This years Slalom season has got off to a cracking start with the Stafford & Stone Division 3/4 race weekend. This ever popular event, was once again the first Div 3/4 race of the year and paddlers travelled from all over the country to compete and kick start their racing year.
For many this weekend was their first time competing at a slalom race, a daunting prospect, but everyone had fun and enjoyed the experience. We were so pleased to have 35 Div4 paddlers line up on Saturday, 17 K1M, 7 K1W, 7 C1M & 4 C1W. With such high numbers the competition was close, but we saw promotion to Div3 for club paddlers Harry McKenna and Chloe Olivant, well done to both of you.
In total we had 116 race on Saturday with the competition tight in all classes. Robert & Rebecca Harratt came 1st in their C2 Div3. Then in 2nd place, not content with coming 1st was Rebecca again this time with Chloe Burrows. Positions they then managed to repeat again on Sunday! Well done.
George Hancock and Amelia White did really well in Div 3 K1, both taking 3rd place on Saturday. Then on the Sunday Amelia managed to improve on her position and took 2nd place, this time being joined by Theo Wright for the boys. This has gained them all some vital points, starting the year as they mean to go on. We should also congratulate all the others paddlers who competed and did really well, showing that it’s going to be another promising year for Stafford and Stone. Full results for both days can be found here.
Sunday saw the departure of Kate Dixon from the club. Kate was part of the coaching team and has helped develop many of the junior paddlers. The club would like to thank her for all the help and support she has given and wish her all the best for the future.
Not all of the club were at Stone this weekend. We also had seven paddlers competing at the notoriously tricky Shepperton Div2 race in London. An unusual course, in the flow of the sluice gates on Shepperton Lock, creating turbulent and unpredictable water. But this didn’t faze them at all, with Katie Greaves and William Mayer taking 1st place on both days in K1 and C1 respectively. A fantastic result for both of them, especially as the course was particularly hard on the Sunday. It’s fair to say the seven of them all had an excellent weekend, achieving good times and valuable points. Proving that all the hard training and commitment over the winter has really paid off.
Finally we would just like to thank everyone that made the Stone race possible. As always it takes dedication and help of a lot of people to run the weekends and make them the huge success they are. This weekend was organised by Andy Neave, course design by Darren Ship, photography kindly supplied by Steve Pearce and Louise Croome (Shepperton) and not forgetting the amazing job the catering team did feeding so many people.
We look forwards to seeing everyone again at our next race on 29th &30th June.