Rob 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!