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NCC's Waterside series 2023 is off to a gliding start.

Written by Richard Carter

Photos by NCC member


February 12th

Great Bedwyn to Newbury

Great organisation

A big congratulations to all who helped organise, marshal and participate in Waterside A, the first of the 4 races that our club organise each year along various sections of the Kennet & Avon Canal.

We had 193 crews participating, amounting to 325 competitors on the day.

For organisers the day started early with tea, coffee and bacon sandwiches in evidence at Great Bedwyn village hall from 7:30am and a stream of cars arriving before set-off at 9:00am. Given cars have parking, people, equipment and boats to organise all went well & with good humour.

Scores on the doors

Race day itself was slightly overcast and at about 6.5C, meant thermal gloves for participants like me and lightweight singlet’s for an army team that blasted past and were only evidenced by their wake.

We had Luke M & James T finish 3rd for Newbury. Along with Alex B and Paul H in 4th place, they all finished in under 2 hours.

Paul J and Dave S (who chatted all the way no doubt) did it in about 2:15:00, Jethro M, me (Rich C), and Mike W followed, managing it with only one blade on his paddle!

A notable shout out to Rob and son Pat who did 2:08:00 and as coach Kieron mentioned the crews ahead of them were of international? standard so very well done.

As a first effort Rebecca B and Mike W managed a very creditable time, lost a shoe in a capsize but gained great experience along with a boatful of canal water.

Personal reflections

On a personal note, as I made my way interminably toward Newbury I reflected on

A) what a staggeringly long way Bedwyn to Newbury is, what was my favourite colour (canal water brown)? and what did I want for tea (chips)?

B) How nice it was to say hello to club friends along the way doing a sterling service at marshalling. Hello and thanks to Rob, Simon & Caroline at Dunmill and a slightly blurred hello to Rachael and Martyn at Kintbury and an entirely out of focus hello to Richard F at West Mills.

And C) I need a lighter boat. It was good fun, especially when finished!

New additions

Lastly Waterside A had some new moving parts. Kelly and her team at the Waterside Centre provided great food. There was a queue! A good sign! Andrew C has helped provide new software to run the results and they were out nice and quick.

Happy days!

Results and details checkout:

See you all at Waterside B on Sunday 24th February, supporting and/or participating.

Next Watersides: go to the future event section of the Website and put your name down


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