Ross Warland Memorial Canal Challenge

Over 175 paddlers from around the country took on the annual challenge of the 20 miles from Cropredy to Aynho and back. There are different options, so something for everyone – from the 20 miles straight through in either K1 or K2, or making up a team to tackle it as a relay.

For most taking part, it’s not about the time, but about pushing themselves to paddle further than they have before – and with up to 12 portages to contend with too. It’s all worth it for the hot soup, bacon rolls and plenty of cake afterwards though.

With a number of this year’s GB senior and junior marathon and sprint teams taking part, competition was fierce at the top and course records tumbled.

The overall winners were international paddlers, Norwich Canoe Club‘s Tim Pendle and Leighton Buzzard Canoe Club‘s Charlie Smith, and another international pair took the mixed K2 title – Reading’s Alex Lane with Longridge Canoe Club’s Magnus Gregory.

The first junior boat home was Falcon Rowing and Canoeing Club‘s Dom Stanley with Elmbridge Canoe Club‘s Luca Ferri and the first senior women’s boat was Banbury’s Annelies Flack with Isla Johnson.

The K1 classes were also won by paddlers who have raced internationally this year. Norwich’s Albert Hicks took the Senior Men’s K1, and Reading’s Harry F the junior title. Worcester Canoe Club News and Events Katie B was the first female K1 home, with Falcon’s Anna Railton taking the senior prize.

The K1 relay was won by Reading’s Jeremy Freeland with Falcon’s Klara J, and the K2 relay by the junior Falcon team of Arthur WP, Koen A Gabriel PC and Deni P. The mixed relay prize went to the home team of Banbury’s Mark Latchem, Robyn Jefferies and Rob Jefferies.