The Hasler Series
You may find yourself taking part in marathon racing quite soon after you join the club.
The main focus for BDCC as a club is the inter-club Hasler series. Named after the WW2 hero Herbert “Blondie” Hasler, this is the national team league championships for marathon canoeing. Clubs compete within their region throughout the year to qualify for the Hasler Final. BDCC is in the southern region, which covers an area from Southampton to Banbury, with most of the races taking place on the Thames. The top 5 clubs in the region will qualify for the finals each year.
Paddlers are ranked according to ability rather than age groups, with the slower racers starting in Division 9. As you improve and go faster you will get promoted up the Divisions with the ultimate ranking being Division 1 for international standard paddlers.
Divsions 7 – 9 race over 4 miles, Divisions 4 – 6 race 8 miles and Divisions 1 – 3 race 12 miles. Paddlers compete in single kayaks (K1) or doubles (K2). Some members also race in high kneeling or sit and switch canoes. Paddlers win points for the club depending on their position in their own divisional race which means that a Division 9 paddler is just as valuable an asset to the club as the Division 1 paddler.
Once you are ready to start racing, coaches will encourage you to sign up at the club and the Racing Rep will submit the whole club entry.
A guide to your first race can be found here
Details of the racing calendar can be found here
The National Marathon Championships
This is an annual event, where individuals compete for open titles as well as age group titles in single and double kayaks and canoes. There is also a competition for the overall top club. The distances raced vary from 4 to 23 miles, depending on the paddler’s age.