It has been a fantastic weekend for the club at Marple Div3/4, with an impressive 19 paddlers taking to the water on Saturday in all classes. For may this was their first time away from Stone. Practice started early and the courses soon got busy, but everyone had soon worked out what they had to do. First up were the Div3 K1M, six boys from S&SCC made up the 22 starting list. George Hancock managed to claim 3rd place, just 1 second behind 2nd place. Theo Wright came in 6th, Oliver Carney 11th, Gabriel Rawlking-Croft 13th, Harry McKenna 15th and Sebastian White 17th. All the boys secured their best time on their second runs, with the exception of Seb who managed identical times, the second run in fact being 2 seconds faster but unfortunately picking up a touch.
The girls lined up next. Amelia White managed two excellent runs, both 137 seconds and both clean and for the effort she was rewarded with 1st place. Jessica Croome was 3rd, Alice Williamson 4th and Lucy Williamson 6th.
Keira Pearce and Brook Benson were out in Div3 C1 and took 1st and 2nd respectively, it must be added that they were the only two C1, but still good to see them both trying so hard.
For Div4 K1M it was adult paddler Nigel Ogden flying the flag and after two tricky runs with paddlers swimming in front of his next gate on his first go, he still managed to secure 2nd place.
The only contenders in C2 were Bex Harrat and Chloe Burrows, improving on their first run and picking up 250 points.
Katy Lyndon was racing as a judge both days and did very well against some stiff competition.
And representing the Vets and showing all the young kids hows it’s done was Paul Evans (K1) and Steve Harratt (C1), with Paul taking the Vets win and picking up a much needed bottle of beer.
Sunday came and a few changes had been made to the course, everyone took no time to sort out the new lines. Theo and Georges 1st runs were 120 seconds and 2 touches and 123 seconds clean respectively, but to make things complicated for the organisers they then managed to copy each other’s run identically on the second go. So absolutely nothing between them and gaining them joint 3rd place. Gabe managed to improve on Saturdays result with 11th and one clean run and Seb was happy in 17th again. Some really good racing in this division and all the boys have done really well. An extra well done has to go to George and whilst he had to share 3rd place the points were enough to get him promoted into Div2.
The stars of Sunday were the Div3 K1W. Jess must have had an extra Wheatabix for breakfast as she came off the start line like a bullet. Her first run was clean and 138 seconds, a time she wasn’t able to improve on in the end but it didn’t matter as just 1 second behind her was Amelia and 2 seconds behind Amelia was Alice all with 1 clean run each and taking the top three steps on the podium. Lucy also improved on her Saturdays result and managed 5th place. The girls were over the moon and really supported each other. Something that doesn’t always get mentioned in these reports, but is the nicest thing about the races at this level are the friendships that are strengthened between club mates and the new friends that are made. This was especially true with the girls this weekend who supported another competitor who was struggling and too scared to complete her run. The girls jumped out of their boats and ran up the course to cheer, support and encourage this stranger on. The stranger who then became a paddling friend and as we left, they excitedly planned meeting up at the next race in a few weeks time.