Category Archives: Race Reports

Reading’s Dan Atkins crowned World Champion

It took Reading Canoe Club’s Dan Atkins just 36.835 seconds to power down the 200 metre course at Pitesti in Romania and win Gold and World Champion title in sprint kayaking. Over the previous two days he had dominated both his heat and semi final and was one of the favourites to win. Still it was a very close race, with 2nd place going to Germany’s Tom Maassen just six hundreths (.062) of a second behind him and Spain’s Gabriel Martinez in 3rd place just one hundredth of a second behind that.

Dan said “I didn’t know if I’d won it, but then I saw the scoreboard and heard the cheers from the crowd (the home team and rest of the GB squad) and knew I’d won it. It was a great race.”

He was back in a boat in the afternoon, racing K4 (four-man boat) with Reading’s Freddie Kemp, plus Andras Kereszturi and Philip Miles. They were delighted to finish 11th overall in the 500 metre K4 event.

Dan and fellow Club sprinter Freddie have been lucky enough to train this year alongside the UK’s reigning 200-metre Olympic Champion Liam Heath MBE and his coach Eric Farrell. In fact, this is the second title Dan has won in the space of two weeks – he took Gold and European Champion in Czech Republic just 14 days earlier.

Reading Canoe Club was proud to have four of their paddlers at the World Sprint Canoeing and Kayaking competition this year – an event which saw entries from 63 countries and the world’s very top Under 18 and Under 23 sprint canoeists. Besides Dan and Freddie, there was Sam Glover in the U23 500-metre K4 and Anna Palmer in C1 and C2 canoe events.

For further information on canoeing, please email info@reading-canoe.org.uk

July 2019 K4 Race Day

Hot and sunny – the perfect conditions for a K4 race day. 34 boats were entered across the 5 categories – A (fastest, paddlers division rankings must be 11 or less), B (12-19), C (20-25), D (26+), plus the Rockets.

34 boats in total from 10 clubs, some coming from as far as Nottingham to compete. Reading put out seven and a half crews and gained a 1st in Races D and B, 2nd and 4th in Race C. Ours were the only Rockets, but they showed us all how to race with gusto.

A great day – thanks to all the team.

Interclubs MacGregor Cup 2019

What a weekend of sunshine and racing! What a weekend of results! Team Reading was on top form.

It was great to see our lightning paddlers increase from zero to three – first appearances from Ruth Shephard, Jenna Topham and Jensen MacNab. Awesome racing from all three with the K4 crews gaining a 1st and a 3rd.

Also new to sprints this regatta was James Nelson and Miklos Jnr, progressing to finals in many races. New to the team, but not to sprints was Edgar Boehm in Masters C, who managed a first in every race! Wow! Great points, Edgar.

Bethan D was also on top form, gaining a podium position for every race. Terrific results, Bethan. Georgia Boonham was also on fire, which was lucky as she was in so many races! Particularly impressive was 2nd in her 1000m K1, 1st in her K2 200m and 2nd in K2 500.

Dan A also excelled – 1st in Men’s A K1 200m was impressive stuff; making a course record as a junior was even more amazing. Many congratulations, Dan. Brother Matt, despite rarely being seen in a kayak, scored a trio of 1sts and a 3rd.

There are so many to mention – Evan took 3rd place in every race he was in, Jo Jo and Hannah were delighted to take 2nd in their K2 1000m, Stefan had two 1st places , a 2nd in his K1 500 and 3rd in his K1 1000m. Kat was up for a sprint too, with podium places in all her K2s. Tant was taking no prisoners in K1, scoring a 3rd and a 1st in Masters K4 along with Nigel, Stefan and Edgar.

Sam Glover, back from the Worlds, was 1st in his Mixed K2. The Mixed K2 was a new event. We just want it open to Masters too. Our only canoeist this regatta was Max Kimberley. He gained two thirds and, along with Alex Tonkin, has been selected to Olympic Hopes as a result of this regatta. Many congratulations to the boys.

Many thanks to every member of the racing team, for all those who looked after the babies and toddlers at the event, and to all the support crews and those who volunteered at the regatta. What’s more, there were zero trips to the top of the tower. Amazing. Even more amazing was our 4th place, a mere 4 points behind 3rd place. Well done to all.

Sprint Regatta March 2019

What a great start to the sprint racing year! Thank you all paddlers and those long-suffering support crews who made it up to Nottingham this weekend. We don’t often get a National Regatta in March and we were so lucky it wasn’t freezing or blowing a gale … yes, it was really sunny. Perfect Saturday; excessively choppy tail wind on Sunday, not easy.

14 paddlers strong, we were looking forward to a new season of sprints and our paddlers didn’t disappoint. First off, we were delighted to welcome new to the RCC team Maxim Kimberley and Anna Palmer, both excellent canoeists hoping for selection this season, plus kayakers Becky Swift and Jo Crossley (Matt Clarke’s sister).

There was some really exciting racing from all. A few highlights … top spot must go to Dan Atkins coming first in both his K1 selection races 200m and 500m, which should secure him a place to the Euros in June. Congratulations, Dan, tremendous racing, great results. Also congratulations to Sam Glover whose win in K4 sees him selected for the U23 K4 slot.

Well done also to Finlay coming 2nd in his Boys D 200m final, then Toby and Finlay storming to 1st in both 200m and 500m K2 Boys D. Not forgetting Toby’s performance with the RLS team in Boys C/D K4 500m, coming 1st. Impressive racing boys, and Toby’s first time in Boys D.

Georgia was first time in Girls C and was well up there, making all finals bar one. Alex and Sam B were amazing in their K2 races in particular, coming 3rd in Boys A/B 500m final. There was much more from all our paddlers.

Finally, hats off to Matt and Jo, who suddenly realised that, yes, they had got into the Men’s D (Jo was racing in Men’s D as all ladies had bowed out of her race) 500m K1 final and they had just 10 mins to change, sort their boats and get to the start line. They did it. Impressed!

RCC Juniors reap success at 2018 Olympic Hopes Regatta

The Olympic Hopes 2018 regatta took place 14th-16th September in Poznan, Poland. Competition was tougher than ever, with 716 paddlers from 36 countries. Eastern Europe and Germany once again dominated the event. Qualifying from semi-finals to finals was a feat in itself, with only the top two going through in most semis.

The GB squad, comprising 29 athletes, included two of Reading’s top Junior paddlers – Daniel Atkins and Freddie Kemp. They performed particularly well in their K2 200m, in a hugely tough field, coming 8th in the final. The crowning glory was taking Bronze in their K4 500m race, with Andras Keresztuzi (EAL) and Philip Miles (RLS).

Well done, boys. Great performances.

September 2018 Regatta – the detail!

A team of 19 RCC paddlers, plus dedicated support crews, made their way up to Nottingham for the last regatta of the year – the National Championships for Juniors and U23s. We were blessed with almost perfect weather and some great results.

Unsurprisingly Juniors by far outnumbered Masters, but it was great to have Nik, Lee, a fit Nigel and Jan, who hadn’t raced at a sprint regatta for 15 years! Nik excelled in K1 winning a 1st and 2nd, plus a 2nd in K2 with Lee. Nigel and Jan were 1st in their 1000m K2 and the four of them together did an amazing K4 200m, taking 3rd, losing 2nd place by a hundredth of a second. Exciting stuff.

Matt Clarke chose the toughest regatta to launch his U23 sprint career but seemed right at home on the course, particularly with the K1 200m. Sam Glover, with a few more regattas under his belt, was our other U23 competitor and took two Golds (and National Champion) and a Silver in crew boats.

Our lightning/U12 paddlers, Annabel and Toby, did us proud, gaining a 2nd in K2 and 3rd in K4 and good placings in K1 to boot. It was great to see our U14s, Georgia and Finlay, in A finals and frustratingly close to medals with 4th places. Last race of the day, Georgia, as stroke, took bronze with her scratch K4 crew. Well done.

There was tough competition among the U16 paddlers too, but our quartet of Rory, Sam B, Joseph and Alex put in some terrific racing, their K4 taking 4th, so close to a medal. Other highlights were Sam’s 1000m K1, winning 1st in Final 2 and Rory’s 2nd place in Final 2 of the K1 500m. Well done to all four of you.

Our solo U18 girl, Fran, found a new K2 partnership and first time in a boat together, they won Silver in K2 200m. Super impressive.

It was great to have Jarvis, Thomas, Dan and Freddie battling it out in the U18s. This was an enormously competitive field, as you’d expect. Thomas was a delight, always with a big smile after every race – and it was tough out there. Good to see you in a final. Jarvis seemed to favour the long distances, winning 5th in Final 2 of K1 1000m and good placings in his K2 finals.

Dan and Freddie were awesome in their K2 200m, winning Gold with more than a boat’s length and a very convincing Gold in their K4. In addition, Dan took Silver for his K1 200m and Bronze K1 500m, while Freddie took Bronze for 200m K1. Congratulations National Champions.

2018 has been an awesome season of racing. Thanks to all those who took part and those who have supported. We look forward to more great racing from Reading paddlers in 2019.

National Marathon Championships 2018, 21st/22nd July Hosted by Reading Canoe Club – What a scorcher!

1080 boats from 55 clubs gathered prom side on 21st July for a National Marathon Championship of a lifetime. Glorious blue skies simply added to the occasion. It was an amazing weekend and supremely organized by a small team at the club, headed up by Amber and Paul. Main team players were Immi, Kat, Jim, Jo, Evan and Brian, with considerable support from Stefan and Dan in the last week. It was a formidable team that ensured that the event ran seamlessly and calmly. Smiles all round from their team of 85 volunteers and all the competitors and supporters.

Reading put out an impressive team of boats – 29 K1s and 29 K2s – bagging 6 medals and an amazing 3rd overall in team points, well in front of Wey and Richmond and only behind Nottingham and Norwich.

Top podium position for Reading was, of course, Brian with his Gold for O64 VMK1. Last minute entry Noel with Ethan Hunt gained a Silver in U10 hody. Bronzes went to Catherine Gaffard in K1 and in K2s a Bronze to Dan S and Stefan, Brian and Dave S, and Fran and Manon (ADS).

The largest event of the day was, unsurprisingly, the Mixed K2. That is a formidable event – for spectators watching the crazy start and for paddlers daring to enter it! 81 boats in total entered – a record … just try to imagine the wash at the back of that!

Jo Shephard did an amazing job in the catering tent – serving 1760 portions of paddler food, plus 350 burgers, 160 sausages, 20kg of bacon for the butties and endless cups of teas, coffee, cakes and much more.

Great commentary ran throughout the weekend from Brett (you’ll have heard him at Nottingham sprints) Kat and a few others besides. A most successful weekend on all fronts – thank you Nationals Team and all the many club volunteers who helped to make it run so smoothly.

June 2018 Reading Canoe Club K4 Race Day

K4 race day – always the best of the year – and just like usual, Brian had arranged clear blue skies and, hurrah, minimal wind. Everyone loves K4 race day.

Twenty nine boats from 12 different clubs competed in the five races, each one split according to the speed of the paddlers.

The Juniors were on winning form: Freddie, Daniel, Jim (not Junior!) with RLS Philip Miles came in first in Race A. Fran, Sam B, Jarvis and Rory took top spot in Race B. Bruno, Annabel, Toby and Immi (not quite junior!) came 2nd in the Rocket race, while Reading took 3rd (Chris B, Conor, Danny and Matt) and 4th (Debbie, Vicky, Timi and Nikki) in the C1 race. Thanks Matt A for jumping in last minute to the Vets boat.

Well done to all who competed. It was a great day, with just the right balance of competition and having fun.

Reading Circuit Hasler May 2018

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.