It’s always a warm welcome at Llandysul for those willing to travel, a very picturesque camping spot with the constant babbling of the Teifi and the occasional bleating of goats ! The Div 2/3 was being run on an even shorter course than May’s event and previously well-hidden rocks were ready to cause some mischief especially for the ‘heavier’ boats.
Olwen Yates opened Saturday’s racing doing an Official’s run first thing before taking over a judging post for the afternoon. Paul Evans & Darren Ship went next in the Vets K1M, neither managing a clean run as they felt their way down the course discovering what lies beneath or very near the racing line. Despite the odd penalty Paul’s time was more than fast enough for 1st place and Darren finished 6th. The Vets C1M showed everyone that clears were possible with Dave Royle & Steve Harratt managing 1 each. Dave put in a flying performance to finish 1st and Steve taking 2nd. Kay Royle was next up in the Vets K1W, again showing everyone that those rocks can be overcome putting in a clean run to finish 3rd.
The Div 2 racing then opened with Leo Miller & Gabe Rawlings-Crofts in the C1M, Leo managing the faster runs to finish 3rd with Gabe and his first visit to Llandysul in 5th. Daisy Macklin racing in the K1W completed 2 clear runs but missing out on 2nd place by 0.6 seconds to finish in 3rd , whilst Jessica Punchard took 15th.
K1M up next and Reuben Yates showing Team Llandysul that home advantage means nothing, putting in a storming performance and claiming another 1st and 500 points to add to his collection. In a very tightly packed field, Gabe Rawlings-Crofts finished 7 seconds behind in 9th.
Finally the C1W, Alana Middleton picking up the single blade again to take a brilliant 1st place and Daisy Macklin 0.4 seconds behind had to be happy with 3rd.
The C2s went next, and it was fantastic to see the welcome return of the Roden brothers, James & Andrew, with their wealth of C2 experience, taking a decisive 1st place. Harry McKenna & Olwen Yates finishing in 2nd.
Moving onto the Div 3s and at Lllandysul, racing the same course as everyone else, the brilliant J8 paddler Rowan Yates, with 2 clean runs took 2nd in the K1W claiming a very useful 225 points. In the K1M, Will Roden finished in 4th and Michael McKenna in 9th.
Finally across to the Llandysul Lake which seems to hold some luck for S&SCC Div 4 paddlers hunting for promotion, Ingela Hoeglund secured her Div 3 C1W bib with a 1st and 2 clean runs. Fay Roden paddling in the K1W faced a much older competition but wasn’t at all put off, improving massively on her second run to finish in 4th place.
Saturday’s racing wasn’t yet finished however, Gareth, perhaps spurred on by the fun had at the Pan-Celtic, organised a team event to round off the day. S&SCC paddlers decided a divide and conquer strategy was best and the club was represented across several teams. Daisy Macklin formed part of ‘Girl Power’ with friends from Div 2 K1W, claiming the last spot on the podium in 3rd. ‘All Sorts’ comprised of Harry McKenna & Olwen Yates in a C2 and Reuben Yates & Will Roden in K1s, an amazing team effort to take joint 10th alongside Leo Miller paddling with other C1M friends as part of ‘Canoes are Best’. Finally for Stafford & Stone, Rowan Yates finished in 14th with her team ‘Shortest to Tallest.’
Saturday night was wet and cold, the brave amongst us played football or sat around campfires chatting late into the evening, the less brave huddled in tents bemoaning the whole camping experience.
Sunday morning arrived and it was time to take advantage of lessons learnt from yesterday. Paul Evans and Darren Ship completed 2 clean runs each, Paul taking another 1st to add to his collection and Darren after taking 3 seconds off his time and a performance to be proud of finished in 6th. In Vets C1M, and another double set of clean runs for both, Dave Royle took 1st and Steve Harratt 2nd. Kay Royle rounded off the Vets in K1W finishing in 4th place.
The Div 2 and C1M saw Leo Miller taking 7th and Gabe Rawlings-Crofts 9th. In K1W, Daisy Macklin finished in 5th place. Onto the fierce competition of K1M, Reuben Yates placed 3rd and Gabe Rawlings-Crofts taking 8 seconds off his time with a clean second run finished 13th.
In C1W, Alana Middleton secured another 1st and 500 points to earn her promotion to Div 1 …. Brilliant effort Alana!!! Daisy Macklin, despite knocking 1 second off her time and 2 clean runs had to settle for 4th.
The C2s saw James & Andrew Roden and Harry McKenna & Olwen Yates back on the water, with a textbook copy of Saturday’s results finishing in 1st and 2nd respectively.
Onto our Div 3 paddlers, and Rowen Yates was joined by Amber Saunders in the K1W. Rowan earning another 2 stickers, the only S&SCC member to have a clean sheet across all runs this weekend, finished in 7th.
Whilst Amber and her first experience of a Div 2/3 run on the same course, finished 0.3 seconds behind in 8th. In the K1M, Will Roden finished in 5th and Michael McKenna in 10th.
With a final visit to the Llandysul lake and the Div 4, Fay Roden in the K1W completed her 2 runs both clear for another 4th place and Phillip Saunders in the K1M just missed out on a promotion place with 3rd.
Although quieter than Bala, it was another fabulous weekend away for the club, and lovely to see paddlers young & old and associated ‘support crews’ spending time with each other, whether over a cup of tea or a football ! Thanks as always to the coaches and team photographer, Darren, Dave, Paul & Steve.
Words: Gemma Macklin
Pictures: Paul Evans