The last couple of weeks have seen a lot of activity on the water for Richmond paddlers, at home and abroad.
Marko, our top canoe paddler, raced at the Piestany International Regatta in Slovakia on the 25th/ 26th May. He raced in the 200m, 500m and 1000m events and reached the final in all events. Marko achieved a fantastic 2nd place in the 1000m event, less than 1 second behind the winner. This was an improvement on his 3rd position in this event last year and a very encouraging start to the sprint season for him.
On the same weekend a small junior team took part in a regatta in Gent, Belgium. Mia, Ben P, Adrian & Guy all raced in singles, doubles and fours and gained very valuable experience in racing abroad. Thanks to the junior coaches who organised this.
Closer to home, a small team raced at the Reading divisional Hasler marathon. This was an out of region event but this race is always popular and drew large entries in all divisions. Representing Richmond at the highest level were Tom & newly promoted Brett in division 1. Tom continued his recent excellent form to finish 1st, with Brett 7th. In division 6 Harry Wells just missed out on a medal, finishing 4th in a big field. Ollie Khlaf raced with his K2 partner from Leighton Buzzard and finished 3rd in the division 3/4 K2 race. Not to be outdone Alex Khlaf was 5th in the division 3 K1 race.
Finally, last weekend saw the Maidstone Marathon, where team Richmond took 1st place and a maximum 10 points in the Hasler competition. In division 6 K1 Richmond took a clean sweep of the podium positions, with a win for Clive followed by Harry and Valentin, all gaining lots of points for the club. In the higher division there were 2nd places for James in division 1 and Alex in division 3. Ben Phillips was top canoe in division 7, finishing 3rd and getting a promotion to division 6. John took a 3rd place in division 9 K1, followed swiftly by a number of our rapidly improving juniors. Richmond also scored well in the K2 races with wins for John & Tom in division 7 K2 (alongside promotions to division 6), Neil & Geoff in division 5 (again, promoted to division 4) and a 2nd for Mandy & Laura in division 8. The rest of the team, including a large junior contingent performed well to ensure we beat Wey & Elmbridge to top spot. The lightnings also won their event, with Theo, Lilla, Freya, Rhiannon & Francis all finishing in the top 3 of their races.
The activity continues this weekend, with the Royal Canoe Club Hasler race. This is just up the river so a bumper turnout is needed; entries ASAP to Will.
Also this weekend Nick & Lizzie will be racing at the European Marathon Championships in Vila de Verde, Portgual- Nick races the junior K2 on Saturday and Lizzie the senior K2 on Sunday.