Category Archives: Slalom

Lee Valley Slalom

On the weekend of the 6th and 7th October, some of readings slalom team competed at Lee valley slalom competition in London. This was the first experience for the paddlers to try slalom on fast flowing white water. Many valuable lessons were learnt and it was a great weekend of fun for all.

Cardington Slalom Event August 31st-Sept 1st

Reading Canoe Club slalom team take to the white water at Cardington Slalom competition in Bedford

There has been impressive competition by all, especially between the members of the Neville family; a few tears were shed when Emily beat her dad by 3 seconds on Saturday. But order was restored when Andy Neville beat Emily by 4 seconds on Sunday.

Emily Neville came first on both Saturday and Sunday in her division meaning that she is one win away from promotion.

The rest of the slalom team did fantastically. Special mention to Marc as he stayed upright on every run and didn’t miss any gates. George managed an impressive 5th place on Saturday but powered home for a second place on Sunday.

Tom Robson sped down the course improving on each run homing his precision and timing.

Big thank you to Andy F and Craig for coaching support and supplying lots of flapjack throughout the very enjoyable weekend of paddling.

By Zoe Neville

Shepperton 2019 Slalom competition

Another weekend of successes for Reading Canoe Club slalom team!

On 13-14th July, a number of our slalom paddlers travelled down to Shepperton Weir to take part in the annual slalom competition. For some of our paddlers this was their first ever competition and for many others it was the first opportunity to try moving water. Although managing a few swims early on, our junior paddlers fought really hard in their first runs to manage a Reading-dominated score board!

After quite a few of Liz’s bacon butties at lunch, our paddlers were powdered up and ready for second runs, and the results were amazing! After battling the course (and doing the gates in the right order) Peter Skinner bagged himself first place closely followed by Luke Hadley in second and Simon Gosciniak in sixth, both gaining a promotion to Division 3! Also in Division 4, Holly Williams flew around the course improving her previous time by 62 seconds putting her in fourth place and fastest in her age category. Racing for the girls in Division 3, Zoe Neville shot down the course gaining minimal penalties and a massive improvement of 65 seconds!

Over in the boys’ category, George Murphy, Tom Robson and Mark Gutteridge powered through the gates, taking home trophies for first by Tom and third by George. Mark made massive improvements on his time and performed two upright runs despite having a few wobbles earlier on.

On Sunday our paddlers produced equally amazing runs with Tom and George placed first and third once again, this time with Peter on their tails coming 13th in his first ever Division 3 race! Representing the girls, Erin Bonsall also competed in her first division 3 race managing 5th place and making vast improvements! For the Division 4 men, Simon Gosciniak showed his fearlessness speeding down the course and coming home with 3rd place!

Well done to everyone who competed this weekend, it was astonishing to have a Reading paddler in the top three in almost every category! I hope everyone enjoyed their time on the whitewater and are looking forward to more competitions soon.

By Emily Neville

Slalom Success – Winchester 2019

After a winter of hard training in cold, dark conditions, it was delight to re visit Winchester slalom on a lovely sunny day. For many juniors this was their very first competition and a chance to test their practised slalom skills. I am proud to say that they did us proud with 4 wins and 3 promotions!

All 4 junior girls produced great runs negotiating the course with care and speed. Congratulations to Erin Bonsall and Isabelle Fulford who were very competitive and dug hard to achieve 1st and 2nd place and promotion to Division 3! Close behind were Charlotte Fulford and Holly Williams achieving 4th and 5th place. Praise to Holly who achieved 2 clear runs! Well done girls!

Not to be out done the boys also did extremely well. After a wild first run of many penalties, Tom Robson cleaned up his act and achieved an even faster run with only 1 penalty to achieve top place and promotion to Division 3! Praise to Peter Skinner who under pressure, focused and achieved the best run I have ever seen from him. Well done!

I would like to thank all those that helped make this a successful weekend. To Emily and Natalie Neville for patiently coaching the juniors on the water and then achieving top 2 places in the women’s Open event and with Zoe in 3rd. To Marc for his organisation, camera work and for a memorable one-sided C1 run. To Andy for achieving a very competitive winning run in the men’s open and winning the ‘most canoes on a roof rack’ competition! To all the parents that came and supported, thank you all.

If you would like to be part of this successful slalom team or would just like to give slalom a go, join us on Wednesdays from 6 – 8 pm.

Slalom Coach
Andy Field

Cardington Slalom Weekend

From swinging poles, cheerleading dogs and secret boat purchases Cardington Slalom was a jam-packed weekend full of fun!  On the weekend of 1st/2nd Sept the Neville gang, Liz, George, Jodie, Dan and Mark (and the dogs Charlie and Lola) took part in this competition.

To kick it off Andy sped down the course achieving an epic time (and beating some 12 year olds!). In the men’s division 3, George, Mark and Dan squeezed  through the gates collecting amazing times  that kept improving! On the girl’s side, Jodie, Natalie, Emily and Zoe all raced down the course with Charlie and Lola barking the whole way!

In the end, the girls managed to come out on top, beating all the boys! Go girls!

Overall it was a fantastic weekend of paddling with great success all round.

By Emily Neville

Crazy Course at Cardington!

During sunny September 1st and 2nd, Cardington saw Team Reading venture down its tight course, squeezing past each gate and down its drops.

The first to set off was Andy Neville, who showed impeccable skill as he scooted down the course and was able to improve his score each time. The next to go was Zoe Neville. Although Zoe hasn’t been on as many races as others, she fearlessly approached each drop with confidence and even met with the dreaded gate 7!

Noticeably, there were two men that showed their competitive side – each time they ran the course they couldn’t resist comparing scores and trying to get better times. This was none other than Marc Gutteridge and George Murphy. George showed amazing agility and skill as he came down the course, unfortunately having to move aside to avoid another paddler. This didn’t prevent George from giving it all he had! Marc had two very unlucky swims during his practice and his first run. He didn’t let that stop him though! He shrugged it off and gave it all he had on the second run, without any swims!

Next was Natalie, as she sped off and grabbed a trophy for each day: Under 16. Well done Natalie! (That is a total of 2 trophies). Emily laughed at the course. She sped down showing a great level of determination and grabbed the Under 14 trophy on the first day, as well as fourth place. To top it all off, on the second day, she also won a third place!

Well done Reading Canoe Club Slalom Team, aka Andy’s angels,

You have all done SO WELL!



Further success in Slalom, June 2017

Over the past few weekends the Reading slalom section have tried their skills on moving water! Emily, Natalie and dad Andy Neville went to Cardington. Emily put in a strong run and gained a promotion to Division 3 with a second place. Andy did very well in his first Division 3 race winning the event, commenting, “I managed to win but not by much and against such small kids – they are so fast!’

Last Saturday 6 paddlers competed at Shepperton and experienced their first weir slalom. With the noise and flow of water from the weir, our paddlers were quickly out of their comfort zone. With grit determination and after many swims, they made big improvements in their water skills.

Alex Tonkin recorded a good run at his first ever slalom beating many paddlers from the higher division and gaining promotion to Division 3. Also, after much practice and a few swims, Duncan Edwards achieved a fast final run to win the Division 3 competition.

All must be commended on their perseverance on new and challenging water conditions. Special mention to Peter Skinner who even after 8 or more capsizes never gave up and received Best under 12 in Div4!

Success at first slalom

Congratulations to the Reading Slalom paddlers for their success at Winchester Slalom on 14th May. Ten Reading paddlers competed in their very first slalom against other division 4 paddlers. Competition was fierce. Many of ours achieved clean, fast runs posting excellent times.  Everybody deserves to be very proud of themselves for giving their best on the day.

Success was also achieved in a wave hopper competition – 750 metre dash down the river resulting in a 1st for Duncan Edwards and awards to Marc Gutteridge and Andy Field. Maybe more WWR racing in the future?

Special mention to….

Jodie Barker -1st in Div 4 K1 women, overall winner and promoted.
Natalie Neville – 2nd in K1 Div 4 women and promoted.
Andy Neville – 2nd in K1 Div 4 Men and promoted.
Duncan Edwards – 5th in K1 Div 4 Men and promoted.
Duncan Edwards – 1st in C1 Div 4 Men and promoted.
Andy Field – 1st in Open Class.

Here’s to an incredible achievement from all, well done!!

Junior Slalom Session

Junior Slalom sessions from next Wednesday (22nd). The sessions are open to any junior who would like to learn how to paddle slalom and those who would like to improve their technique.

Sessions will be on Wednesday evenings from 18:00 to 19:00. No need to book, just come along.