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.
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.
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.
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.
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.