Our brilliant coach, ‘Brian the Legend’, competed at the World Masters Championships this August. He entered the Masters 65-69 years and, with a start line of 23 competitors from 16 countries, won it. That adds yet another title to his huge haul. Many congratulations, Brian, you truly are a legend.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A very enjoyable weekend of racing at Nottingham. Lovely to see three new members to the RCC sprint team – Rachel Nelson and Sam Hill putting in gutsy performances in K1 and crew boats and Tant Hill in the Masters crew boats.
Great racing at every level – lightning, junior, Senior and Masters, with a haul of eight medals. Most from the Ladies(!), with bronze from Tant Hill and Chris Boonham in K2 1000m. Big well done there. Sorry no pic! Congratulations go to Silke, in particular, with her three medals in the Over 34 Women’s Masters – a Gold for 200m K1, Silver for 500m K1 and another Silver for the 500m K4, along with Vicky ES, Miriam and Debbie A.
Happy Birthday to Rachel for the Saturday and Miriam for the Friday, plus thanks to Immi and Miriam Mims Graham for delicious cakes. And to support crews for all the behind the scenes assistance.
All these weeks of snow, wind, rain and the April regatta managed to land on the one sunny weekend. Weren’t we lucky. A glorious sunny Saturday and pleasant Sunday, and most importantly minimal wind. Amazing!
We were a neat team of 10 paddlers, with the Juniors dominating this regatta. There was some terrific racing. Stand out was Fran – 2nd in her 200m K1 and 1st in both her 500m K1 and K4. Lili, her first regatta in Girls C, was also a winner in that terrific K4, as well as winning a 3rd and a 4th place in her 500m and 200m K2 with Jessie from Banbury.
Alex T and Sam B were first time in Boys C. Great results – 2nd and 3rd in their K2 500m and 200m and reaching finals in most of their K1 races (we won’t mention your swim on the finish line for the 1000m heat, Sam, and you’d almost won it!).
Dan and Fred were vying in Boys A/B K1 200m. So close, Dan winning it by 0.29 secs, so that was Reading 1st and 2nd. Dan was also 3rd in his 500m K1. Their K4 selection race was a heart stopper, so so close and just beaten by the other squad boat. So all to play for at the K1 European selection day on April 28th.
It was great to see Lee, Silke and Vicky ES on the water, racing, Silke gaining 5th in K1 200m and Silke with Vicky winning 2nd in their 200m K2. I know we’ll see many more Reading Masters at the May regatta.
And Jim had an amazing weekend of racing. He was up against all the top men in the country and reached finals for all his K1s and was 5th in his 200m K2 with Spencer Armstrong.
Well done to you all. And thank you to the great support crews, too.
Through the night the rain poured and the wind howled, but come the morning of Thameside 1, skies were blue and the sun shone. Thankfully, as it just took the edge off freezing temperatures.
50 K1s and 65 K2s took to the Kennet Canal over the next two hours and raced the 12 miles and 12 portages (or 14 if you didn’t squeeze under the low bridges) back to Reading Canoe Club. We were very lucky with the racing conditions – the aforementioned sunshine, plus a handy tail wind which only occasionally became a cross wind! That was until the Thames. Upstream against 40mph winds was not pleasant even for the hardiest crews.
Great organisation from Dan S and his team. It all worked like clockwork. There were a handful of Reading crews among the entries, most notably Nigel with Annabel/Bruno (half and half) and Tant Hill with son Sam, who came 2nd and 3rd respectively in Junior Vets, Jim who came 2nd in K2 mixed, and Alex Tonkin and Sam Betts who came 5th and 8th in a tough field of Junior Men K1.
We were a small team at July’s Nottingham regatta – six Juniors, three Seniors and two Masters – but judging from the results, all were in top form. And that’s despite it all those school exams.
Among the juniors …
Lilli stormed the final of K1 500m Girls D, taking 1st, and, racing K2 for the first time with Jesse from Banbury, was 2nd in their K2 500m final. Well done to Lilli – she has gained promotion to Girls C.
Fran, for the first time in Girls C, raced well in her K1s and won both her K2 races 200m and 500m with Molly from Norwich.
Finlay was racing K2 for the first time with Sam from Wey. They looked really strong and great timing. He also looked impressive in his K1s, racing fearlessly for the first time in his Zedtech.
Dan A was racing really well in Boys A, getting into A Finals for all his K1 races. He and Jim looked really strong in Men’s A/B K2 500m.
Fred was on form with an impressive two-boat length lead in his 1000m Boys A K1 final (B), and with an impressive time. He was 3rd in his 200m final, missing 2nd by .05 sec. That close! His favourite race was K2 200m with RLS’s Alex, with a very convincing win, 3 seconds faster than the next nearest boat.
Both Dan and Fred raced together in a K4 they’d put together with Ealing and Richmond. Their 1000m, last race of the day, was uplifting to watch, with their crew totally in command, ‘sailing’ past the rest of the field and finishing with at least a two-boat length lead.
Great to have Neil Barton racing for Reading, taking 3rd in his K1 200m final Men’s B, not his usual distance at all!
Kat in Women’s C took a very convincing 1st in her 1000m final and was just pipped into 2nd in her 500m final (by .06 sec!). Kat and Immi jumped into a K2 for Women’s A/B and showed us all how it should be done.
And our Masters – Nik and Lee – raced very well, taking 3rd in their K2 1000m. In their K1 races, Lee was 3rd in 200m, Nik was 2nd in 200m and 3rd in 500m, impressive when they’d been the ‘party boys’ the night before! Poor Finlay, did you get any sleep?!
All got to their races on time, albeit with a couple of numbers missing. A number-nicker was at large – no kidding! A great racing weekend.