A small Richmond team produced a series of excellent results to finish 3rd in the overall team competition at the National Marathon Championships held at Pangbourne this weekend. The team achieved 26 podium finishes, and 4 National Championship Titles. We medalled at all levels from U10 to senior, and again in numerous veteran age group categories.
The senior K2 races on Sunday were particularly successful for the club, with Richmond walking away with (half) of both the ladies K2 and mens K2 trophies. In the mens race Tom Sharpe, paddling with Keith Moule of Chelmsford, raced to victory over the 26km course, beating the current European 4th ranked boat in a sprint finish. In the ladies race Lizzie Broughton and Fay Lamph (Wey) finished 3 minutes clear of the rest of the field to take the title for the fourth year in a row. For Lizzie this was the second victory of the weekend after taking 1st place in the senior ladies K1 event the day before.
There was also victory in the age group races for Francis Herwanger in the U10 boys at his first national championships, and Ollie Khlaf, who finished 1st in U14 boys K2, following a 3rd place in the K1 event the day before. There were also double medals for Nick Romain, who was 2nd in both the U18 K1 and K2 and Freddie Purcell, 3rd in U23 K1 & 2nd in K2. Lilla Shehata was 2nd in the U12s race, Alex Khlaf 3rd in U16 boys K2 and Harry Wells, 2nd in U14 boys K2 (at the age of 12!). Our girls U12 rocket K4 finished 1st in the K4 event, the first time this has been run. Lily and Ellie just missed out on a medal with 4th place in the U14 girls.
Richmond were well represented in the canoe classes, with 4 out of 5 finishers in the U18 boys, including Ben Phillips in 2nd place and Adrian Meikle Briggs in 3rd. These two then paddled to 3rd place in the senior C2 class on Sunday, behind Marcin Ponomarenkow and Gena Romaneka in 2nd. Marcin also finished in 3rd in the senior C1 event.
Most of the veteran races had huge start lines with some reaching over 30 boats. Sue Middlehurst and Hilary Wells finished 3rd and 2nd in their respective K1 races, and the two then combined the next day to take 2nd place in the K2, hampered by a broken footrest and only just missing out on the top spot. Andrei and Paul narrowly missed out on the podium, finishing 4th in their age group K2. In the divisional races Helen Taylor finished 3rd in division 7.
These results were more than enough to secure an unexpected 3rd place overall. This is testament to the hard work that has gone on by all paddlers and coaches this year and provides an excellent base for Hasler Finals this year.