Welcome to Royal Canoe Club!

We are the oldest canoe club in the UK. We offer canoeing/kayaking facilities, instruction and activities at Trowlock Island, Teddington, Middlesex – near Kingston-upon-Thames, in south-west London.

Please check out the links on the site for more information about the canoe club. New members are always very welcome at Royal Canoe Club. Read on for details of how to join the club. 

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Junior Regatta and Paddling Challenge results

A big thank you to everyone who came to the club at the weekend for our annual junior regatta and the Paddling Challenge.

Click here for the Paddling Challenge results.

The Sprint regatta results are here.

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Hasler marathon results

Thanks to everyone who came to the annual Royal CC Hasler marathon on Sunday. We had a terrific turnout and competitive racing across the divisions.

The race results can be found here.

 

 

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Royal do battle at Hastings

royal1Rob Beer writes: It may be called the 1066 Hastings canoe marathon but the race itself takes place in the lovely town on Tonbridge on the Medway river. It was a hot, sunny day and with temperatures well over 20 degrees the racing was going to be long and hard for everyone involved.

Starting off were divisions 7,8,9 and lightnings, first up Jessica Hanchett and Zoe Clark in division 7 K1. And they set the tone for the day with the field split up due to the width of the river (not very wide). Jess stormed to a 2nd place and a promotion to division 6 and Zoe came in 7th. Next was Andrew Barton in division 8 K1. He flew off the line taking the lead only to get caught up in a crash and turned where the river narrowed down. He fought back to 6th place. I’m sure next time a win and promotion will be on the cards.

In division 9 we had Suzanne Smith and Ellen Slack both having solid races, Suzanne came 4th and earning a promotion to division 8 and Ellen came home 16th. Louis Hanchett and Ross Bradley had a in different type of race getting mixed up in a battle with another crew which ended up in a capsize and a retirement – better luck next time boys!

The Lightning team frankly put all of us to shame. There were just the four of them Daniel Madden, Luca Shearer, Ptolemy Morris and Bea Clark but they racked up 3 medals between them: Daniel a 2nd, Ptolemy a 3rd and Luca a 6th in the under 10′s and Bea grabbed a 3rd in the under 12′s. They also claimed 2nd place in the other all light points cup which is a great achievement.

After a short break, the long course of 12 mile and 8 mile races began. I was off first in division 1, not a little apprehensive after not having done a marathon for 3 years. I have to say it was a long way but highly enjoyable, and I was 3rd (er, out of three) but 18 valuable points still scored for the club. Just don’t check how far behind I was but I will claim the loudest cheers ( or were they boos?) when I was awarded my medal. Behind me in division 3 was the club’s vice captain, Tim Humphries, and also Nicole Williams who raced Tim all the way to the line only to get pipped into 4th place on the sprint finish.

The eight mile course was also going around at the same time. Rene Myburgh was in division 4, she raced hard to finish in 5th place. Keira Madden was in division 6 and raced well to come 9th.

We came 5th in the over all club point table which isn’t too bad with a team of 16 racers so well done to everyone who attended. To everyone who didn’t race, we are missing you as we need those Hasler points so we can qualify for the Hasler final this year – so please come and race so we can win some prizes!!

Our own Royal Hasler marathon is on the 22nd of June. See you all there!

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Paracanoe’s great hope Fernandes sets off for Rio

 

Even if you don’t know Fernando Fernandes personally, you’re sure to know who he is. A former male model and reality television star, the toned, photogenic and very personable Brazilian was already a household name in his native country before spinal injuries sustained in a car accident almost five years ago changed his life and set him off in pursuit of different equally high-profile life goals.

Paralysed from the waist down, Fernandes accepted that life would have to be different. But having always defined himself as a winner, he was not prepared to allow his injuries to define him as a person.

Just weeks after his first surgery Fernandes took part in a wheelchair marathon and then went off to try out a range of Paralympic sports before settling on paracanoeing. Powered by a highly muscular frame and dynamic approach to his sport, Fernandes has transformed perceptions of his new sport, winning four world titles and setting out his stall for medal success in Rio 2016 – when the sport makes its debut at the Paralympic Games. For this athlete it’s not about putting demons to rest but more about showing what he and others with perceived disabilities can achieve, given half a chance.

“I regained my freedom through paracanoe,” says Fernandes, whose busy training schedule which would severely test any able-bodied athlete. “There is nothing an able-bodied person can do in their boat that I cannot do in mine. After the accident, I thought I had lost. But once I was in a boat I realized I would be on equal terms with everyone.”

Despite similarly intense training regimes paracanoeists endure a few inevitable differences from their able-bodied counterparts. For Fernandes this is not an obstacle, just a small problem to be overcome in the search for the right tools to do the job properly.

The main challenge is coping with safety considerations which can restrict paracanoeists from training by themselves. The time and difficulty involved in carrying boats to the water and then mounting them without capsizing can be time consuming. When assistance is not available alternative methods of getting sessions done have to be considered.

“For me, it’s all about ergometers,” says Fernandes, whose machine of choice is the KayakPro SpeedStroke Kayak version.

Brazil, he says, is investing heavily in canoeing and paracanoeing ahead of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and these tools have become a vital part of preparations.

It’s not just in day-to-day training but also at competitions where preparations can soak up time – at regattas, where event programmes often run to tight schedules, this can restrict the time available for paracanoeists to warm up adequately.

Many teams do take kayaking ergometers to regattas to help their athletes warm up adequately and safely. The International Canoe Federation also relies on ergometers (especially the single paddle Va’a and the double bladed kayaking model) so it can determine the level of disability of each would-be paracanoeist, and from that their ‘classification’ for competition.

“My paralysis means I need assistance to get on the water and because this is not always available ergometers can fulfil an important role in my training and preparation,” Fernandes says, as he outlines his key experiences with the devices.

Q: So, Fernando, how often do you use an ergometer?

A: Once or twice a week, every week. It’s not just out of season when it’s colder but even during the racing season. When I’m on the water I can practice balancing the boat very well but I need special supports on the ergometer that’s adapted to my personal needs

Q: To what extent do paracanoeists use an off-the-shelf ergometer or does yours require special modifications?

A: Well, to an extent it depends on the classification of the athlete. In my case, as I have no feeling in my legs, I need lumbar and hip support, which is really important for me to paddle properly.

Q: Do you use your ergometer just to reinforce your on-water training or does it serve any other purpose?

A: My ergometer is a really important part of my training. It helps me with my balance training but I rely on it when I don’t have the chance to go out of the water. It’s also a key part of my physical conditioning regime out of season.

Q: What sessions do you use your ergometer for most? Short intervals or longer paddling sessions – or both?

A: It’s not for one specific part of my training. I use it for resistance training and endurance sessions. It’s also very realistic for training my starts so I can say there’s no aspect of my training where it hasn’t been useful.

Q: Does the ergometer reinforce or replace part of your on-water training?

A: Well, actually I find it particularly good for working on my core. I’m able to work really hard on specific parts of my body, probably much harder than I can on the water. The reason for this is that when I’m on the ergo I’m not scared about going a little beyond my limit whereas when I’m on the water in my kayak there’s always that little thought in the back of my mind that I could fall in if I’m pushing too hard.

Q: So you’d describe it as an important training tool?

A: No, it’s much more than that. I’ve used it for two years and it has been absolutely fundamental for my training. I see its potential as going beyond kayaking, however. I’ve talked to a number of other Paralympic athletes because I think it’s a brilliant training aid for people who have any type of major injury. When you think that many people who live in cities lack decent access to training facilities or even professional coaches, the ergometer means there is no reason why they cannot still train intensively.

Q: How important is paracanoeing in the development of perceptions of disabled sport?

A: The growth of Paralympic sport has been incredible – London was sensational because it meant Paralympians were seen in the same light as Olympians and this has meant people stop seeing disability but rather they see someone with a disability doing sport at elite level. I see myself not just as a kayaker but as an ambassador. When I sat in the kayak, I had the sensation of regaining an ability I thought I had lost. I saw that I was on equal terms with everyone and I could see I have a responsibility to spread this message and to contribute to the sport’s growth.

This article was written by us for Grayson Bourne and a KayakPro promotion on Sportscene.tv. Other canoeing ergometers are available!

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