A relatively warm and still November day gave us perfect conditions for our favourite 20 mile race. New race records were set by Tom Lusty (Solihull) and Dan Johnson (Chelmsford) taking the Senior K2 class in a new time of 2.18.09. Albert Hicks (Norwich) won the Senior K1 in 2.28.24 and Harry Freeland (Reading) the junior K1 in 2.33.22 – nearly 7 minutes under the old record. It was a mixed crew who took the Junior K2 win, with Isaac Pipe (Runcorn) and Imogen Hunter (Cambridge) also setting a new Junior Mixed record of 2.57.47, while Richmond’s Anoushka Freeman’s winning time of 2.54.43 in the Senior was agonisingly seconds outside the record. There were also new times set by some of the veteran (O35) paddlers, with Shuna Neave (Nottingham) comfortably breaking the Vet Women’s K1 record and Stuart Dunn (Chelmsford) and Juan Caruncho (Barking and Dagenham) the Vet Men’s K2. Other winners on the day included Dan Palmer (Fowey) and Kat Wilson (Reading) in the Senior Mixed K2 and Liz Murnaghan (Taunton) and Vicky Metcalfe (Pangbourne) in the C2 class.
Full results are here
For many others it was not about breaking records but the personal challenge of paddling 20 miles with 12 locks to portage. Afterwards, paddlers and their support crews enjoyed bacon sandwiches, warming soups and delicious home -made cakes. Donations in lieu of payment for refreshments raised £900 for the Bone Cancer trust in memory of club member, Ross Warland who died from bone cancer in 2000 aged 21.