Category Archives: News

Thameside 1 – Update 20-Feb

Final course assessment is yet to take place, however, this is forewarning that a number of additional measures will be in place; restricted entry, compulsory buoyancy aids, mobile phone to be carried.

Restricted Entry / Course Assessment
Thameside 1 is a challenging 12 mile course with 12 portages. Although we take every possible action to minimise risk to paddlers, it is critical that paddlers, coaches and parents assess whether they are able to complete the course safely.

We are continually assessing the course on four key measures; flow, temperature, visibility and wind speed.

Paddlers need to assess their own competence against experience, paddling ability, equipment and support. Competence Form

We are currently scoring the course for Thameside 1 (23-Feb) as 16, paddler competence needs to be equal or higher than 16. For those who don’t meet the criteria, will have the option to transfer entry to Thameside 2 or refund.

All boats should be fit for purpose and fitted with sufficient buoyancy, there will be checks of paddler kit and boats prior to the start.

Next update will be Friday 16:00

Thameside 1 – Update

We are currently monitoring the conditions in the lower sections of Kennet-on-Avon canal. We will need to apply a degree of special measures (e.g. compulsory buoyancy aids, restricted entry) or cancel the race depending on how the river level drops over the next couple of days.

Next update will be Friday 16:00

Brian’s 70th Party

A big thank you to Brian for turning 70, agreeing to a party and making us all wear fancy dress! There were some great costumes along the ‘B G’ theme, some members totally unrecognisable. We had a rash of Bad Guys, a glut of Bunny Girls, Green & Black, a buxom schoolgirl … named Brian, Batmen, Barbies and Ken, burglars, a British Gladiator, even a Hot Dog (great work, Jean) … so much imagination.

Just over 80 turned up to celebrate seven decades of Brian. It was great to see some former crew paddlers of Brian’s and former members of the club – Lucy Perrett – the Club’s first Olympic finalist, Rod Kinch, Heather Brough (a former K2 partner of Brian’s).

There was lovely food by Sabine and Jo, an amazing array of puddings from us all and a magnificent chocolate and Guinness cake, courtesy of Georgia and Imogen. Then music and dancing. Oh what a night!

Christmas Mix and Match K2 with breakfast

76 paddlers took to the water on Saturday 14th December in the Christmas Mix and Match event, all dressed in festive garb – that was 32 K2s split over four starts, plus three K4s. What a spectacle for passers-by on the prom – Christmas come early! This was no gentle paddle, however, but a hard-fought race to the finish – 8km up, down, up and down again, in a couple of loops to accommodate the high flow.

A slap-up, big-fry breakfast followed for 86. A great fun morning all round, with brilliant organisation from Alex and Nigel on the pairings and the boats, and a slick production of breakfast from the catering team.

Thank you all – so good, please can it be an annual event?

More Christmas this week, with a leisurely paddle in Canadians up to the Oracle, singing all the way.

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.