Winter training is now well underway with sessions on the water on Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings as well as Circuit Training on Wednesday evenings. All members are welcome to circuits but do just check if it’s your first time to make sure the session is on. The main event for the Race Group since the last newsletter was the Banbury Hasler. All paddlers are now wrapping up well on the water balancing the need to keep warm if you have a swim with the problem of overheating.
Banbury Hasler Report
The Cold and Narrow Canal
On Sunday 28th October we travelled to Banbury to race in their annual Hasler event. This is run on the canal which is narrow in places (in fact, there are no wide bits) so quite different for those of us used to the Thames. Paddling up to the start was like steering the Star ship Enterprise out of space doc. It was also cold and windy in comparison with the conditions we have raced in over recent months. There were also portages for all divisions: two in divisions 7-10 (4 miles), six for divisions 4 to 6 (8 miles) and fourteen for divisions 1 to 3 (12 miles). It is unusual for divisions 7 to 10 to have any portages so the course was quite testing.
Promotion to Division two for Jarvis
The highlight was Jarvis M winning his division 3 singles race in 1:42.34, three minutes ahead of the rest of the field. At this level, three minutes is a large margin as if he was in warp drive and the other boats were on impulse power! This resulted in Jarvis gaining promotion to division two, a tremendous result. Jarvis now trains with Reading but maintains his allegiance with Pangbourne in Hasler races.
More Hats for Vicky
Vicky M, paddling in C2 (double canoe) with Liz from Basingstoke came second in division 6 doubles, paddling well against people with double the number of blades (i.e. kayak paddlers). They were also the fastest canoe on the water that day. Hence, they won a hat, the traditional prize at Banbury. A C2 beating a K2 is rather like a Klingon Bird of Prey beating a Federation Star ship.
A Mixed Bag
The rest of the Race Group had mixed results: Simon TC and Stu Q (paddling with Tommy F as a last -minute arrangement) both felt ill and had to retire from their races. Jensen M also retired due to the cold conditions. Owen B had a good race coming 5th in 1:15.31 in division 4 singles. Steve M came 13th in division 5 singles in 1:20.26, missing twelfth place by just three seconds! Hazel B and Chris R managed a very creditable 7th and 9th place respectively in division 9 singles.
The Next Race
The next race is the Ross Warland Memorial Canal Challenge on Sunday 25th November, again at Banbury. It’s a 20-mile event where a crew can paddle the full distance or as two teams in a relay.