A capsize just after the start caused Octavia to retire, but her success at the earlier races means that she is still third overall in Ladies K1 and well ahead of the field for the Vet Ladies trophy, whilst Kirsten (4th overall so far in this class) is leading the SuperVets.
7 miles (4 portages):
Senior K2 - Adam Beaumont & David Gurney 3rd (51:15), Mike Panrucker & Ian Abrams 9th (1:00:15), Jacque & Dave Cayford 17th (1:00:42)
Vet Mens K1 - Dave Hallam 5th (57:30)
u18 Boys K1 - Euan Caton 1st (55:53)
5 miles (4 portages):
u16 Boys K1 - Connor Higgins 6th (44:26)
Ladies K1 - Kerstin Queeney 5th (47:46), Octavia Abbott (DNF)
u16 K2 - Eilidh White & Catherine Robinson 3rd (59:52)
3 miles (2 portages):
u14 Boys K1 - Jamie Gaulton 4th (30:47)
u12 - Jack Gaulton 8th (37:10), Libby Gaulton 10th (38:14)
For the second time this Winter Series, the Stortford team numbered only a dozen competitors, but some good individual performances secured a third place for the club.
Euan took Stortford's only gold medal of the day - his second win in u18 boys this series, placing him third overall in the class to date, but a strong contender for the class trophy.
Adam & David continue at the top of the class table in Senior K2, having won bronze at this race, and Dave H is joint first in Vet Men's K1.
The club was third in the Dick Grieve league - this is based solely on the performance of novice juniors - all of Stortford's points DG points being won by the Gaulton family!
We had excellent weather for the start of the new Winter Series, hosted at our own club as usual. The 127 competitors included a large field of senior K2s on the long course (19 boats) and a good turn out of u12 K1s on the short course (16 entries).
On the long course, Euan won gold in the u18 Mens K1. Adam B & David G were narrowly beaten into second place in senior K2 by less than a minute, despite an excellent performance. Dave H won silver in the Mens Vet race.
On the middle distance, Octavia took gold in the Ladies K1, and Kerstin was the first SuperVet. On the short course Jamie G won the silver medal in u14 Boys and brother Jack did well in u12s, coming 7th.
7 miles (6 portages):
Senior K2 - Adam Beaumont & David Gurney 2nd (57:22), Tim Beaver & Neil Boast 7th (1:10:02), Ian Abrams & Gordon Bullock BAD 9th (1:10:20), Jacque & Dave Cayford 17th (1:22:20)
Vet Mens K1 - Dave Hallam 2nd (1:05:25), Mike Toomey 7th (1:11:46)
u18 Boys K1 - Euan Caton 1st (1:02:44), Murdo White 6th (1:33:58), James Daly 7th (1:33:59)
5 miles (3 portages):
u16 Boys K1 - Connor Higgins 5th (54:05)
Ladies K1 - Octavia Abbott 1st (53:39), Kerstin Queeney 4th (56:08)
u16 K2 - Eilidh White & Catherine Robinson 3rd (1:12:35)
3 miles (1 portage):
u14 Boys K1 - Jamie Gaulton 2nd (33:02)
GP - Mick Hussey 3rd (42:29)
u12 K1 - Jack Gaulton 7th (38:16), Gemma Beazley 9th (41:41), Edward Kirtland 12th (45:35), Killian O'Dwyer 14th (45:41), Libby Gaulton (retired)
Ten clubs were represented. Stortford came second overall, behind Chelmsford and ahead of Leighton Buzzard. We were also second on Dick Grieve points (based on performance by novice juniors only).
Having secured the club's place in the National Hasler Finals with a rather spectacular joint first place in the region, it was disappointing that a number of those who had qualified to participate (by finishing in at least three races during the year) were not in the end able to turn out for the final itself, due to injury, illness or prior commitments.
The team of 23 who did go included a good balance of singles and doubles, and together they achieved a total score of 164 points, making the club 9th overall out of 31 clubs participating. The winners were Chelmsford CC (227 points) and Norwich CC were runners-up (222). Cambridge CC were 10th with 160 points. With all four of the Eastern Region clubs who had qualified for the event finishing in the top 10, there can be no doubt that the standard of racing in our Region is as high as anywhere in the country.
The star performers in the race included Adam Beaumont, who brought home a gold medal as winner of Div 3, and was also promoted to Div 2. Eugene Kokorin also had an excellent race, finishing 5 in Div 6 and being promoted to Div 5.
There were other notable singles results in Div 3 from David G. (who narrowly missed out on a promotion) and Euan, while Matt P. recovered well to finish 11th in Div 2 after a swim at the start. In doubles, Chris and Matt M.'s 5th place in Div 4 was particularly impressive against a field of 26 crews.
Div 2 - Danny Beazley & James Smythe 4th (1:35:12)
Div 4 - Chris Sze & Matt Mills 5th (1:13:41), Octavia Abbott & Mike Panrucker 21st (1:21:38)
Div 6 - Ant Wright & Ian Abrams 8th (1:25:17)
Div 7 - Jennifer Burtwell & Kerstin Queeney 14th (41:28)
Div 8 - Jacque & Dave Cayford 11th (44:25)
Div 9 - Catherine Robinson & Eilidh White 11th (52:32)
Div 2 - Matt Parkes 11th (1:37:37)
Div 3 - Adam Beaumont 1st (1:35:47), David Gurney 6th (1:38:31), Euan Caton 14th (1:42:21)
Div 5 - Mike Toomey 26th (1:27:38)
Div 6 - Eugene Kokorin 5th (1:27:28), Lexie White 17th (1:33:00)
Div 7 - Melanie Bennett 32nd (45:31), Malcolm Duckworth 36th (46:30)
Full results from the event can be found online.
Nine paddlers from Bishops Stortford competed in this annual prestige event. This year the Nationals were held at Reading, extending over two days, with the singles races on Saturday and the doubles on Sunday. Three members came home with the coveted Nationals members - bronzes for Danny, James S and Jamie W.
Competing in age/sex classes can bring together paddlers of very different rankings in the same race. Although they may not have won medals, Euan and Richard W can be especially proud of the fact that they were the fastest Div 4 paddler and UK Div 3 paddlers in their respective K1 races. David G also achieved an excellent time.
Kerstin (Div 9), in particular, put in a fantastic performance to finish hot on the heels of a number of Div 6 paddlers. Well done to everyone who took part.
25.2 km, 4 portages
Senior Mens K1: Richard Winstanley 11th (2:7:19)
U23 Mens K1: Matt Parkes 9th (2:2:52), Adam Beaumont (rtd)
Senior Mens K2: Richard Winstanley & Matt Westall (PAN) 6th (2:02:13)
21 km, 3 portages
over 39 Mens K1: Danny Beazley 3rd (1:37:36)
u18 Mens K1: Euan Caton 13th (1:41:27)
over 34 Mens K2: Danny Beazley & James Smythe 4th (1:35:35)
12.6 km, 2 portages
over 49 Womens K1: Kerstin Queeney 13th (1:11:55)
over 44 Mens K1: James Smythe 3rd (59:56)
u16 Mens K1: David Gurney 8th (1:1:42)
u16 Mens K2: David Gurney & Lewis Smith (LIN) 9th (59:25)
Mixed K2: Matt Parkes & Stacey Terry (NOR) 12th (57:56)
u10 Mini K2: Jamie Winstanley & Rhys Walker (PAN) 3rd (34:23)
Fantastic results for the Stortford team at our own Hasler race - despite everyone needing to double up as marshals etc when not actually racing.
The event attracted the biggest field of Lightnings this season, including quite a number from Stortford, several racing for the first time. In total there were 183 kayakers competing - unusually no canadians at all, though few leisure C2s passing through were a bit bemused to find themselves on the start line!
The combinations of doubles pairings worked well, and everything came together to deliver a home win. To cap it all off, it has now been announced that Neil and Connor are promoted to Division 5.
The National Marathon Championships are coming up, and then the National Hasler Finals. It really does feel, as Danny said, that "anything is achievable".
Big thanks are due to the army all the members, family, club members and paddlers from other clubs who turned out to help with all the preparations, and all the work on the day, including starts/finishes, on-water safety, towpath sweepers, turn marshals, catering, entries/results, car park, and a plethora of other jobs.
19km, 8 portages
Div 3: David Gurney & Adam Beaumont 1st (1:27:22), Euan Caton & James Smythe 2nd (1:27:40)
11.5km, 6 portages
Div 4: Octavia Abbott & Tim Beaver 5th (1:08:48)
Div 5: Mike Panrucker & Ian Abrams 5th (1:11:26)
Div 6: Connor Higgins & Neil Boast 1st (1:08:55)
6.5km, 2 portages
Div 8: Kerstin Queeney & Jennifer Burtwell 1st (49:48), Jacque Cayford & Dave Cayford 4th (53:12)
Div 9: Catherine Robinson & Fifi Dunphy 4th (1:09:19)
Euan and Connor teamed up for this race and proved to be a most successful pairing. They finished a good 4 minutes ahead in the Div 6 doubles race, and as well as their trophies, Connor was also able to take home a promotion to Div 6.
Jacq & Dave took a well deserved third place in Div 8 doubles.
Jack and Jamie G had their first taste of Hasler racing. Eilidh moved up into Division 9, and Leo completed his first ever race.
14 km, 4 portages
Div 4: Mike Panrucker & Alasdair Bruce 5th (1:25:54)
Div 6: Connor Higgins & Euan Caton 1st (1:23:52)
Div 8: Jacq & Dave Cayford 3rd (41:02)
The presentation of the medals for the day was followed by the end-of-season prize giving.
u16 Boys K1 - David Gurney 3rd (47:03), Murdo White 7th (52:31), James Daly 8th (52:54), Connor Higgins (rtd)
Ladies K1 - Octavia Abbott 4th (47:36), Melanie Bennett 9th (54:56), Catherine Robinson 15th (1:07:37)
u16 Girls - Emilia Boylan 2nd (54:02)
C2 - Paul Surrage & Richard Baker 3rd (54:07)
u14 Boys K1 - Jamie Gaulton 7th (29:55)
u12 K1 - Eilidh White 3rd (30:30), Jack Gaulton 10th (33:32)
Only 16 BSCC paddlers made it to the Barking Winter Series race, though this proved enough to secure a second place overall for the club. A good number of those who finished were rewarded with medals: Dave H, Connor, Octavia, Emilia and Eilidh all achieved bronze in their respective classes, Kerstin was 1st lady supervet, Catherine was awarded ladies paddleability, while Danny won a gold.
The weather was not quite as cold as of late, but persistent drizzle added to the typically bleak appearance of the venue of the estury of the River Roding.
At this half-way point through the series, Danny, Octavia and Kerstin are all on track to be taking home a perpetual trophy at the finals, while Eilidh is locked in a battle with a Chelmsford rival for the Girls U12 cup. James, Connor, Murdo and Emilia each have a chance of winning one of the engraved series glasses.