Sprint Racing

Reading Canoe Club has a successful and growing sprint team.

Sprint Racing operates in divisions, so there is good racing for everyone, at all levels. We are proud to have a number of senior and junior paddlers racing internationally for the GB team and for BCU teams. We are also fortunate to have senior and junior paddlers just starting out in the lower divisions, and pretty much everything in between.

You can find all the sprint information you need in the BCU Racing Handbook, or read the extracts you can reach via the RCC sprint links page.

Sprint Racing takes place primarily over 200m, 500m and 1000m distances. There are 5 National Sprint Regattas held each year. The National regattas are a great weekend away, with racing all day on Saturday and Sunday. Closer to home there are several smaller regional regattas – such as the Richmond Easter Sprints, and our own Reading and Wokingham Regatta held in June.

National Regattas

Racing is separated into mens’, womens’, boys’ & girls’ categories. Each category has divisions, D being novice and A being the fastest. Racing is further sub-divided into kayak and canoe classes. Most people start in the D divisions, and then things sort themselves out from there. Promotions and demotions are decided at each regatta, and communcated via the team leader along with the formal results listing. Paddlability is the racing category for paddlers with physical disability and has a strong team of paddlers and supporters at every Regatta. The BCU also supports the Special Olympics for people with learning disabilities, and in June 2006 the Special Olympics took part in the National Regatta for the first time. The Lightning classes are for Under12 and Under10 agegroups, and provide a great way for younger juniors to get into sprinting.

Entries are made via the Reading Sprint Team Leader, who will put up a sign-up list well in advance. You simply indicate which races you are making yourself available for, and indicate any crewboat preference. The team leader & the coaches will decide which specific races and crew boats to enter you for. You could end up very busy because there are K1s K2s and K4s, several distances to race over – and most races have heats and finals. Please note that once you have signed up you are committed to paying for the races for which you are entered – whether or not you actually race, even if your race is cancelled.

Entries are finalised weeks in advance of the regatta dates, so plan ahead! Late entries are possible, but attract an extra fee for K1 and K2 races, and are only possible where sufficient spare lanes are free. Late entries are sorted out at the team leaders’ meeting just before racing starts, and there is no way of knowing before the meeting whether a late entry will succeed. At early regattas the weather can be harsh, and novices should check with a coach before signing up.

For K1 and K2 races you need to get your boats to the lake and make sure they are available for you to use. This means that you need to have enough V-bars on your car, or make arrangements for someone else to help you out. This needs sorting out well in advance. Although we try to help co-ordinate boat transport, it is not the club’s responsibility to get your boats there. The good news is that nobody has to carry the K4s – those are provided at the lake by the BCU.

At NWSC Nottinham there is plenty of accomodation. You can book a room in the centre, there are plenty of hotels and B&Bs, and for the really hardy there is the NWSC campsite (no pre-booking required). During the day we try to park together as a team as far as is possible.


BCU sprint page
BCU world class

NWSC Nottingham – where the National Regattas are held.
Dorney Lake

Map: Dorney
Map: Nottingham