Another busy but very successful weekend for the club.
Banbury were the winning club at Henley, despite not having as big a team as usual. Many are put off by what is always quite bouncy water there – and it proved to be so again, together with a strong wind, so the junior performances were really exceptional.
James L is our first ever paddler to race in the new Div 10 category. Having given up his race last week to help a fellow club member who was having a swim (all our paddlers are taught rescue skills – to help themselves and others), this week he deservedly won. Other winners on the day were George U – with promotion back up to Div 3, and Harry C, who made all from the start, and has gone up to Div 4. Lee Dean and Zoe Dyndor had a successful pre-finals outing in 8 K2, and are now both in Div 7, whilst Zoe’s sister, Felicity O’Connell may be regretting paddling up in Div 6 with Chris Hills – as their second place has seen them both promoted to Div 5!
Max Davison and Andy Flack were just outsprinted in Div 4 K2, as was Joe E in his second Div 9 K1 – but it was still quick enough to get promoted to Div 8. Josh P in Div 6 was another to come second – just off the promotion zone, whilst Rob Jefferies was third – unable to hold off the front two finishers – who had been able to work together behind him for the 10 miles.
Other big performances came from Rachel Temple-Fry, who was promoted to Div 6, and George M, who finished 4th in Div 9. As ever, some unlucky stories – Joe Petersen would undoubtedly have won Div 1, had his rudder not disintegrated on impact with another boat, whilst Robin Flack decided helping another paddler was a greater priority than finishing his first Div 2 race.
On Saturday a few paddlers went to the regional sprint regatta at Fladbury, and Will P, Will L and Harry C came back with a clutch of medals – the two Wills winning double gold in their catgories in both sprint and the longer distances race, with Harry just behind Will P for two silvers. They also had a lot of fun with stand-up paddleboard racing too!