Sprint Racing Report September 2nd/3rd:
Newbury Paddlers competed at the National Club and Inter Services Championships over the 2/3 September.
Sprint racing is held on the 2 km long National Water Sport Centre regatta lake just outside Nottingham. Racing occurs over distances of 200m, 500m and 1000m, in K1, K2, K4, and Canadian single, doubles and fours with other races including Para competitors. There are over 250 races held on the course over the weekend with not much more than 3 mins between each. Competitors line up on the start line in Start buckets, which are in the centre of each of the 9 lanes marked by yellow boys at 20m intervals.. These start buckets drop into the water under the starters command “GO!” And the race is on, fast and furious for the 200m sprints and a slightly more measured pace for the 500m and 1000m racing. Heats are combined to rank paddlers with normally the best 9 times going through to the main final, and the next best 9 Times battling it out in their own 2nd final. Competitors have to achieve qualifying times to ensure they are competing in the appropriate races.
Alex’s first Race in the Army 1000m K4 crew boat on Saturday had a very hard race with two Royal Navy Boats. In the end the Army crossed the line first in 3:43:18 just 0.72 seconds in front of the 2nd placed Royal Navy boat in 3.43.90. A 2nd Royal Navy crew came in 3rd only 4 seconds later, and over 1000m that is a very close race indeed especially as 1st and 2nd were racing in adjacent lanes. One hour later Alex was racing 1000m again this time in a K2, but this time after the 500m point very tired limbs meant that a medal place was not on the cards. The Army did however win the Inter Services Marathon ( held on the Friday ) and the Sprints over the weekend.
Next Max was up paddling in his heat race in the 500m Lighting B class. He was drawn in Lane 8 and is competing against ages from 8 through to 12, He came in a strong 4th having crossed the line ahead of two 11 year olds, with a 9,11 and 8 year olds being in the 1st three. This earned Max a place in the 2nd of two finals, and with a show of consistency crossed the line within a second of his heat time and again being placed 4th. This time crossing the line in front of one ten year old and three eleven year olds.!!!
Clive was up next in his 200m K1 dash to the line in the Masters (over 35) D class. A time of 49.59 seconds was the fastest time of all the three heats some 22 paddlers by 1 second. In his final race with an almost identical time 49.51 was enough to earn 2nd place, with a paddler 12 years his junior managing to decrease his heat time by 4 seconds to take 1st in 48.49 seconds.
Well done to all 3 paddlers, and especially to Max who is now promoted to the Lightning A class now called the Mini Kayak class.
Report by Clive Williams