Category Archives: News

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.

Junior’s Summer Camp at RCC

On the 28th July 40 Junior paddlers descended on Reading Canoe Club for a Special Training Camp. With paddlers coming together from 9 different clubs it was certainly an experience that no one will forget shortly. The Camp was led by Devizes Coaches Trevor and Bev Hunter, Daniel Colby and Reading Coach Jim New. 

The week kicked off with some of the speedy boys shooting off to Dorney first thing to be coached by Eric Farrell (Liam Heath’s Coach), while the others got started at the club. At the end of the day, participants stayed on to take part in the club’s weekly time trial – a record number for attendance with a 50-boat staggered line-up! Tough for time-keepers!

Tuesday was our wet day. Not to worry – another group was off to Dorney to be coached by Eric, while the rest of us endured the rainy Thames. 

Wednesday was the final day for camp goers to visit Dorney and it was the turn of the youngsters. They had a very special treat, training with the big man himself – Liam Heath!! They came back with the biggest of smiles and buzzing with excitement. Truly a memory they will hold onto for a very long time. 

The rest of the week was held at RCC and was a huge success. With much thanks going to RCC club paddlers for being hugely welcoming. The children all worked extremely hard during the course of the week and enjoyed their downtime at the campsite. With their brains buzzing and bodies exhausted from all that training, they got to enjoy a film night on Thursday, this is with great thanks to Jonny Nelson and Nik Topham for organising and getting this set up. 

Friday came around, the last day, and after a hugely fun day with training and racing completed, it was time to get back to camp before heading home Saturday morning. The last evening was a personal favourite, we had a massive bonfire on the go and the children took to playing catch and cricket (the bat was a bit of wood they found on the floor!) together and reminiscing on the best bits of the week. Us coaches got to enjoy poems that the junior paddlers had created at our expense! 

It was a fantastic week!! I would like to say a massive thank you to all the organising team at Devizes CC and Siobhan at Banbury. I would also like to say a massive thanks to the Tophams for the use of their garden for the camping. Right, on to planning next year’s now!!!

Handicap Race and celebration BBQ at RCC

Monday 5th August saw the 2nd in our Handicap race and bbq. It was fortuitously placed just in time to welcome our World’s Paddlers home. They returned home that afternoon – the new World k1 200-metre Champion Dan Atkins leading the squad down the path, as 60 RCC members, with paddles raised, cheered them through, flags waving. Not only did we have our Reading Worlds paddlers – Dan, Freddie, Sam G and Magnus (OoP member), we were delighted to have fellow GB squad members Alix Aitchinson and Philip Miles come to join in the fun.

Thanks Jim, Nigel and all the team for organising such a lovely celebration evening and fun event and all the amazing decorations.

The Annual Picnic Paddle 2019

31st July saw a happy group of us set off for the annual picnic paddle. We took the boats up to Pangbourne early and waited with Stormy for everyone to arrive. It was a cold but sunny start to the day, especially for those who experienced the river a little earlier than anticipated!  Once boats were allocated we set off to enjoy our day, I was lucky enough to share a boat with Alice who kept me entertained with her energy and chatting all day!

We arrived at Mapledurham lock and had fun sinking down with the water, then carried on through to the beach where picnics were enjoyed by all.  Next was the official messing about in the river – luckily it was lovely and warm by then. Nigel and the kids and some of the big kids (adults) swam, sank boats, splashed one another and generally had a good time for a couple of hours before setting off back to the club just as the cows decided to come for their lunchtime swim.  A leisurely paddle downstream took us back to the club where, of course, we ended the day jumping into the river multiple times!  Another successful picnic paddle!

Fun Day 2019, July 13th, by Erika

We had the perfect conditions for the Club annual Fun Day: not too hot and not too cold, slight breeze and a pretty warm river. And this year even I managed to take part and left other mums to do the scoring.

Four teams of six were completing in Brian’s championship games and we all had an amazing time. Playing balloon murder, ferry relay, fill the cup game, basketball (on the water), tug of war (of course) jousting, all finished with a nappy swim.

Thank you Brian for running this fantastic and fun-filled event again this year, the kids (of every age) loved taking part.

Reading paddlers take top awards at the 
Devizes to Westminster 2019 Awards

We were a very proud club to have three teams of paddlers collect awards at this year’s DW ceremony of winners.

The race back in April had been unseasonably warm with low water flow – quite the opposite from the previous year, when the whole event had to be halted at Dreadnought due to the dangerous water levels and flow. The greatest hazard to paddlers this year was heat stroke!

We had five crews and two singles attempting the race this year:

  • Dan Seaford and Alex Lane
  • Sam MacDonald and Rai Ranveer – Junior
  • Nick King and Lisa Munga
  • Vicky Elson Smith and Miriam Mimms Graham – retired due to heat stroke
  • David Mills and Peter David – retired
  • Marc Gutteridge
  • Bethan Davies

Senior Doubles
Dan Seaford and Alex Lane magnificently won Senior Doubles with a time of 18:01:58, over 13 minutes in front of second place.
They were awarded three trophies – for fastest civilian crew, fastest mixed crew and fastest overall K2.

Support Crew of the fastest senior crew went to:
Anita Seaford, Alana Peake, Owen Peake, Peter Stuart, Peter Burbridge, Magnus Gregory – for supporting Dan and Alex.

First Senior Lady
Fastest K1 lady and fastest veteran female Trophies went to Bethan Davies with a time of 19:26:35 over the four days. She was awarded the Black Swan Salver and Longridge Trophy.

Within the Endeavour group (non-competitive), we had Nick King and Lisa Munga racing. This was their first DW and they were delighted to finish the four-day marathon.

Reading CC was very pleased that their paddlers also were awarded the Trans Class Team Trophy for Senior Double, Junior Double and Senior Single teams with the aggregate time of 59:34:15 from Dan and Alex, Sam and Ranveer (time 22:05:42) and Bethan’s times.

In addition, Sam and Ranveer received a Special Commendation award for assistance rendered to a K1 that capsized on the Tideway.

Well done to all crews, singles and doubles. It’s a formidable achievement – just the training is a monumental achievement in itself.

Children’s Festival 2019

Every year, the Club puts on three days of Free Taster sessions for 9-16 year olds during the May half term week. It’s part of the annual Reading Children’s Festival and the Club is delighted to support it. It often helps to recruit a few more junior paddlers too.

This year we saw 63 children getting their first taste of canoeing over the 12 sessions. They were able to try out the lightnings, Canadian canoes, leaving the best until last – the Bell Boat with a jump over board at the end.

None of this could have happened without the support of coaches and meet-and-greet land-based helpers generously giving up their time. Many thanks to Keith Simpson (who also took all the bookings), Evan and Jo Shephard, Brian G, Mark King, Seumas, Hannah Sealey, Amber Owen, Rebecca Jennings, Becky Packer and Nicola Nelson.