Category Archives: Race Reports

RCC has a brilliant start to the new hasler Season

Pangbourne heralds the start of the new hasler season and it was held in perfect conditions – bathed in sunshine and minimal wind. Reading put out an impressive team of 34 paddlers and were delighted to come away with the highest Club points. Well done Reading and all those who took part!

There were some impressive podium finishes too:

  • 3rd Div 3 K2 Kat & Nigel
  • 3rd Div 4 K2 Duncan & Peter
  • 1st and 2nd Div 7 K2 Thomas & Joe, Erika & Michelle
  • 1st Div 8 K1 Lilli
Seumas
Seumas
Brian & Jim coming into the portage.
Brian & Jim coming into the portage.

2016 Nottingham Interclubs Sprint Regatta

First weekend of September saw the 2016 Interclubs Sprint Regatta at Nottingham. Thirty three paddlers made up the team for Reading Canoe Club competing in 75 races – or 119 if they all reached their finals – over the two days.

The Club had ten paddlers new to sprints. They took to the course with gusto and, with the rest of the team, produced some impressive results and podium finishes.

At the end of the long weekend of racing, the Club came a very impressive 3rd place overall out of 96 Clubs, beaten only by Chelmsford and Wey.

Well done to all our sprinters!

dan-laszlo-interclubs
Dan and László
rachel-eleanor-interclubs
Rachel and Eleanor
ro-fran-interclubs-2
Ro and Fran

Official Results on canoeracing.org.uk

Nottingham June Regatta and bikini weather

What is wrong? Three consecutive regattas now it’s been bikini weather! 24° by Sunday afternoon and a just a light puff of a tailwind.

It was Thomas Perkins first regatta and first time in a boat with Pennine’s Jack Civico. A great performance – they were in finals for both 200m and 500m, gaining 2nd for the latter. Thomas also showed great competence in his K1.

Thomas goes all out in K2 with Pennine's Jack Civico
Thomas goes all out in K2 with Pennine’s Jack Civico

Kat Burbeck and Imogen Collins were both competing for medals in the Senior Women’s Open and Women U23 respectively and racing K2 together. Pretty tough competition, but both were in finals for all races and only just missed out on medals: 5th place with sub 2 mins for 500m K2, and Kat gained 4th in K1 1000m. Indeed, our DW champ managed PBs in all her races.

What colour coordination from the terrific Senior Women K2
What colour coordination from the terrific Senior Women K2

Fred lost his K2 partner last minute to examitus, so he spent all Saturday in the Scottish camp, racing K2s and K4s. First race K2 200m – whoa! – they stormed it, winning it by two boat lengths. 500m K2 was also a great race to watch – sheer grit and determination gained them 3rd place. Good to see Fred back in a K4 too – it’s been a while and he can’t have been too shabby (“it didn’t run too badly” said their rather dour coach) as he’s been asked to join them next regatta, too. Sunday was serious K1 day. Highlight was his favourite 200m Boys A/B and getting into Final A.

Fred lining up for his favourite K1 200m
Fred lining up for his favourite K1 200m

July Regatta is round the corner, so get your name up fast! Deadline for sign up is this Sunday 12th June.

If you think your sprint racing is a bit rusty, look out on Facebook for some sprint training sessions Immi and Kat plan to put on to sharpen you up.

Make sure you keep Interclubs regatta weekend free – 3rd/4th September. We need you!

Nottingham May Regatta

You, too, could share in the sunshine and pleasure of Nottingham Regattas! Can you believe, two regattas in succession and we had minimal wind (bit of a tail in fact) and an abundance of sunshine. We certainly couldn’t.

It was the Master’s National Regatta, so we increased our number of racing paddlers by 200% – Fred, Immi plus the four Masters, Brian, Nigel, László and Stefan. Brian and Nigel were up for everything – all three distances in K1 and K2, plus a K4, Stefan almost everything and László, everything but 1000m!

Great results, too. Brian-the-Legend in Over 64 took two Golds and a Silver in his three K1 distances. Nigel in Over 54, with a larger field, went into finals for everything and seemed to gain a fondness for 7th place. Our Over 34s, Stefan and László also succeeded into getting into finals in all but 200m K1, but medals were just out of reach.

Brian with is medals
Brian with his medals

Immi in Women’s A decided 200m K1 was enough to show willing (!), yet with ease gained a place in Final B. Fred managed a PB for his 200m K1 42.79 secs, and, after an ok Saturday, woke up on Sunday a re-energised boy and powered through his 500m K1 and K2, gaining a second place in both finals. It was like he and his new paddles had worked things out.

If we continue our exponential increase, we should have 18 paddlers signed up for June already! Deadline is this weekend, 15th May, so pop your name up fast!

GB Juniors trip to French National Championships

Over the weekend of 26th / 27th September the Marathon Junior Development Squad travelled to France to compete at the French National Marathon Championships, the equivalent, if not grander version of our National Marathon Championships.

The event was held in a town called Bouchemain near Angers on the River Maine near its confluence with the River Loire.

A team of 14 juniors travelled with 4 coaches to the event including Fred Kemp and ex Reading paddler Hasfer Kabeer. The object of the trip is to show the juniors what it is like racing away from home friends and parents etc. All the GB juniors taken are top paddlers in their age group in the UK, so generally above the average standard of the French paddlers in their age group at this event. However, so as to make the race more challenging all of the GB juniors are entered into the age class above what they would paddle in the UK. None of the juniors are expected to win, or win easily, but to experience racing with foreign paddlers etc.

The format of the racing is similar to the UK Championships with K2 racing one day and K1 racing the next with courses of 15km or 20km and two or three portages.

The course was an upstream start with a 500m sprint to go under and fairly narrow bridge arch before joining the course proper. Then onto laps of around 5km with a portage at the end of each lap going almost immediately into the bottom turn.

The river at Bouchemaine is quite wide compared to most English rivers and capable holding starts of 70 plus paddlers without taking up the entire width of the river. However paddlers on the far left certainly had their work cut out for them against those that started on the right. There was some flow on the river, but not too much. But there was an increasing headwind over the weekend on the upstream section making parts of the course choppy.

Fred raced K2 with a boy called Timmy Dowden from RLS in the under 16s event. There were 26 boats in their start. From the start of the race the boys were in the lead group and seemed quite comfortable. The two pictures below shows how well they started. The pictures are taken 7 seconds apart! Fred is in the back of the yellow boat on the left.

FrenchNationalChamps1 FrenchNationalChamps2

Portaging at this level is fast and furious. The portage itself was onto a pontoon only capable of taking 2 K2s per side, and one side being particularly difficult to come into at speed. Missing the pontoon or misjudging it meant a sort of beach portage which needed some care! Fred and Timmy portaged well although missing the pontoon on the first lap and sprinted away with the lead boat each time causing the remaining French to chase hard and reducing the group at each portage.

The following pictures shows the boys in the lead group approaching the portage and deciding that only the far side had space.

FrenchNationalChamps3 FrenchNationalChamps4

Missing the pontoon and doing a beach portage, but still being with the lead boat at the other end of the portage!

FrenchNationalChamps5 FrenchNationalChamps6

The boys eventually lapped the girls… That’s Hafsa waiting to put her boat in! Around another lap and to the finish!

FrenchNationalChamps7 FrenchNationalChamps8

Fred and Timmy finished a very credible 2nd. To the credit of the French organisation there were two prize giving ceremonies, one International and one French Championship, unlike a couple of years ago when the British only walked away with the knowledge of beating the French!

On the Sunday Fred and Timmy were out again but racing each other and 57 other boys.
Fred coming into and out of the first portage.

FrenchNationalChamps9 FrenchNationalChamps10

Fred coming through the second portage. And leaving the second portage.

FrenchNationalChamps11 FrenchNationalChamps12

Finishing with Timmy, 2:57 behind the winner.

FrenchNationalChamps13

Well done Fred and Timmy.

9 Medals For Reading Canoe Club at Marathon Nationals

On the 22nd and 23rd August, the National Marathon kayak and canoe Championships took place in Norwich. This is a huge event for athletes within the sport, and is hosted by a different canoe club each year. People turn up to race in different age categories, all with a vision of winning their race and becoming National Champion for their age group.

This year, 11 members of Reading Canoe Club competed in this national event with some fantastic results.

In the Under-14 races, Fred Kemp and Stephanie Hutchinson were representing their club. Fred won a Silver in his K1 race, and Gold and National Champion in his K2 race with his partner William McCracken of Banbury Canoe Club, making them the fastest Under 14 K2 partnership in Britain.

Fred Kemp finishing in K1.
Fred Kemp approaching the finish line.

Similarly, in the Under 14 girls races, Stephanie came 2nd in both her K1 and her K2 race with Flossie Ball of Wiltshire Youth Club. It is an excellent achievement for Reading Canoe Club to have two of their juniors on the podium and more great results followed for the rest of Reading’s competitors.

Stephanie Hutchinson
Stephanie Hutchinson finishing.

Alex Lane finished the Under 23 Ladies K1 race in an impressive 3rd place, and promotion to division 3. She then went to to earn another bronze medal in the Senior Ladies K2 race with Nottingham paddler Katherine Burbeck.

Alex and Kat
Alex and Kat approach the portage.

One of the best performances of the weekend came from Brian Greenham, winning National Champion for the Over 64 Men’s race against some tough competition. Brian is a coach at Reading Canoe Club, and is a very inspirational figure for the juniors. Nigel Frankland, another brilliant coach at the club, partnered up with Brian and they competed in the Over 54 Men’s race in which they came 3rd after an exciting sprint finish.

Nigel and Brian
Nigel and Brian sprinting for the finish.

Also racing for Reading, Sam Newlands came 7th in Senior Men, which was his last race in the UK before heading back to New Zealand. Stefan Senk raced in the Over 34 category finishing 4th. Brian Greenham raced again, this time in the Over 49 category coming an impressive 6th.

In K2, Fred Kemp also raced up in the Under 16 category with Tim Dowden to finish a very impressive 4th. Imogen Collins partnered up with Emily Illinesi from Elmbridge to come 4th in Senior Ladies. In the Mixed K2 race Reading fielded 4 boats, highest placed where Radek and Alex, who came 7th. Having stormed through the field Ro and Brian had a swimming adventure at the bottom turn on the last lap, but they carried on to finish 25th.

Finishing 8th in the medal table out of 48 clubs, including one from Spain, was a great result for Reading Canoe Club.

Results: Final Results

Photos: Chris Worral (Flickr), Mike Rees-Clark (Facebook), Phil Caisley (Facebook), Olypics (Facebook)

6th out of 46 for Reading Canoe Club at Nottingham Interclubs September Regatta 2015

Sixth out of 46 clubs – now that’s not bad going for a team of just 20 paddlers, is it? But then all our competitors were pretty game and most seemed to have put a hand up for every race going – K4, K2 and K1, for all three distances. Perhaps, not quite, but nearly.

We had some great results, too – two firsts for Tony M in K1 and by a long way, and two more in K2 with Paul Ralph (naughty Paul – remember, always weigh your boat!), another for Nigel in his 500m K1 and 3rd in his K2 with Peter M. Vicki and Bethan scored a hard-fought 2nd place in their 1000m K2 and 3rd in their 200m K2 final. Dan S was 3rd in both his 200m and 1000m K1 finals – amazing when he hadn’t been on the water for 3 weeks! And more 3rd places for Stefan, Laslo and Evan. Erika had to jump into Anita’s K2 for 200m and they raced to 4th place.

DSCF8582
Tony & Paul ahead of the field.
Beth & Vicki.
Beth & Vicki.

Perhaps the most exciting races to watch were the K4s – both Masters K4 were soooooooo close, on one we reckoned they lost by a mere 3.8cm. Gutting. And the Ladies K4 took an excellent 4th.

Masters A/B K4.
Masters A/B K4.
Ladies C/D K4.
Ladies C/D K4.

It was a great weekend … and yes, that was partly down to the weather. How is Vicki L ever going to believe that Nottingham’s National Water Centre is nearly always the coldest, windiest place in the UK when she’s just attended two consecutive regattas and both were sunny and calm! Unheard of.

The most enjoyable aspect of the weekend, however, was the number of paddlers from Reading we managed to get up there. That with the great weather meant we could all loiter on the steps, by the finish line, chatting and cheering on our paddlers. Loudly.

DSCF8575
Loitering on the steps.

Roll on next year – let’s get an even bigger team up there and win back the MacGregor Cup!

Nottingham Regatta July 2015

Junior and Under 23 National Championship

Ah, this was the Regatta we had all been waiting for. Some of us, namely Steph and Fred, because it was the Juniors and U23 National Championship, and the rest of us because of the weather. Yes, for once a no-show for howling head winds; a little breezy and lots of sun Saturday, total calm Sunday.

That certainly seemed to play to our Junior paddlers’ strengths; they put on a phenomenal performance. Steph was Final 1 for both her K1 races, 4th in 500m and 5th in 200m, then on the Sunday got in a boat for the first time with Floss from Wiltshire and stormed to 2nd.

K2 partners Steph and Floss win second in the K2 final
K2 partners Steph and Floss win second in the K2 final

Fred, too, was on fiery form. Glad to have his usual K2 partner back in the boat, despite his knee injury, he and James swept the board, picking up a hat-trick of National Champions Gold for K2 1000m, 500m and 200m. And for K1 … Fred was National Champion for 200m, and Bronze for 500m. “What happened with the Bronze” was his middle brother’s only comment! Both the 200m performances were particularly strong with the field left well behind. It is his favourite distance after all.

Fred with K2 partner James after winning the 200m final
Fred with K2 partner James after winning the 200m final

Vicki Lucas bravely took to the course for the first time with very respectable results for all three of her K1 races. Sam Scowen was there, coming 4th in her 200m K1, Plus our other two Sams – Kirschstein and our borrowed Kiwi, Sam Newlands and Radek, too. RCC almost felt like we had a proper posse up there, especially when Immi turned up on Sunday to cheer everyone on! Radek and Sam’s K2 1000m was an impressive 3rd and, for the 5k race, they came 5th and 3rd respectively.

See you all up there for Interclubs on 5th/6th September with more of that no-wind-and-lots-of-sunshine!

June Nottingham Regatta Highlights

Now there’s windy and there’s super-windy. June 6th Nottingham Regatta – now that was diabolically windy, with white horses at 200m, so you can imagine what it was like at 1000m. Horrible.

With One Direction playing at Cardiff on 6th, Stephanie and team leader Erika were out of the picture for this one. Sabine stepped back into position. A small sprinkling of paddlers came up – good to have Sam K there, great to have you back on the water and what a storming win (1.43secs in front of the next boat) for you in the Under 23 Olympic Development Squad K4 they asked you stroke. Result!

Sam Newlands, our ‘borrowed’ Kiwi paddler, was up there dealing with the English weather. Terrific K2 race with another Kiwi, so close it required a photo finish and they were just edged into 2nd place by .04 of a second.

Sam Scowen completed our trio of Sams representing Reading and in her 500m K1 she came a tight third, while Duncan came a very respectable 2nd in his Men’s 200m sprint.

Sam Scowen waiting for her start at 200m
Sam Scowen waiting for her start at 200m

Laslo was up there for Sunday morning – impressive win in Master’s C K1 500m – easy. Surely time they put you up into Men’s B?

Fred in Boys C seemed to cope with the horrible wind at 1000m, pacing himself well to get into Final A for K1. A bit disappointed with his usual favourite – K1 200m. But he saved the best to last with his 500m K1 Final B on the Sunday. Explosive start (always), led the field, but by 200m had slipped to 6th. This time, however, he had left plenty in the tank and stormed through to a 1st place. That was soo exciting … but then I am his mum!

Hope to see many more of Reading Club members in July. And definitely at Interclubs in September. Remember you need to register by July 5th latest to be permitted to race in September. Ask Erika for details.

Fred in a K2 waiting to battle the waves at 1000m
Fred in a K2 waiting to battle the waves at 1000m

Thanks to Nikki Jacoby for the report.