14th February 2010
See Hemel Today report here
Paddlers from Hemel Hempstead Canoe Club were bringing home the medals on Sunday in the first of the Thameside races, covering the 12 miles from Aldermaston on the River Kennet to Reading on the Thames.
Tom Fryer and Gary Watts were winners of the Open C2 (double canoe) in a time of 1 hour: 50 minutes and 17seconds, beating club mates Shirine Voller and Alan Farrance into second place (01:58:02).
The race is one of a pair of races which take place early in the year, as part of the warm up for the 125 mile Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race which takes place each Easter. The previous week saw Alan and Shirine take first place in the Waterside A, 13 miles from Great Bedwyn to Newbury along the Kennet and Avon Canal; on that occasion they pushed another Hemel pair, Chris Collison and Robin Oakley into second place by the narrowest of margins: 2:19:25 to 2:20:28.
As well as taking medals in the Canoes; Hemel were also represented in the Thameside race by 16-year-olds James Prowse and Grant Underwood, who raced in the Junior K2 class (Kayak) for the first time and came in with a time of 2:19:56.
Long distance canoe racing is a test of strength stamina and ability, not only do paddlers have to canoe along the canals and rivers, sometimes up stream as well as down, they also have to portage locks, getting out of the boat, pick it up and run round the locks before getting back in and paddling the next section. The races are fun, exciting and completely different to other types of races and involve a backup team to support you through the race. Hemel Hempstead has a good pedigree in these races and is always open to new members. For more information about the Club visit: www.hhcanoeclub.com
|Tom Fryer & Gary Watts||C2 (ICF)||01:50:17||
|Shirine Voller & Alan Farrance||C2 (Pro Boat)||01:58:02||
|James Prowse & Grant Underwood||K2 (Junior 16)||02:19:56||