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.
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.
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.
Well done to you all – a great team and finishing 5th out of 55 clubs with just 26 paddlers is a great achievement.
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.
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!!
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!!
‘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.
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.
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.
Well done to all RCC paddlers at this weekend’s regatta – a great set of results. Saturday was windy, a tail wind in fact, but those waves, particularly from 200m to the finish line, were not helpful! Still, our paddlers took all that in their stride and there were some great performances from Juniors and Masters alike.
Great to see our two Juniors promoted last regatta – Dan Atkins and Fran Boonham – racing really well in Boys B and Girls C respectively and getting into Finals every race. Our two Boys D paddlers, Sam Betts and Alex Tonkin, also did a brilliant job, getting into a final every race, and really pushing hard and accelerating into the finish. It was Finlay’s first regatta in Boys D and he raced well in both his 200m and 500m distances. Fred in Boys A put in good performances, particularly in his 200m K2 which was Mens A/Boys A combined. They came a 3rd.
We had a good show of Masters at this National Championships regatta, also getting into every final. A Bronze and a Silver each for Brian Hammond and Tom Hollins in their O34 K2 races. Well done to all our Masters – Nigel, Nik Topham, Tony Machin, Lee Atkins, Brian and Tom.
And it was a Birthday regatta for Lee too – hence two birthday cakes and a special Birthday swim … perfectly time for past the finish line!