The first of the season’s sprint regattas took place in April where amongst the usual races were those deciding the crew-boat – boats of two or four paddlers – selection for Team GB.
Paddlers from across the country came to test their mettle and Nottingham Kayak Club proved (NKC) themselves once more to be a premier sprint club.
Despite repeatedly claiming retirement, Hayleigh Mason lived up to her well-deserved reputation in the back of a K2 with Sam Rees-Clark, and were selected to represent Team GB in the ladies’ 500m. Sam also won a place in the ladies’ K4 500m.
Stelian ‘Norris’ Naftanaila paddled to an impressive victory in his K1 200m race and also won places in the K2 200m and K4 500m crews.
Those competing will take part in the ICF Senior Canoe Sprint Senior World Cups in both Hungary and Germany, the results of which will determine selection for the Senior World Championships in August.
Impressively, Norris and Sam are both under 23, and Norris also bagged a place in the under-23s men’s K4 500m, with Sam winning a spot in the ladies’ K4.
Zyggy Chmiel and training partner Charlie Smith were the fastest U23 pairing over the longest distance, and are justifiably representing Team GB in the K2 1000m.
Norris, Sam, Zyggy and Charlie will be competing at the ECA U23 Canoe Sprint European Championships in Italy later in the year.
Saturday 28th April heralded yet more NKC success, at selection races for international individual sprint events.
Zyggy was selected to compete over 1000m at the U23 European Champions in Italy, and also to race over 5000m at the Senior World Championship in Portugal.
No doubt there’ll be plenty of NKC noise ringing out over Europe this year.
If you want to have a go at kayaking or canoeing, a come-and-try-it session is held every Sunday from 11am until 1pm at the club on Trentside North. For more information please see https://sites.google.com/site/nottinghamkayakclub or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: David Greaves.