There was a record entry at last weekend’s Avon Descent with 23 Richmond paddlers turning out to paddle the 10 miles and face the five weirs. With the best weather, and possibly the least flow, the race has ever seen, all Richmond paddlers finished the course with boats and people intact, though not without obstacle.
In the K1 race Mike Lavarack finished 3rd without incident. In K2, Richard Hendron and James King were deprived of their trophy from last year, beaten to the podium by Richmond’s Own Saffa team consisting of Paul Hayes and Gert Van Deventer, whose navigation down the course proved supreme to Hendron and King’s, as the swimming photo below shows.
As well as the old timers, some new faces joined in the slightly quirky discipline of descent racing. Nick Romain teamed up with Lizzy Broughton finishing 9th with no swims. Juniors were out in force with Alex Khalf paddling with Isaac Blackman to successfully navigate the weirs to finish 18th. Emily Romain and Helen Taylor, were not so lucky with two swims but still completed the course, finishing 24th.
Mike Piggott and Klaudia Galucka finished 16th just beating Ian Blackman and Frazer Blackman to the line. Will Abson and Gaby Stevens took 19th – an impressive result for Gaby who only recently started paddling again, after injury. Henry Hendron and Freddie Purcell finished joint 7th. Old timer Sean Martin was back again, paddling with daughter Ali to win the touring class, while in the touring C2 class Mike Webb and Thor Harley finished first carrying the flag for the canoes at Richmond.
A great turn out for Richmond confirming RCC status as a rounded and diverse club. (Thanks to Richard Hendron for the report)