Reading Canoe Club is hosting K4 Races on Sunday 10th October.
The youthful Nigel, one of our longest-standing coaches, turned 60 last year, during the pandemic, so the party that had been carefully planned had to be rapidly shelved. However, it wasn’t forgotten and over just a year, plus two months, we sprung him a big surprise.
Nigel isn’t one for surprises, but he dealt with it well considering. At least it was better that the planned rescue session he thought he was running – a ruse to get him down to the club on a Saturday afternoon.
Erika, Brian and the troop of helpers had planned some crazy silly team games on the water – Death Match, Tug of War, canoe relay, race circuits, charioteers … they packed those games in, sank a few boats and laughed their way through. All rewarded with a slap-up barbecue and lots of birthday cakes.
Nigel was presented with the latest Garmin watch and heart rate monitor as a present from all at the club – he’d been eyeing it up for a while.
Happy Birthday Nigel. Sorry for the surprise, but we hope you enjoyed your party nonetheless!
This was our third set of taster sessions we offered to children outside the club (including those for Emmer Green) – another full house, with at least 30 on the waiting list.
Blessed again with good weather, we had 90 happy children over three days trying out club marathon boats, as well as slalom. The nervous were reassured, while some seemed to revel in capsizing.
Many were very keen to sign up for courses or U10s early next year.
Our lead coaches and our main coaches were outstanding, with lots of great feedback:
‘Thank you for a brilliant day. Connor was a bit nervous but your staff, especially Emily, was very kind to him. He had a fab time’
Yes, Leo loved it, so just waiting for a space on a course.
“It was AWESOME!’.
“He said Emily and Patrick and all your coaches were super, and loved the racing kayak with the steering. He had a thoroughly lovely time. Thank you so much.“
“The children thoroughly enjoyed the kayak session today. They haven’t stopped sharing their experience since.“
“A huge thank you to you & your amazing team!”
First it was to be the 2020 Championships, but we know what put pay to that. But July 2021 loomed and the Nationals team held tight, kept a steady course … and without the slightest wobble, put on an amazing National Marathon Championships on 10th and 11th July.
From the outside, it looked like a walk in the park, but hours of careful preparation since January had gone into the project. The pandemic, of course, meant there was yet another layer of complexity to the event.
Despite Covid, 52 clubs from all the country, including Scotland and Wales, entered the competition, with 385 K1 entries and 213 K2s. There was some great racing and some really exciting finishes. Biggest race of all was the Mixed K2 race, of course. 75 entries in total – that was one mad start! Biggest K1 race was the U16 boys, with 38 entries. Another super choppy start.
Best of all, however, was that Reading Canoe Club was the overall winner in number of points, winning the Spanish House Trophy, plus we won the Spanish Galleon Trophy for U12s. All together we received 20 promotions, eight 2nd places, eight 3rd places and four National Champions – Ruth Shephard, Harry Freeland in K2, Brian, of course, for O69M and Josh Drummond in U10 K2. Full individual results
Well done to everyone who paddled and a big thank you to all our volunteers. So good to be back racing again.
Covid restrictions in place, all spectators banished to the prom side, our first of two K4 race days took place on 27th June. How lovely to have a taste of normality again.
There was a high demand for boats – with 38 entries in total from nine clubs, and a record number of 7 in Race A, the fastest group. Well done Reading for drumming up 13 great crews. All paddlers raced with gusto. It was a great day.
Huge thanks to Brian, as ever, who put all the leg work in, supported by an enthusiastic team of volunteers. Special thanks to Nik T stuck out on the safety boat all morning, rain or shine.
Nottingham June Sprint Regatta, by team leader, Erika H
After almost two years of no sprint racing, 17 paddlers travelled to Nottingham on 5th June to participate in the first sprint races of the season. Conditions couldn’t have been any better: the sun was shining, wind was minimal and everyone was hugely excited about racing again.
Out of our 17 paddlers, 7 of them were taking part in sprints for the first time ever and achieved amazing results. All those Zoom sessions during the lockdowns, the dedication and hard work really paid off and 11 of our paddlers achieved promotions.
Congratulations to Georgia, Annabel, Catherine, Charlie, James, Miklós, Harry, Cormac, Finlay, John and Laurence on their promotions, and well done to the whole team for great racing and all their team support through the weekend.