Thameside Update 02

Weather – Dress accordingly!
The weather tomorrow is going to cold with icy head wind, please make sure you dress accordingly. Hats, cags, paddle mitts and spray deck STRONGLY recommended.

Start Timing Update
Minor changes to start times, please take note.

09:30 Briefing
10:00 Slow K2 – Odd Numbers
10:10 Slow K2 – Even Numbers
10:15 Slow K1
10:50 Fast K2
10:55 Girls / Ladies Assessment
11:00 Fast Singles
12:30 Finish Window Opens

Buoyancy Aids
All paddlers under the age of 16 years on 1st January in the year of the race must wear a buoyancy aid or life jacket

Division 7-9 paddlers must​ wear buoyancy aids, regardless of the class entered

It is recommended that all other paddlers wear a buoyancy aid or life jacket and dress appropriately, since river conditions can be adverse at this time of the year – we may also declare on race day it is compulsory for ALL classes, ALL paddlers

Boat Buoyancy
All boats must carry sufficient buoyancy secured in both ends to support their own weight plus that of crew members in the water, e.g. inflated airbags or fixed buoyancy blocks. Boats may be inspected before the start and any boats not meeting the requirements will not be allowed to race.

Thameside 2 – Update 01

To help things run smoothly we are putting a couple of additional measures in place you need to follow:

TRAVEL

Handy Cross Roundabout A404/M40 J4
There is planned roadworks at this roundabout / motorway junction.  This is expected to have impact on traffic. Please check and plan your journey accordingly.

AT THE START

Check-In Procedure
When you have paid your race entry fee online you will be able to see you race number.

On race day you must tell your number to the check-in team who will confirm your name and then give you a Southern Region number board to use.  Numbers should be returned to the catering area at the finish

Competitor food should also be collected at check-in

No other number boards are acceptable. Remember – no online payment – no number – no race

British Canoeing Membership
Everyone racing is required to present their BC card at check-in or pay for day ticket.

So, remember to

  • Bring your BC card (this is not a Hasler Race)
  • Bring & wear appropriate kit
  • Park legally and considerately
  • Take your litter home

 

AT THE FINISH

Finish Line – not the same as previous years
This year will be finishing just beyond of the bottom of the island at Longridge, please see map. This is the same place, for those familiar, as DW Day 2 finish.

Parking
The parking at Longridge Activity Centre is very limited, therefore please car share where possible and ensure that you park legally and considerlity at all times. We need to minimize our impact on the environment.

Restricted facilities – Longridge Activity Centre
This year we don’t have sole access to the Longridge activity centre. Therefore the event will operate from the “east end” of the site, please see map. We will not have access to any indoor facilities. Toilets will be available in the overflow car park.

Catering – Longridge Canoe Club
Longridge Canoe Club will be selling refreshments on the finish site.

Message From Longridge Activity Centre:

“We would like to make everyone attending the Thameside 2 event this Sunday aware that Longridge will be unable to provide the use of toilet, shower and changing facilities for the 2018 race. Due to having previous commitments and our responsibility and duty of care to young people we regrettably will be unable to provide access to facilities for participants of the Thameside 2 Race. We trust you can understand our reasoning here and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The Thameside 2 organisers are bringing their own portable toilets for participants use. Rest assured, we have the race in the diary already for 2019 so that we can fully support the event moving forward. We appreciate that many of you use Longridge on a regular basis and so are familiar with where our toilets are, so please remember to use the alternative toilets provided by Reading Canoe Club.”

Thameside 1 2018

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.

Nigel and Bruno

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.

The Hills

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.

Timi and Nathan

Thamesides 2018

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 are able to enter online & pay* until 14:00 the day before the race. With a limited number of spaces available, once the race is full, entries will be closed.

Thameside 1
Aldermaston to Reading 11 Feb 2018
Early bird entry close Friday 9-Feb 12:00
Entry close Saturday 10-Feb 14:00

Thameside 2
Reading to Marlow 25 Feb 2018
Early bird entry close Friday 23-Feb 12:00
Entry close Saturday 24-Feb 14:00

* 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 before the race.

British Canoeing’s Flat Water Racing Skills Training Day for Juniors

By Jim New

Reading Canoe Club was the proud host for British Canoeing’s first ever Flat Water Racing Skills training day. It was for Juniors, from Div 9 upwards, and was held on Saturday 13th January.

With over 60 children on the water from 20 clubs under the supervision of 13 coaches, it was a great success. Some had travelled far – Swansea for starters, Chester, too. All paddlers seemed to have great fun, as well as work really hard. Although the flow had dropped considerably, the less capable paddlers dealt with the conditions really well.

The day started with a briefing for the coaches to get them thinking about goal setting and talking through ideas. The first task they set their paddlers was six times 1000m efforts, each with a turn around a buoy at the 500m mark. Whilst that session was going on parents were having a talk on goal setting themselves and how to support their athlete children.

Lunch was provided by Simon, Seumas and Vicki – baked potatoes and hot filling of either chilli con carne or chickpea and tomato curry, which seemed to go down well and provide the necessary refuelling!

A second session comprised 200m efforts for the younger ones, while the older paddlers tried out the K4s. A near capsize from Sam Betts’ boat was thankfully averted when he momentarily let go of his paddles. The other K4 was stroked beautifully by Finlay Topham!

Overall the day was a huge success with great praise given to the club. Thank you to all who helped – from parking duty to mass catering and clearing up. Yet again we proved what a great club we are.

A special shout to Seumas for so much of the organisation.

Ladies Training Day at Reading Canoe Club

Saturday 14th October saw the first National Ladies Training Day since 2015. It was hosted by Reading Canoe Club, with volunteers from Reading and other clubs. Forty nine female paddlers, aged between 12 and 58, arrived early Saturday morning ready for action.

They came from 19 different clubs, from right across the country – from as far afield as Cornwall, Wales, Runcorn, Cambridge and Nottingham … as well as Reading. One paddler studying at Edinburgh University flew down specially for the occasion.

The first session of the morning was all in K1, with the participants divided into groups according to speed. We had seven coaches on the water from six different clubs, giving instruction on improving performance.

The next session was land based – a presentation on Strength & Conditioning, from Steph Morris. With a MSc in the subject and a great deal of experience, some of that with the rowing fraternity, she was enormously informative.


After lunch, there was a Q&A session. Nothing sedate about this, it was done in a special speed dating format! Who knew speed dating could be such fun and so illuminating?! We had five top female paddlers in the room and each table of 10 or so had 10 minutes to quiz them, before moving on to the next high-achiever. The five were Lizzie Broughton (just this year winning a Silver and Bronze in the Sprint World Cup in Portugal, winning the DW mixed K2 in 2015 taking the record and countless other medals in marathon too), Hayleigh Mason (just returned from the World Marathon Champs with a Bronze in K2 and with many other titles, including a Gold for K4 Sprints at the World Cup in 2011), Alice Murphy (another DW mixed K2 winner, Div3/Women’s B paddler, Level 2 coach driving high standards of coaching at Banbury canoe club and much more) , Dee Paterson (on the board of British Canoeing and British Para Olympics, with titles and GB representation across many disciplines including slalom, marathon, dragon boating, ocean racing and most recently, squirt boat World Championships) and Jo Bates (26 years paddling experienced, has raced for the GB team in both sprint and marathon, is lead coach at Falcon and just this year won Over-34s National Marathon title in K1). It was utterly fascinating and inspiring to converse with these five top-performing women and hear the different paths they have taken to achieve their phenomenal success.

Last on the schedule was the K2 session – the 21 K2 pairings expertly put together by the coaching team. All were new partnerships to make it even more interesting. Two 4k handicap races ensued, complete with portage. Terrific fun as had been the rest of the day.


The event had been masterminded by our own Kat Wilson, along with Alice Murphy and Lizzie Broughton on behalf of the MRC. They did a fantastic job, as did their band of helpers, including Tamsin and the kitchen team, who provided cake and hot drinks for break time, along with a hearty lunch of filled baked potatoes and salad, plus apple crumble and custard for pud.

When’s the next one? We can’t wait!

Summed up by Juliet Fookes of Devizes:
“Thank you SO much for Inviting me to THE MOST tremendous Ladies Day”

K4 Race Day 
– a bonanza turn out!

Sunday 1st October saw Reading Canoe Club’s second K4 day of the year. Whereas the April one had been surprisingly quiet, less than ten boats, October’s set a record – a total of 40 boats. That was from 10 different clubs, some travelling from as far as Cambridge. What love for K4 racing!

Although Reading Canoe Club didn’t have so many of our boats on the podium, we did enter nine boats all together across the six start lines. It was great to see so many junior boats out, going at it with gusto and getting that feel of synchronicity!


Top performing boat was in Race B2 – juniors Fran, Sam B and Rory with Dave S giving a helping hand – winning 2nd.


Even the weather was fine. Thanks so much Brian – we all had a great racing day. Thanks, too, to our gardening chefs, Catherine and Dominique, who made the delicious pumpkin soup from that crazy-sized pumpkin!