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A team of Richmond paddlers travelled up to Nottingham to compete in the inter-club competition. There were strong performances from both junior and senior paddlers and the contribution of parents who drove up and supported was also a vital part of the team success. Saturday saw near perfect conditions with a light tail breeze helping our team to place fast times. This was a direct contrast to Sunday with a return of the famous Nottingham headwind, requiring more strength and endurance to deal with the longer racing. Over the course of the weekend the team amassed 437 points to come 6th in the overall competition.

Junior Races

Boys D

A number of first timers came up to sample the world of sprint racing, including many of the boys D contingent. One of the earliest races on course was the Boys D K2 1000m in which Shirav Medepalli and Joe Whittaker worked well together (despite the over a foot difference in height between them) to come 3rd. Shirav’s form in K2 continued throughout the weekend as he partnered up with James Rushby to take 7th in the K2 200m and 9th in the K2 500m. The boys formed a K4 which also included Danny Mavra and took another 7th place in the C/D 500m. There were also solid K1 performances with James and Joe taking 6th and 7th places respectively in the K1 200m and James managing a very impressive 2nd place in the K1 500m.

A Races

With selections to the international Olympic Hopes regatta up for grabs A number of paddlers decided to import their crew boat partners form other canoe clubs. Luke Phillips paired up with Tom Holland from Southampton to come 4th in the Boys A/B K2 1000m. Melody Hills paired up with Amber Cox of Elmbridge for her K2 races and they came 5th in Girls A/B 200m and 7th in 500m. Andras Kereszturi raced his K4 in the senior men’s A/B 500m race and came 2nd, beating the U23 GB crew. They will be in action in GB colours at the European Championships later this month, aiming for the podium places.

There was also an all Richmond Boys A/B K4 made up of Devin Kleta, Dylan O Connor, Karim Sebti and James Rushby who took a solid 8th place. There were also good K1 performances: Luke came 2nd in his Boys A/B 1000m and 3rd in his 500m, proving that coming to kayaking late does not slow you down. Melody came 6th in her Girls A/B 200m against a very strong field including a number of international paddlers. Freya Peters, who will be representing her country at the European Marathon Championships later this month, won her Girls A/B 1000m and came 4th in the 500m.

Senior Races

Team Canoe

Arguably the club’s secret weapon, the canoe team had a number of notable performances. To start the regatta Arthur Leech won his C1 A-D 1000m, he followed this up with a 2nd in 500m and a 4th in 200m. He also got in a C2 with the returning to form Ben Phillips to win the C2 1000m. Ben and Arthur then went their separate ways for the C2 200m as Ben paired up with coach Gabor Szeltner and Arthur with his dad David Leech coming 2nd and 5th respectively. Arthur and David came 2nd in the C2 500m allowing David to retain his pride as he finished in front of the fast improving junior crew of Owen Chisholm and Frank Norton whom he coaches. These two first timers also raced in the A – D Mixed Canoe Open class coming 7th and 8th in the 200m and 5th and 7th in the 500m in their finals.  The final spectacular flourish of the canoe team was the C4 of Ben, Arthur, David and Gabor who won their race by a significant margin.

Women’s D & Masters

Kirsten Field was hugely successful in Masters B in her K1 taking 3rd place in both the 200m and the 500m. Elly O Connell raced in Women’s D category, also taking 3rd place in her 500m and 6th place in her 200m. Despite being a junior, Izzy King took on the adults in Women’s D K2 with Elly O Connell over every distance; they came 3rd in their 200m, 4th in their 500m and 5th in their 1000m. The Women’s D and Masters then joined forces to create a K4 of Izzy, Elly, Kirsten and Annette Peters which took 2nd place in the 200m in a very exciting race. Despite all this racing action, Elly spent most of her time in between races looking for more races, and so jumped into a mixed K2 for the Men + Women C/D 500m with Tom Walker. They qualified to the final and took 9th place.

Men’s D and Masters

Tom Walker went on to take 2nd in the Masters D K1 500m and Mike Channon took 7th in the same race. They formed a Masters C/D K4 with Guy Peters and Dimitri Chernyshenko which came 8th in the 200m and Guy also came 9th in the Masters C K1 1000m. Dimitri, Tom and Tony Waskiewicz raced in the K1 200m and came 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively. A good performance from our masters team.

A Races

In the senior A races; Lizzie Broughton, the current 5000m world champion, delivered a masterclass in K1 1000m, comfortably winning Women’s A/B and Jane Swarbreck came in not long behind her to take 3rd. Lizzie also took 4th in the 500m and 8th in the 200m. Lizzie and Jane raced together in the K2 and Freya Peters reformed her old junior k2, racing with Maia Wallace-Loizou. They came 3rd and 4th respectively in the Women’s A/B 200m and 2nd and 6th in the 500m. They then combined to race K4 in a strong field and finished 4th. Lizzie also raced the Men + Women A/B race in K2 with Tom Sharpe where they came 5th in a hugely competitive field.