It’s hard to believe that it’s been 433 days since the last time S&SCC paddlers were competing in the UK. With such a long period of no action it was a special treat that racing resumed with the club hosting the prestigious U18 & U23 Junior selection event. The weekend was tinged with a little sadness that restrictions meant we were unable to host our annual Premier event the McConkey Memorial race, but it is safe to say the juniors on the water truly made up for it.
The event was 4 single run races held over the two days, with the best three results counting. Representing the Club were: U23 C1M; Sam Maingay, Kurts Adams Rozentals, Alfie Boote, U18; Luc Royle, Klass Francisk Rozentals & George Harratt. U18 K1W; Kate Lyndon. U23 K1M; Chris Bowers & Ed Dickinson, U18; Thomas Mayer and Klass Francisk Rozentals. Also racing, but not counting towards the results were GB Team paddlers Adam Burgess and Joe Clarke. Both getting valuable racing practice.
In C1, Kurts Adams Rozentall had a strong weekend with a 3rd, 2nd, 2nd and 5th place. These impressive results was enough to gain Kurts 2nd overall and a place in the U23 team. Luc Royle showed he meant business from the start with 4 brilliant runs, resulting in a 1st, 2nd, 1st and 2nd. This left him top of the table coming 1st overall and on the junior team. As with every race, not everyone makes the podium, this was desperately upsetting to those so close to making the team. This was so true for Sam Maingay, who had consistently achieved good runs, with a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 3rd. It all came down to a nerve-racking final run where his closest rival drew on points.
Unfortunately for Sam, due to Vittorio having won a race he took the 3rd place overall and the spot on the team. Sam had done such a good job all weekend and it was so upsetting for him and his army of supporters. But we know he will go away, focus and be back stronger than ever. Klass Francisks Rozentals managed an impressive 4th in the juniors. Alfie Boote managed 6th position and whilst he didn’t make the U23 is going away to focus on senior selection. Finally in C1 was George Harratt, now it’s safe to say and George would agree, but he was never really going to bother the top end of the field. George was invited to selections, due to his J18 ranking in Div1. Now many would say what’s the point. Not George, he hit the course (and a few gates) with everything he had and loved every second of it, big grin in place at the end of each run. As he said “you don’t get to race at junior selections every day” and why not. It was a pleasure to see someone enjoying their sport and opportunity to compete at a high level, so well done George.
Representing the women this year was Kate Lyndon in K1. The event was a step up from her previous experiences in Prem and she handled it amazingly, coming in 5th overall. If this weekends performance was anything to go by the future is looking very good for Kate.
Mens U23 K1 was as close thought event. Chris Bowers dominated the weekend with 1st, 2nd, 2nd and 1st. Taking him too 1st overall and on the team. Chris was on fire from the start and to prove it he beat Joe Clarke on his first run. Well done on such a strong performance.
Ed Dickinson raced well, but it wasn’t to be his weekend finishing 14th.
Mens U18 K1 was a stressful weekend for Horst and Helen Mayer! Thomas decided he would go for the slow burn approach to the weekend, waiting for the Sunday to explode! Saturday saw Thomas gain 3rd and 8th place. This really put the pressure on for Sunday, he had to perform! This pressure seemed to work well for Thomas, if not his parents and he smashed two 1st places, with the first run a full 4 second faster than 2nd place. It all came to the final run and as he crossed the finish line and the realisation that he had done it, the relief and jubilation was palpable! Congratulations Thomas and we hope your parents have recovered.
After a tricky Saturday Klass managed to improve on the Sunday and came in 15th place.
In addition to the juniors and U23’s, three senior paddlers took part in exhibition races, with Adam Burgess and Mallory Franklin taking the opportunity to get some race practice before flying out to Tokyo in just a few weeks time.
With Joe Clarke joining them on the start line it was a real treat to get to watch the worlds top paddlers on the course. Joe admitted he hadn’t paddled at Nottingham since 2013, you couldn’t tell Joe.
This was a massive weekend in terms of the scale of the event and on top of that running it under Covid restrictions. A massive thank you has to go to everyone who attended, the athletes, coaches and supporters who all adhered to the rules in place and made the event such a success and run so smoothly, pathing the way to a resumption of racing. Thanks to the British Canoeing team who set the courses, the Slalom Committee who ran the timing, judging and control of the racing. The army of demo paddlers who didn’t stop running up the course to do another run. To all the volunteers from S&SCC and other clubs who stepped into jobs to make the event run smoothly. Finally and biggest thanks has to go to Dave Royle, without whom the weekend just wouldn’t have happened. Dave worked tirelessly for weeks planning and organising and already big event, but now with added rules and regulations. I think everyone would agree what an amazing job he and his team did. Thankfully Luc did his job well, so it was all worth it Dave!
Photos kindly provided by Kim Jones
Words – Adrian Croome