitors, techniques to contain nerves and provoked some interesting discussions amongst participants of their own experiences. ‘Pressure is a privilege’ was a good mantra to take from it!

After a hearty lunch provided by the Reading team, led once again by Tamsin Phipps – that was filled baked potatoes, followed by super-carb apple crumble … ideal paddler replenishment – there was an interactive question-and-answer session, in ‘speed dating’ format. Euros and Worlds medal-holder Alex Lane and former GB Junior sprinter and now an Elite BC coach, Imogen Collins, were among those anwering questions.

Last session of the day was for K2s, with 14 boats on the water, practicing wash hanging and those choppy mass starts.

Thanks Kat, Alice and all volunteers for a most informative day. It was super to see Reading Canoe Club easily facilitate this great day, plus an all-day session for ENTS K4 boys, all its usual club sessions, plus an adult beginners group!

Reading Circuit Hasler May 2018

This was the first Reading Hasler for many years that chief man, Brian, was not at the helm, though he’d done a fair bit of the legwork before he’d left. Instead we had Amber and Paul Owen running the show, along with Evan and a team of ever-willing volunteers.

Despite threats of torrential rain and, more worrying, lightning and thunder, none materialised and it was a hot day. We had 161 K1 entries, including 15 lightnings, and 48 K2s from a total of 31 clubs. Those clubs spanned the country from Pennines up north to Swansea west and Norwich to the east.

There was some great racing, close finishes and ten podium places for RCC. Great point scoring from all, particularly our juniors. Special mention to Noah for his first lightning race (20 points), Rory and Alex taking 1st and 2nd Div4 K1, Peter Skinner taking 2nd and Charlie 4th in U12s. In K2, Sam and Fran won 1st in Div 4 K2 and Thomas and Joseph took 1st in Div 6, winning a probable double promotion.

Seniors on the podium included Matt Clarke (3rd in Div6 K1), Kat and Rachel Fort (3rd in Div5 K2) with Nigel and Timi just behind them, and Chris B and Tant 3rd in Div 6 K2. The total tally of points gave Reading 2nd overall out of the 31 clubs attending. Great RCC team work, Go Team Reading!

A big thank you to all volunteers for helping to make the day run very smoothly – an encouraging pre-cursor to the Nationals coming up soon in July.