RCC Team at Shepperton, May 2021

On the weekend of 29th/30th of May, a large group of Reading Slalom paddlers headed to Shepperton for the first competition of the year. Having at least one competitor in every category, Reading paddlers dominated the course and came out with great success!

At first glance of the storming river levels, many of our knees began to shake at the extreme water, the first whitewater experience for many of our paddlers – lots were expecting a swim. With paddles held high, every single paddler got on the water and challenged the course head on, with no swims (except Peter upholding his tradition of a Shepperton swim on a practice run), all Reading paddlers did themselves and all the coaches very proud.

Fueled by Liz’s infamous banana bread, Charlotte Fulford reached a win in division 4 and gained a promotion to div3, closely followed by Tia in second place; the girls did an amazing job! For divison 4 men, Rish powered round the course and earned himself 3rd place and received a t-shirt for fastest junior! In division 3, Lisa Fowler turned on her turbo powers and achieved a win in division 3, hot on her tail were Zoe Neville in 3rd and Isabelle Fulford in 4th! On the boys side, George Murphy came 8th followed by Marc Gutteridge in 11th and Peter Skinner in 12th – all finishing their runs with dry hair; a miracle by Marc’s standards! Competing for his first time in England, Ele entered both C1 and K1 events, and with the only disadvantage of snapping his paddle on the start line, he managed to storm around the course achieving great times!

A similar outcome on Sunday, with many away for the Hasler, Reading was down in numbers but no lack in enthusiasm and competitiveness was shown. Coming 5th, 11th and 14th; George, Peter and Marc all produced amazing runs – the only exception being Marc enjoying the water from underneath it!! Lisa Fowler produced an equally amazing time and despite being the only person in her category, managed to come away with a large amount of points and even more prizes! In the Men’s ‘open’ category, Ele reached 5th place closely followed by Andy Neville in 6th. Finishing the day on a high, Ele won a £50 voucher from the competition sponsors Peak UK.

So so so proud of all our paddlers this weekend and couldn’t be more excited to have a large group dominating competitions. Well done to everyone and many thanks to all those who helped with coaching and guiding the younger ones and all parents who came to cheer on the paddlers. Great weekend with great weather; a great success!!