This event is the “grand finale” of the British marathon racing year: throughout the season, paddlers in clubs all around the country have been competing in their regional events in the hopes of qualifying to take part in this final. The trophy has a particular significance to the canoeing fraternity as it was donated to the BCU to commemorate the wartime operation of Colonal Hasler and the “Cockleshell Heroes” who raided enemy shipping on the Gironde.(from canoes !)
Elmbridge was one of the four clubs qualifying from the London & SE Region, the others being Richmond, Tonbridge and Wey. Last year we won, bringing our total of wins in this competition to thirteen. This year, in spite of our team being well up to standard and putting in some really excellent performances we slipped to second place .. just one point behind Norwich (Eastern region) with Chelmsford in third place. The club scores were all very close, and it was impossible to pick out a top club until the final scores were produced.
(NOR 218 ELM 217 CLM 214)
Our team included a complete cross section of the membership .. Mums, Dads, lots of 12-16 year olds and some of our most experienced senior paddlers .. as well as Amy the fastest junior girl in the British Marathon Team. There’s no doubt that everyone did their best and it was a shame that a damaged rudder, an unfortunate capsize or a quirk of the rules robbed us of the 2 points we needed to win, but it’s all in the game and we’ll try again next year !
Although we only had two wins ( Derek in Div 5 K1 and Roberta/Niki in Div 6 K2) most of our boats finished in the top six in their races which is no mean feat when you line up with 35 boats. Many thanks to all of you who made the effort and who put in so much training to keep our club at the top of the list .
Team Elmbridge: Philip and Glenn Thorogood, Dwayne Morton, Richard Ockenden, Kayne Wilkinson, Harry Archer, Amy Ward, Paul Rogers, Ross McMullen, Tim and Luke Bowyer,, Elise Piercy, Eliot Solway, Stephano di Gregorio, Derek Smith, Antonia and Roberta Lufkin, Jenny Withers, Steve Williams, Adarsh Heaton, Ben Gibbons, Nicole and Amy Dawes, Rebecca Williams, Rebekah Solway, Sean Marken, Alfie Wilkinson, Kellie Archer, Wendy Piercy, Roz Evans, Georgia Philippou, Beata Turik, Georgina McMullen.