Some 200 competitors braved moderate winds to turn out for Royal Canoe Club’s annual Hasler marathon on Sunday. Despite recent rain, flow was modest and every class was quorate with competitors from every age and ability competing across the divisions.
Just three canoeists turned up to race Division 1 but otherwise there were some packed races, including 19 paddlers entered in Division 9. The Lightning paddlers enjoyed some hard-fought 1 and 2-lap races around Stevens Ait 0r ‘Tea Pot Island’ as it is known at Royal.
Other highlights included a South African entry and the appearance of numerous paddlers from other clubs in the region – and others from further afield, including Royal Leamington Spa Canoe Club and Nottingham Kayak Club.
I’d like to thank everyone who came along and made it a memorable event.
I’d particularly like to thank all the Royal Canoe Club members, parents and friends who kindly gave their time to help run the event.
Royal paddlers did well – there were wins for Gemma Ruff and Gemma Browne (Div 5 K2); Fenella Boulter (Div 5 K1); Phil Harcourt (Div 7 K1) and Aisling Bradley (Div 9 K1). Zoe Clark won the U12 Lightning girls race.
It was also good to see a number of people taking part who haven’t been racing at Royal Canoe Club for a few years, not least Wey Kayak Club Olympian Eric Jamieson, Graham Stonehouse (the former Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race chairman), ex-GB marathon team coach Pete Gorman, ex-GB paddler David Martyn (second in Division 5!) and Royal Canoe Club Olympian Hilary Wells, now at Richmond, who managed to get around Hampton Court in Division 5 K2 with her niece, Emily Dresser. (That’s the nepotism out of the way, then. Ed.).
The full results can be found here.
Our next major events at Royal Canoe Club are the Junior Sprint regatta on July 7 and then the Paddling Challenge (10,000m/5,000m races) and the Post Olympic Games party. You are all invited and we look forward to seeing you there.
Guy Dresser, Commodore of Royal Canoe Club
(Pictures credit: Chris Churchill)