Category Archives: Thamesides

Thameside 1 2020

With heavy rain, sodden ground, overflowing rivers and high winds for the two weeks preceding Thameside 1 this year, it was exceedingly touch and go whether the race could go ahead. In fact, on the Tuesday before it, Race Coordinator Dan Seaford did a race inspection and found parts of the towpath under more than a metre of water.

Still Dan had faith and by Saturday, the weather and the water levels had dropped significantly. So, with special measures in place and only experienced, competent paddlers permitted to partake, the race went ahead.

It was a tight ship on organisation, very well run. Thanks Dan. Participants were understandably down, but still there were entries from 28 K1s and 29 K2s. Harry Freeland from RCC took 1st in JMK1, his dad Jeremy was 3rd in VMK1, while among the K2s Erika and Nigel were 3rd in Mix K2 and Bethan with FOX paddler Anna was 2nd in SLK2.

Thanks to all the volunteers who risked the wild weather to man the course and the whole RCC team for making it happen.

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

Head of the River

Please note this Saturday see the Reading University Head of the River race, there will be river closure in place between 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:30 to 16:30. The rowing club have also booked the club room.

Thameside 1 Photo’s

Some excellent photos from Thameside 1. If you have taken photo and want to share, please email us a link to your album.

flickr: Tony acs | Chris Worrall

Regional Marathon Advisers co-ordinator – Mick Nadal

As the first races approach for 2015, just a reminder of a few rule changes, most of which are highlighted on the marathon website.

The most noticeable perhaps are:

1) After considerable representation made by race organisers and officials over illegibility of numbers, particularly on finishes, the MRC have made a rule change for this year, to insist on using insulating tape for numbers on our existing boards. A quick look at a few of the photos available in various places online illustrates why. I thought my number boards were fairly clear as I take care over making them, but compared with even rather untidy tape numbers they are quite faint and on sunny days much less legible. We were one of the clubs where results were delayed and we thought a paddler was missing last year, because of a badly made number in pen on a grubby board misread at the finish. (I personally examined the board as it was one of our own paddlers.) Once tape numbers are made, they can easily be remade over and over again using the same tape.

Next year there will be a change made to opaque white boards that are slightly larger to accommodate 4 digits, but meanwhile you can continue using your old ones (properly cleaned I hope.) During this year the new boards will be available and can be used. I’ve already started slicing up my stock of 60 yellow boards as plant labels (you get about 22 per board.)

2) Promotion of more than one division will mean no points towards Hasler scores at either regional races or Finals. The need for this has become clearer as some clubs are still not ranking their paddlers accurately, either by choice or lack of experience. I would like to hope that it’s the latter. It was illustrated on this year’s Frank Luzmore where some paddlers rankings were clearly shown well below their real ability including national squad paddlers (who may not often enter regional races.) For clubs that have difficulty in ranking their paddlers, there is a copy of the system that the National Ranking Officer uses on the website. For those who find the calculations tedious, it uses the HC values from page D1 of the handbook. This is very similar to the spreadsheet I use and probably slightly more obvious on how to use it.

These are the 2 rules that spring to mind most obviously. I’ve asked Wiki to include some additions to the help notes on the HRM for other rules that have been around a long time, but some people had not seen. (Most obvious is the one where races involving Div 9 Singles or Div 9_9 Doubles need combining, should always be combined downwards to Div 9 so that Div 9 paddlers get full points, not into Div 7 or 8.) The new HRM should be available soon. As usual I’ve helped with testing to iron out possible problems, so if organisers need any support, just ask (I may be able to help.)

Also need to mention the BCU courses for event safety which all organisers will hopefully have attended before their race.

Thameside 2 – Update

As it stands, the Thames will be on red boards for this Sunday’s event. This requires additional safety measures to be introduced.

At a minimum the following rules will be enforced FOR ALL paddlers, this could be increased further if required.

– Compulsory buoyancy aids
– Compulsory sufficient boat buoyancy
– Compulsory spray decks for kayaks
– Sufficient kit
– Self assessment (PDF Form)

The Self Assessment form gauges your likely ability to complete the race in the conditions forecasted.

Final Course inspection is taking place on Friday, at which point the course score will also be published. Using the course score and your self assessment score should give you a good guide on whether you are able to take part.

Please keep checking the website for updates.

Thameside 1

Thanks to all those who supported the Thameside 1 event today, both on and off the water. The course is a most for any DW paddlers to practice. The low bridges and tricky locks did not take too many victims.

All bar one of the 136 boats that attended the race today completed the course. Fastest boat went to Lizzie Broughton and Keith Moule in a time of 1 hour 22 minutes. Which is possibly a course record, will need to check the historic results.

Thameside 2 – Reading to Marlow is on 1-March, another must for DW paddlers. Online entry system will open shortly.

Lost: GPS watch went missing from the men’s changing, the owner is very keen to have it back. Therefore if you pick up an extra watch, please get in touch via email

Thameside 1 Results

Thameside 1

Entry to this year’s Thameside 1 is very high, this will put pressure on both start and finish sites.

Therefore, where possible, please car share and remember to always park legally and considerately. This is very important to future of this event.

Overflow finish car parking:
Please use Albert Road, which is short walk from the club. Please see map for directions.

Everyone racing is required to present their BCU card at check-in or pay for day ticket.

So, remember to
– Bring your BCU card
– Bring & wear appropriate kit
– Park legally & considerately

Follow results here

Waterside Series

Waterside A marks the start of the build up races to the Devizes to Westminster race (DW), now just a little over a week away. Start sheets and start window charts have been published. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to stick to the time table. These measures are required to manage the impact on the local community, which is key to ensure the future of this event.

Clubs and groups with large entries should car share as much as possible, every car counts!

The organisers are still looking for volunteers, so if you can spare a couple of hours drop an email to Waterside Team

Thameside Series – Entries still Open T1: 15-Feb & T2: 1-Mar

The Thameside races cover possibly some of the trickiest parts of the DW course. Usually the point where the light is starting to fail for many crews during DW and there are number of slightly different portages (cross islands, lock gates and under bridges, in weir streams), plus some low bridges – so well worth practising. The Thameside series cover Aldermaston to Reading (T1) and Reading to Marlow (T2)

Thamesides 15-Feb & 1-Mar

Entries for the Thamesides is now open, please check race details and enter here!

Club Sport personality of the Year!

Check out our very own Sam Kirschstein picking up the Junior Male Sports Personality of the Year.

New Bridge – Tow Path Closure!

Construction of the new bridge across the Thames at Reading (just below De Montfort House) is in progress, there will be some tow path closures. So keep a look out. Check out some artistic images.