It was party time … 84 members, family and friends congregated at Reading Canoe Club on the evening of 17th November. Dancing shoes on, glitter scattered liberally and we were ready to party. Most of all, we were all keen to know who had won what!
Greeted with a glass of Prosecco, guests had time to mingle, before settling down to hear a very polished, relaxed and entertaining presentation from Immi and Kat. Nigel gave his round up of time trial – records broken, miles paddled, and this year’s king and queen of tarts (the ones with the most K2 partners through the season). He then presented us with his amazing ergo session statistics, before naming this year’s ergo dragons (those who paddled the most strokes on ergo machines). Miriam, on a 3-minute time limit, gave a quick round up of PIGs (paddler improver group), naming Lisa her top ‘PIG’.
Club colours were awarded to 10 members this year:
Trophies were given to:
Paddler of the Year – Bethan Davies
Sprint Paddler of the Year – Dan Atkins
Ashes Trophy (for greatest contribution) – Amber Owen
K2 of the Year – Dan Atkins and Fred Kemp
Veteran of the Year – Jan Raciborski
Swimmer of the Year – Fran Boonham
Most Improved Paddler – Matt Clarke
Most Improved Junior Paddler – Finlay Topham
Junior Paddler of the Year – Sam Betts and Toby Betts
Slalom Paddler of the Year – Emily Neville and Natalie Neville
Cruse Cup for most hasler points scored – Evan Shephard
It was an entertaining, very enjoyable and lively 90 minutes, after which the kitchen leapt into action and provided a tasty dinner of chicken and chorizo with salad, followed by an array of stupendous puddings. Our members are so good at rustling up a totally irresistible selection.
Tables and chairs cleared, there was just time to finish the evening with a bit of boogie special, mostly, but not exclusively, from the junior contingent.
A great evening of celebration and lots of fun was had by all … just as it should be!
Sunday was another great day at RCC. We had just over 40 paddlers attending the second of our series of 4 winter training days. The 40 juniors were spread across six clubs coming from a variety of directions – Nottingham, Banbury, Devizes, Southampton and Falcon were all in attendance, as well as paddlers from our own club.
We had 3 groups out on the water for the first session, all doing a variety of different sessions. The younger ones were off doing 1km, while the older and faster juniors were speeding off up and down the river. These groups were led by Jim New, Imogen Collins, Brian Greenham, Trevor Hunter (DEV), Ian Thackray (DEV) and Graham Warland (BAN).
The second session consisted of 100m relay running, on the opposite of the river to the club.
Just after lunch we had a talk led by BC coach and RCC Head Coach Imogen Collins, talking about how to train smart and get the best out of your training.
After that we split off into 5 teams and completed three 500m relay races and one 5K relay race. In this session we had a couple of swims from various over zealous paddlers!
All in all another great day at the club helping a variety of paddlers learn from different coaches and one another.
The date for the 3rd in the series of training days will be 16th December, where we look forward to seeing more young and enthusiastic juniors take to the water.
What better way to start the month than the Club’s annual picnic paddle.
Brian took us to Pangbourne bright and early with a collection of Canadians where we sat guard with Stormy’s help for a couple of hours until everyone arrived.
It was a mixed group of 18 adults and children who made their way to Pangbourne to paddle back to the Club with a fun-filled stop off at Mapledurham beach for a picnic. We did all miss Nigel though – he was poorly – but we were determined to try our hardest to enjoy ourselves.
The sun shone, the water was warm and everyone had lots of fun. We mixed up the boats, tried to keep together, but the children’s boat, despite their excitement, fell a little behind. So Timea hopped in and single-handedly paddled the 5 of them down the river.
A leisurely paddle became a bit competitive for some and we reached Mapledurham lock in record time, ready to descend the lock. Once we convinced the children they didn’t need to hold onto the side, we sank down and paddled out.
Next we arrived at the beach where we stopped to eat our picnics. Luckily the cows that had been there earlier had wandered off. We were joined by Erika and Dominic at this point too for a little added excitement. Food was followed by 2 hours of fun in the water, with children and adults alike enjoying Brian’s makeshift slide and trying desperately to sink the boats and each other. Almost everyone had a go in Dominic’s Nelo, some with more success than others and giving all juniors something to aspire to.
Soon it was time to head back to the Club so off we went, enjoying the scenery and wildlife, spotting kingfishers en route, whilst admiring Dominic’s skill at surfing the wash of any powered boat which passed us.
We all arrived safely back at the Club and ended the adventure in true junior style with a synchronised jump in! Another successful RCC outing.