All posts by Reading Canoe Club

Brian’s 70th Party

A big thank you to Brian for turning 70, agreeing to a party and making us all wear fancy dress! There were some great costumes along the ‘B G’ theme, some members totally unrecognisable. We had a rash of Bad Guys, a glut of Bunny Girls, Green & Black, a buxom schoolgirl … named Brian, Batmen, Barbies and Ken, burglars, a British Gladiator, even a Hot Dog (great work, Jean) … so much imagination.

Just over 80 turned up to celebrate seven decades of Brian. It was great to see some former crew paddlers of Brian’s and former members of the club – Lucy Perrett – the Club’s first Olympic finalist, Rod Kinch, Heather Brough (a former K2 partner of Brian’s).

There was lovely food by Sabine and Jo, an amazing array of puddings from us all and a magnificent chocolate and Guinness cake, courtesy of Georgia and Imogen. Then music and dancing. Oh what a night!

Christmas Mix and Match K2 with breakfast

76 paddlers took to the water on Saturday 14th December in the Christmas Mix and Match event, all dressed in festive garb – that was 32 K2s split over four starts, plus three K4s. What a spectacle for passers-by on the prom – Christmas come early! This was no gentle paddle, however, but a hard-fought race to the finish – 8km up, down, up and down again, in a couple of loops to accommodate the high flow.

A slap-up, big-fry breakfast followed for 86. A great fun morning all round, with brilliant organisation from Alex and Nigel on the pairings and the boats, and a slick production of breakfast from the catering team.

Thank you all – so good, please can it be an annual event?

More Christmas this week, with a leisurely paddle in Canadians up to the Oracle, singing all the way.

Lee Valley Slalom

On the weekend of the 6th and 7th October, some of readings slalom team competed at Lee valley slalom competition in London. This was the first experience for the paddlers to try slalom on fast flowing white water. Many valuable lessons were learnt and it was a great weekend of fun for all.

Rowing Event – Saturday 12th October

Reading Rowing Club will be running the annual Small Boats Head on Saturday 12 October. There will be 3 divisions (starting 0930, 1230, and 1530), each with approx. 150 crews racing from near the Roebuck to just above our boathouse. As a consequence, the river is likely to be very busy (with both rowing boats and launches) for most of the day.

September 2019 Sprint Regatta

August 31st/September 1st saw the final National regatta of 2019 – the National Championships for Juniors and U23. Our select Reading team comprised purely of that … 12 juniors and two U23s. With our World and European Champion, Dan Atkins, in the line up, we certainly hoped for a few medals.

In 2018 the team won a total of 9 medals, four of those Gold. In 2019, we tripled the number of Golds to 12 and a total of 25 medals. That was awesome racing, Team. Well done to you all, whether or not you won a medal. You raced brilliantly.

Dan unsurprisingly took a share of the medals – 6 Golds and two Silvers, two of those Golds won within 7 minutes of each other (200m K2 with Freddie, then two races later, K2 200m in Men’s Open). Freddie and Dan’s K4 also took Gold – the same crew that competed at the World’s. All together Freddie took home three Golds (K2 200 with Dan, K2 500 with Philip Miles and the K4, the latter two with four hours sleep!).

Talking of K4s, both Georgia’s k4 U14 Girls and Sam B and Alex T’s U16 Boys K4 won Gold. Toby and James N’s U14 K4 won Bronze, as did Finlay’s in U16!

Toby B was racing k2 with Harry Freeland (soon to be racing for Reading). They went a storm, winning Silver for all three distances.

Sam and Alex repeated their success of 2017, taking Bronze for K2 500m and 1000m, plus Sam won Bronze in K1 1000m. Georgia and Mollie Ball from DEV were also on top K2 form, winning Silver for both 500m and 200m.

Not be out done by the Juniors, Sam G in U23s, took a Gold in K2 500m.

It was great to see Rachel jumping into a K2 with a new paddler, Ruby from Elmstead, and a Royal K4. Annabel was in great paddling form in K1 and in K2 with Beatrice from DEV. Becky and Rory, both in U18s but only just, raced really well in a tough field. Becky took first place in Final B in both 200m and 500m K1.

Immi even jumped in a boat – a K4 with World’s junior canoeists Alix Aitchison and Charlotte Carey, plus Emily Illinesi. They didn’t win, but they laughed all the way to the finish line.

It’s been a great year of sprint racing for the Club. Do get the dates for next year’s regattas in your diary!

Cardington Slalom Event August 31st-Sept 1st

Reading Canoe Club slalom team take to the white water at Cardington Slalom competition in Bedford

There has been impressive competition by all, especially between the members of the Neville family; a few tears were shed when Emily beat her dad by 3 seconds on Saturday. But order was restored when Andy Neville beat Emily by 4 seconds on Sunday.

Emily Neville came first on both Saturday and Sunday in her division meaning that she is one win away from promotion.

The rest of the slalom team did fantastically. Special mention to Marc as he stayed upright on every run and didn’t miss any gates. George managed an impressive 5th place on Saturday but powered home for a second place on Sunday.

Tom Robson sped down the course improving on each run homing his precision and timing.

Big thank you to Andy F and Craig for coaching support and supplying lots of flapjack throughout the very enjoyable weekend of paddling.

By Zoe Neville