Senior K2 - Kerstin Queeney & Catherine Ayling 6th (1:09:01)
Vet M K1 - Petr Luksan 4th (1:18:54)
Ladies K1 - Eilidh White 2nd (55:42)
GP - Oliver Klumpler 4th (43:41)
u12 K1 - Emilie Klumpler 7th (41:55)
Club points were another matter though, and with such a small team, a disappointing 5th place on the day was inevitable. The poor team result here has brought down our overall position in the Winter Series to 5th, as well as 3rd in the Dick Grieve league (novice juniors) and 3rd for the Bob Porter (participation in u12 K1). There is one more race to go - can the situation be retrieved?
Thanks to Flora K for providing some of the photos
A sadly depleted team represented Stortford at the Chelmsford marathon on Sunday - it was left to just six paddlers to try to sustain the reputation of the club.
Petr opted to enter the Vets race mistakenly thinking the course would not be suitable for high-kneel C1s, but nevertheless achieved an excellent 4th position.
Eilidh took silver in her class, and together with Oliver (1st Paddleabiity in GP) and Emilie (Gold as the 1st girl in u12 K1) the three scored enough points to bring Stortford a respectable 3rd place amongst the novice juniors.
Only a dozen competitors represented Stortford in the Cambridge Winter Series race.
Kerstin and Catherine achieved a very good time in the senior doubles race, coming 8th out of 24 boats. Jasper won a very well-deserved silver in the u12's race, and there were two further medals in that class for Emilie (girls' silver) and Rupert (first u10). Oliver continues to persevere in racing the essentially non-racing boats of the GP class, and also won a first Paddleability medal.
A special mention should also go to Petr who for the first time competed in high-kneeler C1 at an away race.
Heavy rain in the days leading up to the race forced a complete re-think of the parking arrangements, and as the rain continued on the day itself, created challenging conditions for everyone, especially the marshals and the volunteers manning the BBQ - but canoeists are not ones to be put off by a little water. Despite the downpour, race attendance was back up to pre-covid numbers. As well as 24 members of BSCC, the 130 competitors included teams from seven other clubs and independent paddlers drawn from at least three others.
Stortford's best results came from the Veteran Men's K1, in which Rich won gold for his impressive time of 1:02:42 and Chris took the medal for first "ultra-vet" (over 60).
Eilidh won bronze in the combined ladies class and was the club's fastest girl on the 5 miles course. In the u12s race, Jasper and Emilie each won bronze as third boy and third girl, and Rupert won the medal for first boy under 10. Oliver was awarded a first paddleability medal in the GP race.
Special mention should be made of Petr for successfully completing his first marathon race in C1.
7 miles (6 portages):
Senior K2 - Kerstin Queeney & Catherine Ayling 13th (1:15:18), Jacque & Dave Cayford 17th (1:20:49)
Vet Mens K1 - Rich Winstanley 1st (1:02:42), Chris Sze 5th (1:10:22), Ben Tubby 10th (1:20:06)
u18 Boys K1 - Tom Barton 4th (1:22:03)
5 miles (3 portages):
u16 Boys K1 - Jack Gaulton 4th (56:36), Arthur Catmur 7th (1:01:27), Ewan Gowing 8th (1:05:02), Daniel Baines 9th 1:08:14
Ladies K1 - Eilidh White 3rd (1:05:54), Kayleigh Gaulton 4th (1:06:14), Karen Bradley 5th (1:06:38), Tamzin Catmur 6th (1:22:39)
u16 K2 - Eddie Kirtland & Libby Gaulton 1st (54:23)
The club was second overall with 114 points, behind Chelmsford CC (271) but comfortably ahead of Leighton Buzzard CC (73).
The club is also off to a good start in the Dick Grieve league, based on point scored by novice juniors, with Eilidh, Oliver, Arthur, Ewan, Daniel, Finlay, Ananya and Jasper all making significant contributions towards this.
It has now been announced that Joe has been promoted to Division 2.
Stortford paddlers Chris Sze and Kerstin Queeney headed off to the 2022 ICF Masters World Championships held on 26-27 September in Ponte de Lima, Portugal. The K1 racing took place first - Chris came 24th in K1 mens 60-64 (1:52:56) and Kerstin was 10th in the ladies 55-59 race (1:42:47)
On the following day Chris paired up with Gordon Bullock to come 6th in the mens 60-64 K2 race and came 6th (1:54:11). Kerstin together with Catherine Ayling then secured a bronze medal in the ladies 55-59 K2 event (1:28:40). Well done!
Full results can be found at
It was a very small group who travelled to Runnymede to take part in what has traditionally been the most important race in the club calendar.
Inevitably, in a race which is scored on the basis of the results from the club's top 6 singles boats and top three doubles, the results from the club were never going to great (23rd out of 32 clubs present), but there were some individual highlights.
Jacque and Dave did so well in their race that they only narrowly missed being promoted. There was an excellent performance from Tom B who came 11th out of a huge field of 33 competitors. Also good to see Joe resuming his rightful place in Div 2.
Div 2 - Joe Fitzpatrick 16th (1:38:23)
Div 4 - Eddie Kirtland 25th (1:04:57)
Div 6 - Tom Barton 11th (1:07:01)
Div 7 - Jaroslav Klumpler (ret)
Div 8 - Jacque & Dave Cayford 11th (44:25)
The complete results can be found on the marathon website here:
(click on the "Points" tab to see the club results)
Stortford did not have any Geoff Senders (u14s league) paddlers taking part in this event, but the national results for the Geoff Sanders Trophy are cumulated over the whole season, and it has been reported that we came 9th overall! (Not yet online to be confirmed?) If this is right, it is a real achievement for the club and enormously encouraging for the future.
The club was delighted to welcome paddlers from Chelmsford CC, Cambridge CC, Leighton Buzzard CC, Hemel Hempstead CC and Le Valley Paddlesports to our Regatta - not only because it was the first local regatta since 2019, but also because we were using the occasion to celebrate the club's 50th anniversary.
The 49 paddlers spent the morning taking part in a series of races across 500m, 1000m and 200m, in sets of four. After a lunch break, the organiser Rich made up teams for fun relays.
After the prizegiving, everyone was invited to share a glass of bubbly and a a slice of celebration cake.
The full results of the Stortford Regatta can be found on the Sprint Results page of the FRA website.
Many thanks to Kerstin and another contributor for the use of some of their photos!
This September, for the first time in a few years, Bishops Stortford Canoe Club took a team to a national sprint regatta at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham.
The races take place on a 2km long, purpose-built regatta lake. There are three race distances to choose from: 200m, 500m and 1000m, and there are races for singles (K1), doubles (K2), and fours (K4). The club took a small team of five paddlers to Nottingham for a weekend of camping and competition.
The September regatta is also the national club championships, and points are awarded for the results of each club’s paddlers throughout the weekend, the club with the most points being awarded the MacGregor Paddle. Bishops Stortford Canoe Club came in 23rd place out of 40 clubs. Quite respectable given the small team that they took to the regatta.
The full results from the event can be found on the National Regatta website.
Photos courtesy of Chris Sze
Well done to Kerstin Queeney, who came second in the over 44 Ladies K2 race partnered by Catherine Ayling of Maidstone CC at the National Marathon Championships at Worcester. Their time was 1:07:25 over a 13 km course.
In singles over the same distance Kerstin was 5th in over 49 Ladies K1 with a time of 1:14:12.
Catherine also partnered Chris Sze in the Mixed K2 on the 13km course. This class had a massive turnout of 62 entries and the pair were 45th in 1:05:01
On the 6.5 km course Chris was 13th in over 59 Mens K1 in 33:41, and 19th partnered by Ant Wright (Worcester CC) in over 54 Mens K2 in 39:31.
Eddie Kirtland came 19th in u14 Boys K1, completing the 6.5 km course in 34:22.
The entire results are on the Marathon Canoe website here: https://entries.gbcanoemarathon.co.uk/results/races/2022/national-canoe-marathon-championships-2022
They had no bank support crew – everything they needed would have to be carried with them in the boat – camping & cooking gear, basic rations and clothing. Also (no surprise this, to those who know Chris) a fair quantity of tech – phones, GPS watches, two GoPro cameras, and a solar panel for charging.
They used a Kirton Inuk Duo kayak to which they fitted a pair of robust wheels for the inevitable portages en route. It was also adorned with a Union Jack and a photo of their friend and inspiration the late Steve Truglia.
The adventure began with the drive through France and into Germany, dealing along the way with baffling motorway toll systems, internet connection problems, card payment issues and all the other issues that can bedevil any international trip. More seriously, the boat came loose from the roof-rack on the motorway - but was saved in time from flying off, which would have brought a very early end to the expedition! At last they arrived at Ulm in Germany, where they were to launch.
Chris and Gordon were received very warmly by everyone they met throughout their travels. They found the Croatians particularly hospitable – stopping at a place which they mistook for a restaurant Chris and Gordon were given food only to discover that they had inadvertently gate-crashed a private party! Their charming hosts not only fed them but helped them find a suitable camping spot.
When they reached Iron Gate Gorge, the pair found themselves battling crosswinds which made paddling exhausting, and the waves from the large number of tourist sightseeing boats caused their kayak to be thrown all over the place.
Chris and Gordon were not sure of the best way around the dam on this canal, so decided to walk down there from their hotel to have a look around and take some photos of the layout. As the area also includes Romania’s nuclear power plant, armed police soon arrived. Fortunately the officers spoke English, and as soon as Chris and Gordon had convinced them that they were not a security threat, the police very kindly drove them round to show them the best portage points before dropping them back at their hotel.
At long last, 40 days after they had set off from Ulm, the two intrepid paddlers reached the Black Sea. They had averaged 60km a day, paddled 12 times the length of the DW and probably made something like 500,000 paddle stokes. Despite all the difficulties they encountered, they only fell out with each-other once – but perhaps most importantly they made even more friends wherever they went.
See the full story of their journey on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Danube-Trip-of-Gordon-Chris-2022-103137982407340
Gordon and Chris encouraged their supporters to give to the Big Paddle Challenge which is fundraising for Beyond Words. Beyond Words is a small charity which produces a range of life-skills storybooks based on pictures rather than words for the benefit of those with learning disabilities - find out more at https://bigpaddlechallenge.co.uk/ and https://www.gofundme.com/f/beyond-words-big-paddle-2022
Photos courtesy Chris & Gordon