Six Richmond paddlers made the trip to Amsterdam on Easter weekend to race at the Waterlands Marathon, with Tom, Brett, Alex, Nick and Sean racing the seniors men’s race and Lizzie the senior ladies. This is a very popular race held over the canals, rivers and estuaries of Amsterdam. This year was the biggest yet with over 150 people entered, including the top Spanish and Portuguese marathon paddlers and teams from Italy, Germany, Norway and Denmark as well as a BCU development team, which Nick was part of. The senior men paddle a 23km loop with two portages and the juniors and ladies a 14km loop with one portage.
The men’s race attracted a huge field and in total 80 people took to the start line leading to a ferociously paced first mile until the turn off the river onto the canals. The start was fairly narrow leading to very wavy conditions for all but the very fastest off the start. Nick had a great start and found himself towards the top end of the field, where he held his position in a group of world class athletes for the rest of the race. He eventually finished 14th and 2nd Brit. Following just behind was Tom in 20th. Alex VT enjoyed his first experience of racing aboard and finished well placed in the middle of the field, followed not too long after by Brett and Sean.
Lizzie started at the same time on the shorter ladies course and paddled clear of all other female competitors off the start, settling down into the second group of junior boys. She finished five minutes ahead of second place in the ladies competition.
The hospitality throughout the weekend from Viking Canoe Club was excellent and the race was organised exceptionally well. This is a highly recommended trip for paddlers of all speeds.
Closer to home 11 juniors took part in the Elmbridge half marathon on Easter Sunday. For some of the newer paddlers this was the first time they had paddled this far. For the more experienced it was a good chance to get some race practice in ahead of the Hasler season. Well done to Joshua, both the Joes, Ani, Marlene, Ollie, Ewan, Adrian, Kieran and both the Bens who all completed the course.
Joe W won the U14 boys class, and Ollie was 2nd in U15, with Ewan 3rd. In the U13 boys Jo and Joshua were 2nd and 3rd.