By James Hinves
Excitement was high as the Southampton Canoe Club Sprint Team gathered at the National Watersports Center in Nottingham last weekend (July 2/3). This regatta sees the culmination of the years effort for our junior and U23 paddlers - and what a weekend it was.
Article continues after this message...
Saturday dawned as a damp day with a strong headwind and our 10 athletes looked down the course expecting a tough event with the strength of the other competitors and the conditions to cope with.
We knew at that point that we had to control the controllables and the rest would unfold.
The first day was hard with a downpour at lunch ensuring that our paddlers were wet from above and below. However the sun shone on the second day, and a much brighter day for the weather and results dawned.
Success was sweet with Andre, Beth and Nathaniel winning national championship titles, Poppy was so close to achieve silver and Xavier and Beth bringing home bronze medals.
But beyond the title races it was great to see some of our younger paddlers making an impact, with Elouise in Bronze position in the Girls Intermediate, and Orla setting up the next wave or Southampton Paddlers by paddling in the mini sprint classes across singles, doubles and fours.
Our next Sprint is in September for the MacGregor Paddle Challenge where clubs compete to win the Historic Paddle that John MacGregor used in his epic journey described in his book “A Thousand Miles in a Canoe”. We are hoping to bring a big team.