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!!

Jolly Japes with Reading Canoers

‘There’s nothing half so much worth doing as messing about in boats’, so said Water Rat in Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows – set nearby on the Thames.

For novices at Reading Canoe Club it can seem a little far away this ‘messing about’, as you are encouraged to join time trials and circuit training, core focus and rowing machine sessions to carefully calibrated rock music.

The offer of a ‘Gentle Social Paddle’ with a pub lunch sounds just the ticket to adjust the balance.

As usual for RCC the proceedings started at the crack of dawn. We were ordered to be at the club by 9 for drill with our paddle and life saver.

Milling about

A friendly and expectant crowd milled around at the corner of The Warren where the club is located. Boats were loaded, lifts were arranged, satnavs coordinated. Suddenly the trailer rushed off – to deliver the boats to the start point and then to be parked by the finish at Abingdon. Several minutes later a very handsome canoe was brought to the road for loading. O dear! Too late! Back to the shed! I didn’t realise at the time this was ‘my’ boat.

North of Oxford the Thames is split into several streams and one of these near Wolvercote is our start point. One of the first to arrive spotted kingfishers flitting around the water by the bridge.

It was here I learned that, because a boat had been left behind, three of us would be allocated to a boat with two seats.

One of my co-canoers was desperate to get going – maybe to claim one of the two seats, so I felt obliged to join him. We floated around on the water, quite comfortably while others threatened us from the bank.

Bombing the beginner

When Nigel was ready we floated off, pushing hard on the paddles. These Canadian canoes are steered by the person sitting at the rear. Me, I sat in front and just kept at it. I never saw what my steersman (or rather, steerswoman) did, but I could detect a little critical banter between our midshipman, perched on a pile of life vests in the middle of the boat, and the boss in the back. Eventually we got rid of the dissenter when he climbed over to another boat with three seats.

Continue reading Jolly Japes with Reading Canoers

May Sprint Regatta

Well done to all RCC paddlers at this weekend’s regatta – a great set of results. Saturday was windy, a tail wind in fact, but those waves, particularly from 200m to the finish line, were not helpful! Still, our paddlers took all that in their stride and there were some great performances from Juniors and Masters alike.

Great to see our two Juniors promoted last regatta – Dan Atkins and Fran Boonham – racing really well in Boys B and Girls C respectively and getting into Finals every race. Our two Boys D paddlers, Sam Betts and Alex Tonkin, also did a brilliant job, getting into a final every race, and really pushing hard and accelerating into the finish. It was Finlay’s first regatta in Boys D and he raced well in both his 200m and 500m distances. Fred in Boys A put in good performances, particularly in his 200m K2 which was Mens A/Boys A combined. They came a 3rd.

Brian and Tom – O34 K2

We had a good show of Masters at this National Championships regatta, also getting into every final. A Bronze and a Silver each for Brian Hammond and Tom Hollins in their O34 K2 races. Well done to all our Masters – Nigel, Nik Topham, Tony Machin, Lee Atkins, Brian and Tom.

And it was a Birthday regatta for Lee too – hence two birthday cakes and a special Birthday swim … perfectly time for past the finish line!

The team
Lee with his cake

Devizes to Westminster 2017

Congratulations to all our Reading Canoe Club paddlers who competed at this year’s DW. The race boasted some of the best conditions seen for many years, but, whatever, it’s a grueling 125 mile race.

We had two star performers among the K1s – Ro Battison taking 1st Place in the Senior Ladies, with time 19:33:15. Radek, just back from cycling halfway round Australia, got into his boat and came an amazing 2nd in 16:17:02.

Radek
Ro

Special mention, too, to Conor Macnab (strictly speaking Pangbourne Club, but who also trains at RCC). At 17, he was the youngest K1 on the course and, competing against the Seniors, came a tremendous 27th (out of 75) in 20:21:25.

Conor Macnab

Out of 119 K2 Senior crews, Des Hayes with partner Ollie Shaw came an excellent 47th  in time 24:05:39. Rachel Spanton and RAF’s Sarah Richter weren’t far behind in 57th completing the race in 24:40:15.

Rachel and Sarah reach Westminster

Brian Hammond, paddling with former RCC paddler Alison Galloway, was forced to retire after 17:12:40 because of his shoulder injury. That’s a hard call.

Gail Battison gives you the lowdown of Ro’s race and the grueling task of being the support crew. If you are thinking of participating as crew or competitor, it’s a must read. Thanks Gail.

DW from a supporter’s perspective

When Rohan first suggested she may do the DW race I thought she was a bit over optimistic. She last did any real long distance paddling more than 15 years previous, and had spent the previous year recovering from a bad leg break after a skiing accident. I didn’t really give it much more thought until she went out and bought a K1 and entered the Waterside Series.

Her motivation was strong, she was paddling for a cause close to her heart, ‘Macmillan Cancer Support’ She started putting the miles in over the winter months, paddling from Gailey Canoe Club, with the occasional weekend down at Reading.

Continue reading DW from a supporter’s perspective

Thameside 2 – Update 2

As with T1 we have had unprecedented demand for Thameside 2. Due to the concerns of the impact this will have on facilities at the start and end of the course, we have closed entries for Thameside 2.

It is fantastic that we have such high interest (almost double some previous years with over 350 seats!) but need to manage congestion in order to avoid any potential negative impact on permission to run the event in the future.

You are still able to log in to the site to check details and complete payment.

We currently have 93 on the slow K2 start, therefore currently considering options

Start

  • If your payment has been received you will now be able to access your race number
  • Parking: Please use the Rivermead Leisure Centre car park and take the short walk across the field to check-in
  • Competitor food will be given out when you check-in

Finish

  • Parking is tight, so please can share as much as possible
  • Regrettably there will be no hot food on sale at the finish, only teas and coffees.
  • Results will be updated regularly
Course Assessment

Thameside 2 is challenging 18 mile course with 8 portages. Although we take every possible action to minimise risk to paddlers, it is critical that paddlers, coaches and parents assess whether they are able to complete the course safely.

We assess the course on four key measures; flow, temperature, visibility and wind speed.

We then ask paddlers to assess their own competence against experience, paddling ability, equipment and support.

The competencies source needs to be higher than the course score.

Assessment on 9-March

The forecast is currently good, with no additional rain expected. However, the river is on a mix of yellow boards rising / yellow board decreasing. Therefore the expected course score is 6.

At this point no additional safety measures will be applied. However, all boats should be fit for purpose and fitted with sufficient buoyancy. Buoyancy aids are recommended for all paddlers and compulsory for anyone under 16.

Final course inspection is scheduled for Saturday 11-March.

Thameside 2 – Update 1

As with previous years entry is online, however this year entry is only online. You will NOT be able to enter or pay on the day!

You can enter online & pay* until 14:00 the day before the race

Thameside 2 – Reading to Marlow 12 Mar-2017
Early bird entry close Friday 10-Mar 12:00 (Junior £11 per seat, Adult £13 per seat)
Last entry Saturday 11-Mar 14:00 (Junior £15 per seat, Adult £17 per seat)

* Only online payment can be received on Saturday before the race. If you are posting a cheque it needs to arrive at the latest Friday 10th.