The racing season is now fully underway.

We had a good turnout yesterday for the Reading Canoe Club Hasler, with paddlers racing at all levels, including some newcomers, and an overall third place for the club.

There was a good win for Joe P in Div 1 – hopefully a nice warm-up before he goes out to the Marathon World Cup in Norway this weekend. Others to top the podium were Colette in Div 8 K2 and James B in Div 9 K1. James only recently joined the club, following our first Open Afternoon last month. He’s not a complete beginner though, having completed the 125 mile Devizes to Westminster race (DW) whilst at school – although he has taken quite a few years to get over that and back on the water! Colette’s K2 partner was Rory C – another trying the shorter distance having done the DW through school, although in his case it was a shorter recovery period, as he only did it this Easter.

On the second step were our whitewater paddlers, Rob J and George U who, despite a few comedy portage moments, took 2nd in Div 2 K2, and the veteran pair of Robin A and Jerry H in Div 3. Another in 2nd place was junior Will L after a great paddle in div 6, his first 8 mile race. It looks like he won’t be hanging around in that division for long.

Also on the podium were Chris and Simon P, 3rd in Div 7 K2, and Phoebe B 3rd in Div 9 K1.

We’re waiting for the official promotions to come out, but no doubt a few of our K1 paddlers will be moving up.

As part of our on-going development within the club, a group finished their Race Coach module on Saturday, the first cohort from the club to do this new course. The two-day core coaching module and the two days of race coaching were all organised and paid for by the club, with help from the funding through the Talent Club Partnership. We wish them all luck with their assessment, and look forward to them passing on their skills and knowledge.

For those who don’t think paddling is enough, we even had two members at the Brigg Quadrathlon. Both Will H and Jacqui S completed successfully, with Jacqui finishing as 8th female, and 2nd in her age category.

Next weekend, as well as Joe heading off to the Marathon World Cup, we have a few at Nottingham for the British Canoeing Band Together Regatta.

On Saturday 8th June we have our second Open Afternoon of the year. If you’re inspired by anything above, and would like to come along and have a go, please get in touch.