All posts by Reading Canoe Club

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.

Continue reading Jolly Japes with Reading Canoers

May Sprint Regatta

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.

Brian and Tom – O34 K2

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!

The team
Lee with his cake

Devizes to Westminster 2017

Congratulations to all our Reading Canoe Club paddlers who competed at this year’s DW. The race boasted some of the best conditions seen for many years, but, whatever, it’s a grueling 125 mile race.

We had two star performers among the K1s – Ro Battison taking 1st Place in the Senior Ladies, with time 19:33:15. Radek, just back from cycling halfway round Australia, got into his boat and came an amazing 2nd in 16:17:02.

Radek
Ro

Special mention, too, to Conor Macnab (strictly speaking Pangbourne Club, but who also trains at RCC). At 17, he was the youngest K1 on the course and, competing against the Seniors, came a tremendous 27th (out of 75) in 20:21:25.

Conor Macnab

Out of 119 K2 Senior crews, Des Hayes with partner Ollie Shaw came an excellent 47th  in time 24:05:39. Rachel Spanton and RAF’s Sarah Richter weren’t far behind in 57th completing the race in 24:40:15.

Rachel and Sarah reach Westminster

Brian Hammond, paddling with former RCC paddler Alison Galloway, was forced to retire after 17:12:40 because of his shoulder injury. That’s a hard call.

Gail Battison gives you the lowdown of Ro’s race and the grueling task of being the support crew. If you are thinking of participating as crew or competitor, it’s a must read. Thanks Gail.

DW from a supporter’s perspective

When Rohan first suggested she may do the DW race I thought she was a bit over optimistic. She last did any real long distance paddling more than 15 years previous, and had spent the previous year recovering from a bad leg break after a skiing accident. I didn’t really give it much more thought until she went out and bought a K1 and entered the Waterside Series.

Her motivation was strong, she was paddling for a cause close to her heart, ‘Macmillan Cancer Support’ She started putting the miles in over the winter months, paddling from Gailey Canoe Club, with the occasional weekend down at Reading.

Continue reading DW from a supporter’s perspective

Request to help out community canoeing in Abingdon

Message from Abingdon CC…

Securing a future for paddlesports in Abingdon – vote for us now in the Aviva Community Fund

https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/project/view/16-1882

Our friendly canoe club has introduced hundreds of people of all ages to paddling, inspiring them to enjoy the great outdoors. Many have then gone on to make it a lifetime activity. Setting up this new riverside base is essential for us to be able to continue.

We are being evicted from the site from which we have operated for the last 25+ years and as a result there is a very real danger that the club will be unable to function and cease to exist.

We have been working flat out to obtain a new site and have just received planning permission for a modest facility near Abingdon Lock. This is, however, still going to cost something in the region of £40,000, money we do not have at present. We are able to part fund from money we have saved over the years but are nowhere near the total cost,

In order to part fund this we have applied to The Aviva Community Fund. In order to stand a chance of receiving some funding we have to obtain votes from the general public for our project.

This process involves going onto the following site and registering. Once the voting process opens (from this Friday 21st October until 18th November you have 10 votes which we hope you will give all to our project.

In order to stand a chance of receiving the funding we so desperately need, we would probably have to have 500 + people each registering their 10 votes for us. This is quite a challenge, so all involved are spreading the word amongst friends, community groups and anyone who believes in what we are doing ,and is willing to register and vote as well as spreading the message amongst their contacts. If , in addition, you feel able to pass this on to any others you feel would be willing to vote that would be fantastic.

10k Race

After an excellent Awards Evening at the Club the night before, members kicked off their party shoes and took part in a mix-and-match 10k (mostly) K2 fun race. After the all rain, even the sun came out. Well done all RCC members – it’s been a great year of achievement and results.

10km Results

Start Names Club Time
Div 9 K1
Andy Bayley 01:10:18
Div 8 K1 / Div 9 K2
Alison Nightingale BOA 01:13:21
Div 7 K1 / Div 8 K2
Cory Severnini & Robin Tilbury PAN 01:07:01
Div 6 K1 / Div 7 K2
Carla Chalk & Seumas Munro RDG 01:01:31
Jenny Dixon & Rui Costa RDG 01:01:41
Nick Daniels LON 01:05:07
Div 5 K1 / Div 6 K2
Joe & Thomas RDG 00:55:30
Peter Walker PAN 00:58:26
Catherine & Dominique RDG 00:59:46
Mike Crossman RDG 00:59:48
Div 4 K1 / Div 5 K2
Maddy & Mark 00:52:52
Brian Greenham & Tímea RDG 00:52:53
Peter & Sara Mainprize RDG 00:55:00
Evan Shephard & Nikki Jacoby RDG 00:55:03
Miriam Graham & Lee Atkins RDG 00:56:41
Duncan Edwards & Eleanor Donoghue RDG RTD
Div 3 K1 / Div 4 K2
James Treadgold & Gareth Wilson RDG 00:50:21
Conor Macnab PAN 00:50:32
Jarvis Macnab PAN 00:53:21
Nigel Frankland RDG 00:53:22
Dave Sackman & Michelle Gallop RDG 00:53:29
Div 1,2 K1 & K2 (and some Div 3 K1s)
Ed Nightingale BOA 00:49:40
Simon Tilbury-Clark & Steven Leonard PAN 00:49:41
Stefan Senk RDG 00:49:43
Kat Wilson & Imogen Collins RDG 00:49:44
Fred Kemp RDG 00:52:15
Jim New RDG 00:52:19
Alex Lane LON 00:54:52
Dan Atkins RDG 00:56:14

Two Reading paddlers selected for GB Canoe Marathon Training Squad

We are delighted that two members of Reading Canoe Club, Kat Wilson (Senior Women) and Fred Kemp (U16 boys), have been selected for the GB Marathon Training squad. This is based on their performance through the year in marathon and assessment races around the UK and abroad.

Good luck to both of them.

Kat Wilson and Fred Kemp were delighted to be selected for the 2016 GB Marathon Training Squad
Kat Wilson and Fred Kemp were delighted to be selected for the 2016 GB Marathon Training Squad