Category Archives: News

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.

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.

Reading Hasler 26th May 2019

A great day’s racing at the Reading hasler this year. There were entries from 187 K1s and 48 K2s from 24 clubs, with 40 of those boats being Reading Canoe Club paddlers. Overall Reading fielded 11 podium places:

Div 2 K1 – 1st place to Edgar Boehm, 2nd to Jim N
Div 4 K1 – 1st to Finlay T, 3rd to Tom Hollins
Div 5 K1 – 2nd to Sam Hill, 3rd to Kat, both promoted to Div 4
Div 8 K1 – 1st to Charlie Beeson, promoted to Div 7, along with Miklos Jnr
Div 9 K1 – 2nd to Nick Wright
Div 10 K1 – 2nd to Tia Bajpai
Div 5 K2 – 3rd to Nigel and Erika (what a surprise!)
Div 6 K2 – 3rd to Stuart H and Nathan B

Putting the event on and making it run so smoothly was a great team effort, so thanks to all. Particularly big thanks to our main organiser Brian and all those hours he put in to making it happen. Also to the Shephards, Evan and Jo, on logistics and catering.

Masters’ Training Day held at RCC

Special training days and away camps feature frequently for our young paddlers, but this time it was a chance for slightly older ‘athletes’ to grab some attention.

Paddlers from Southampton, Devizes and Banbury were invited to join us for the RCC Master’s Training day, which offered team paddling, technical coaching and the promise of cake! First order of the day involved coffee whilst paddlers were given an overview of what to expect by lead coach Nigel Frankland.

Paddlers were then organised into teams of six with an equal combined Hasler ranking for a 5km team race against the clock, with the watch stopping once the last team boat crossed the line. This meant each team had to work at staying together on the wash. Teams could choose to paddle in any combination of K1s and K2s.

After a brief discussion on team performance a 6 x 200m relay race followed which set everyone up for lunch, which was kindly provided by Jo serving hot food, cake and more coffee. Lunch was more than just refuelling – paddlers had the opportunity to make new friends whilst Nigel held a discussion on what makes a good crew boat relative to the class it races in. Crews should be faster than the sum of their parts by taking into consideration stability, strength, technique, wash hanging and acceleration.

The afternoon provided an opportunity to put this theme into practice as K4s and K2s were taken out with some Masters experiencing their first K4. We were also joined in the afternoon by lead technical coach Andy Rawson. After a group presentation, he provided 1:1 critique in K1, giving paddlers an immediate gain in their performance.

We closed the day with a summary and paddlers left with new ideas to consider and actionable tips to put into practise.

Thank you to the coaches Nigel & Andy for their commitment to preparing the day’s events and their delivery on the day, plus Jo for providing a cooked meal for everyone.