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NCC face choppy waters at the Hasler final for the 2nd year

For the second year running, Newbury Canoe Club made it to the Hasler Final. This year’s final was on Sunday, 24th September, on the River Severn at Worcester.

Report from our secretary, Richard

To reach the final, club members had to race on at least three occasions throughout the season. Newbury Canoe Club was proud to have 20 members paddling on what was a very blustery Sunday morning on the River Severn with a strong flow. James, Ed, Ted, Rebecca, both Mike Ws 😊 and a Mike R, two Richards, Ena, Kieron, Rachel, Rob, Pat, Caroline, Jo, Andrew, Alex and Paul were all on the water, with an impressive supporting turnout from Clive, Steve, Simon, Lynne, Jacqui and Olive the dog – resplendent in team colours I might add (thanks to one of our paddlers being multi-talented).

On the day of the Hasler Final, it's always an early start. Not least as the final is often a fair drive away, but the day’s racing schedule also starts early. Mike Wright was in our Boatshed at 5:40am scooping the award for our most prepared paddler. Our team captain had helped organised car shares (doing our bit to keep our carbon footprint low) and most of us were up in Worcester by 8:00am(ish).

The conditions on race day were not without their challenges. We often think that, at the height of winter, the waters of the Kennet & Avon swirl with a degree of ferocity past Costa in Newbury, but the Severn showed us what big river flow was all about. Add to the strong current, chop from the wind and quite a lot of excited paddlers, conditions were tougher than normal. A learning experience to be sure - four of the Newbury team took an unscheduled swim. A super big "bravo" to Ed and Ted who picked themselves up and finished, despite capsizing.

Cake was eaten, tea drunk, and heroic tales of big waves recounted. The world of paddling was put to rights.

Thanks to Worcester Canoe Club for hosting yet another memorable and successful event.

Well done to all who participated - on the bank, on the water, or in the water. We’re already into next season’s Haslers! So, if you want in on the fun, come join in!

Report from our race team leader, Paul

As team leader I thought I should write a short article on this year's Hasler series and final.

I was going to go into detail, mentioning every paddler: like Kieron, who ran 2 early Sunday morning progression groups which provided us with a whole bunch of enthusiastic paddlers itching to be at every race.

Rob and Mike, who ditched the 2-bladed paddles and a streamlined K2 for a couple of giant ice cream spoons and a bath tub, but still managed to bag loads of Hasler points and finish high up in Division 7.

There's our only female K2 partnership, Jo and Caroline, who when asked if they would do K2 to pick up more points, rose to the challenge, got promoted and did fantastic in the final.

Talking of females, there’s Rebecca, who earned the nickname 'Dolly' after being promoted from division 9 to 5 in one season.

There’s also those dedicated individuals who attended every regional Hasler race, Mr Phil PPP Bartle and PJ team leader, and many others who attended all but one race, getting promotion after promotion, (a few demotions here and there and a few swims, but let's gloss over that), picking up vital Hasler points and bagging a few mugs and neck warmers along the way.

Not forgetting our very own supporters club (including Olive the dog), who travelled all around the South of England cheering us on, encouraging us and feeding us the odd cake or homemade biscuit (it really does make all the difference, thanks!)

I was going to say all this... but instead I’m just going to say, "Well done all!" We finished the season in 4th position, one place above last year, reaching the finals again, and went and gave it our best.

To everyone who raced last season, battling their nerves and giving their all....Thanks!

So let's grab our paddles, get on the water and make it to the finals again next year.


Paul J

Photos and videos from Lynne


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