There was high water and drama to match at last weekend’s Midlands Regional Hasler race at Royal Leamington Spa, where Nottingham Kayak Club put in a strong performance. In the fast flow and strong currents around bridges and bends, Nottingham’s river experience paid off on a day where there was almost as much swimming as paddling.
In a fantastic result in her first race over the four mile course, Claire Davies came a flying first place and was promoted two divisions. Steve Saunders also survived to tell the tale achieving a creditable 9th place.
Over eight miles, Mick Nadal came an impressive second, covering the distance in a whisker over an hour and avoiding promotion by less than a minute. It was a close race despite the conditions, with Eleanor Thraves coming in only three and a half minutes behind him. Imre Kucska came a strong fifth place in his first race after promotion, closely followed by Stuart Jolly and Norman Mason. Alison Chmiel stopped during her race to assist Lucy Guest when she was in difficulty: the embodiment of canoeing community spirit. Dave Cuddington came an impressive first in his doubles race with junior Cameron Bannatyne of Paddle Plus.
Covering 12 miles, Henry McCready stormed the opposition, coming first by over six minutes. We’ve yet to hear whether he achieved promotion but given that he would have come first even in the division above there will be outrage if he isn’t competing in the higher division next week. Zoltan Kaloczy achieved a strong sixth place in the same race.
Zyggy Chmiel was the fastest paddler on the water, four minutes ahead of training partner James Russell (still paddling for Chelmsford but training at Nottingham). Nicky Cresser had a torrid time in the same race with both rudder and pump problems but despite having to stop several times to deal with these he still finished the race less than three minutes behind James.
If you want to have a go at kayaking or canoeing, a come-and-try-it session is held every Sunday, starting at 11am, at the club on Trentside North. For more information, please see https://sites.google.com/site/nottinghamkayakclub/ or email@example.com.