Hinckley Wharf Canoe Slalom
15/09/13 - September 15th marked a historic day for the Hinckley Wharf, as it hosted the first national canoe slalom competition in the county for more than 20 years. The event was organised by Break Out Canoe Club, the canoeing activities section of South Leicestershire District Scouts, and currently 'the most successful UK Scout canoe club in the Olympic sport of canoe slalom'. Free coaching was offered on the morning of the event followed by a chance to practise the course before the afternoon’s competition began. The beginner’s event kicked-off competitive proceedings, with each paddler being given two 'runs' of the course. For these competitors, finishing in the top 20% meant that they would earn national ranking status, and a place in division 3 of the national league.
In the men’s event, Josh Mackley from Hinckley, Chris Taylor from Nottingham and Andrew Massey from Break Out finished in first, second and third places respectively after the first runs. However, young local paddler Aaron Kirk, age 12 put in a storming second run to overtake Andrew Massey and finish in 3rd place, earning a medal and promotion. Josh Mackley's winning time was 117.3 seconds.
The winning Open Woman, Lizzie Collins
In women’s event, Jenniffer Ollet from Huntingdon, and Abigail Whittingham from Northampton were in 1st and 2nd places after the first runs; however Shannon Blythe from Leicester club PaddlePlus recovered from a disastrous first run to take 2nd place, overtaking Abigail and pinching the last promotion spot.
The Open event followed on - this was open to any existing nationally ranked paddler. In a very tight competition England junior team member Patrick Marriott won with a time of 86.4 seconds. Patrick was followed closely by fellow Break Out club members Lizzie Collins and Jack Perchard, with only two seconds separating the three of them.
Prizes were presented by former British Wild Water Racing champion Jamie Christie.
Thanks to our army of volunteers, who collectively ensured that the day was a great success, in spite of the windy and slightly rainy conditions. At least the forecast storm didn't materialise!
More photos here.
National Inter-Regional Championships
12/05/13 - Congratulations to Patrick Marriott and Lizzie Collins upon their selection to paddle for the East Midlands at last weekend's National Inter-Regional Canoe Slalom Championships, which were held at the Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre, Nottingham. The event was held in conjunction with a Pan-Celtic Cup event, at which Patrick was also representing England.
The East Midlands region achieved a very commendable third place.
Patrick paddling C1 for England at Holme Pierrepont
Nene Whitewater Centre Division 4 Slalom
19/05/13 - On Sunday we took a group of our less experienced cubs and scouts to their first canoe slalom competition. The venue was the Nene Whitewater Centre near Northampton, where the competition was held on an area of flat water adjoining the whitewater facility.
Many thanks to Jamie Christie for towing the trailer, and to Rob Row for helping with organisation off of the water.
Patrick and Sam just before their first capsize
River Washburn Division 2 Canoe Slalom Competition
21/04/13 - In April we made our first visit of the year to the River Washburn in Yorkshire to compete in a division 2 canoe slalom competition. The slalom site is situated at the top of a 3km stretch of fast flowing grade 2 to 3 white water in the picturesque Washburn valley. The river is dam-controlled and a good water level can always be guaranteed.
We travelled up on the Friday night, and stayed locally at the Manor Farm campsite. In the morning we shook the ice from our tents and completed the fifteen minute journey to the slalom site.
Patrick and Sam decided to give the course a go in the C2. They negotiated the first few gates well; but on the second upstream gate lost balance and were in! Both tried to roll but failed. Sam bailed and was quickly swept down the river. Patrick persevered – attempting to roll around half a dozen times before finally giving up – it’s difficult to roll with an empty rear cockpit and a boat full of water! He managed to push the boat to the bank where the stern settled between two trees. However, the bow of the boat continued downstream in the strong current, and the back of the boat became trapped between the two tree trunks. There was a loud crunching noise, and the boat bent in two.
Half a roll of repair tape later, and Sam and Patrick were back on the water. They didn’t make it quite as far this time; burying their nose in a small stopper at the first upstream gate, and once again capsizing.
Joe was next up. His official practice run went well. His boat also made it to the finish line during his first competitive run. Unfortunately Joe didn’t. A brush with a rock whilst leaving his boat gave Joe a rather sore face, but he was otherwise unhurt; which is more than could be said for the boat…
The Saturday wasn’t great in terms of results; however we finished the day on a high, with a paddle down to the bottom reservoir. After pizza for tea in Skipton, we met up with Sean and Robbie at the campsite, who had driven up that evening.
The next day we packed up our tents, and once again made our way over to the slalom site. Sean and Robbie travelled to the site together, got on the water together – and then capsized together. Robbie looked rather surprised – presumably the temperature of the water was a little lower than he was expecting; however, he managed to retrieve his equipment and safely leave the river. Sean wasn’t so lucky. He got out of the river without too much trouble, but his boat decided that it wanted more and continued on – and on. At the bottom of the course the boat did a rather good pirouette, hit an overhead bridge, and continued on its way. It was finally retrieved about half a mile from the starting line, having sustained some rather serious damage.
Robbie achieved our best K1 result of the weekend, achieving 15th place and 702 points on the Sunday
So, an event to remember: since the club started in 2005, we’ve not caused serious damage to a single boat. During this weekend we managed to break three.
Soar Down River Race
24/02/13 - The Club attended the Soar Down River Race on 24th February, and had an excellent, if slightly chilly day. All managed to survive the cold weather, and we even had some sunshine for a while. There were 22 Break Out Canoe Club members on the water, with some of the more experienced paddlers escorting the younger ones down the river.
The race was over a three kilometre course, with paddlers being set off at one minute intervals. At the end of the race we warmed up with a round of pie and chips in the Boat House public house at Barrow-on-Soar.
Most of our members paddled slalom competition boats. However, John (who felt particularly unsafe), Joe Tallis, and Sam Pateman all braved the Wavehoppers, and Patrick Marriott took our battered C1 whitewater racer for an outing. Patrick was our fastest junior, and Jack Perchard our fastest slalom paddler.
We won several prizes, and some paddled sufficiently fast to also be awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze placid water racing awards. For many, it was a first experience of both competitive canoeing, and paddling in cold weather! So a big 'well done' to our novices: Ethan Clarke, Ollie Row, Tom Kelly , Toby Knott, Aaron Kirk and Kerry Christie.
Thanks to Ruth for towing the very full trailer, and all the hard work that went with this, and to Lizzie for organising the Placid Water Awards. Thanks also to our 'escorts': Jo, Robbie, Sean, Lizzie and Georgina.
Patrick Selected to Paddle for England
01/02/13 - Congratulations to Patrick Marriott on his selection to paddle for England in the Celtic Cup. Patrick was promoted to Division 1 of the national slalom league in both the C1 and K1 classes in 2012, and his end-of-season ranking in C1 was sufficient to get him the J16 place in the national team.
The C1 canoe slalom class involves paddling from a kneeling position with a one-bladed paddle and is an Olympic sport. Patrick also paddles C2 with team-mate Sam Pateman. They were our highest ranked pair in 2012, gaining 11th position in the second tier of the National League.
Patrick joined the Club in 2009, and competed in his first competition at Stone in Staffordshire at the end of that summer season. He has worked hard ever since - and now trains most days. It's pleasing to see his hard work paying off.