I started paddling at the club in 1999 with an Elmbridge Borough Council summer taster session. While I had kayaked once or twice before with Scouts, something about flat water racing stuck with me and it was different to all the other sports I had tried.
I started competing in 2001 at the local sprint and Hasler marathon races, moving up to compete at the National sprint regattas at Nottingham as well. I kept with sprinting until around 2006 and a promotion to Boys A before moving to my main calling in long distance racing. I was never quick enough over the short distances but can keep going on for miles and miles!
Some personal highlights for me include being Under 23 National Marathon champion in K1 and K2 in 2011, completing Devizes to Westminster three times in 2016 2017 and 2019 (with a personal best time of sub 17hrs) and racing for Great Britain at the Tour De Gudena in Denmark in 2006.
I’ve been a Division 1 ranked paddler for the past 10 years and counting, having completed over 100 races at that level, been part of the winning team for seven Hasler Finals (including a Div 1 K2 gold), won the club points trophy 5 times and currently hold the K1 record for the Worcester Ring challenge. I’ve won the Elmbridge Hasler race and club relay race precisely once each in my 20 years at the club.
I’m still out racing regularly up and down the country in the Hasler series as well the longer events such as the Waterside series, Thameside series, and Medway Marathon and am always looking to see if there is any other events out there that I’ve not done yet. In all my years though, nothing beats a nice paddle on a summer evening!
My main role is to support the top senior group, our fastest athletes who look to compete for GB and race well for the club but can be found helping across all levels of the coaching hierarchy from taster sessions to introduce people to the water, supporting the beginner groups as they take on new challenges and build up their boat skills ideas and also with the junior/ intermediate groups as they build up their water skills, racing skills and set their sights on future success.
I started to support with coaching in 2012 after completing the level 1 course and am now currently working towards my Racing Coach award. I wanted to give something back to support that club and help introduce people to flat water racing and build up the talent we have to compete on a national and international level.