August 31st/September 1st saw the final National regatta of 2019 – the National Championships for Juniors and U23. Our select Reading team comprised purely of that … 12 juniors and two U23s. With our World and European Champion, Dan Atkins, in the line up, we certainly hoped for a few medals.
In 2018 the team won a total of 9 medals, four of those Gold. In 2019, we tripled the number of Golds to 12 and a total of 25 medals. That was awesome racing, Team. Well done to you all, whether or not you won a medal. You raced brilliantly.
Dan unsurprisingly took a share of the medals – 6 Golds and two Silvers, two of those Golds won within 7 minutes of each other (200m K2 with Freddie, then two races later, K2 200m in Men’s Open). Freddie and Dan’s K4 also took Gold – the same crew that competed at the World’s. All together Freddie took home three Golds (K2 200 with Dan, K2 500 with Philip Miles and the K4, the latter two with four hours sleep!).
Talking of K4s, both Georgia’s k4 U14 Girls and Sam B and Alex T’s U16 Boys K4 won Gold. Toby and James N’s U14 K4 won Bronze, as did Finlay’s in U16!
Toby B was racing k2 with Harry Freeland (soon to be racing for Reading). They went a storm, winning Silver for all three distances.
Sam and Alex repeated their success of 2017, taking Bronze for K2 500m and 1000m, plus Sam won Bronze in K1 1000m. Georgia and Mollie Ball from DEV were also on top K2 form, winning Silver for both 500m and 200m.
Not be out done by the Juniors, Sam G in U23s, took a Gold in K2 500m.
It was great to see Rachel jumping into a K2 with a new paddler, Ruby from Elmstead, and a Royal K4. Annabel was in great paddling form in K1 and in K2 with Beatrice from DEV. Becky and Rory, both in U18s but only just, raced really well in a tough field. Becky took first place in Final B in both 200m and 500m K1.
Immi even jumped in a boat – a K4 with World’s junior canoeists Alix Aitchison and Charlotte Carey, plus Emily Illinesi. They didn’t win, but they laughed all the way to the finish line.
It’s been a great year of sprint racing for the Club. Do get the dates for next year’s regattas in your diary!