Bishop Stortford Hasler 2023
In the final regional race of the hasler series, we, Chelmsford Canoe Club, brought one of
the biggest teams we’ve had all year to Bishop Stortford on July 9th. Almost 60 paddlers
spread across all the divsions and classes, raced to the best of their ability, whether they
were seasoned paddlers or this was their first ever race.
Before the racing even started on the Sunday though, a big thank you to everyone who
helped move and load boats onto both trailers before and after the race at both locations,
and a special thanks to both John Avery and Gary Perrin for taking them and making it
possible for this many people to race.
As the divisions were split, we first saw the starts of divisions 4, 5 and 6 who raced the
downstream 12km course with 6 portages as well as the Geoff Sanders A, B and C races
who started just above the lock for their 2.5km race.
Setting off first we saw the Division 4 K2s which included two Chelmsford crews: John Avery
and Adrian Applewhite, and Daniel Griffins and Martin Stroud. In which they both had a
respectable performance where the Avery-Applewhite crew placed 3rd while the
Griffins-Stroud crew took 4th.
From Divisions 4 and 5 K1 races, we saw 3 podiums positions. Joe Spencer taking gold in
division 4 while Samuel Irven and Mark Hampton both took bronze in their respective
divsions of 4 and 5, a big congratulations to the 3 of them for their promotions to the
divisions above. We also saw Matteo Bose compete in his first Div 4 race after a receiving a
double promotion from Div 6 last race at Leighton Buzzard. A strong performance from
himself and Graham Warland, placed them 6th and 9th. Similarly, we saw May Perrin take
on her first Div 5 race, playing a solid 7th while Phil Curry and Pete Willis took a happy 10th
At the same time, racing upstream, the Geoff Sanders races were taking place. Divided into
A, B and C, we had the highest number of entries compared to other clubs and what a
performance those racers put on!
In Div A, Louis Auvray and Josh Cooke pulled away from the rest of the race, putting in
almost 2 minutes into the people behind them and placing 1st and 2nd, both earning
themselves a promotion to division 9, a big achievement for the young competitors!
Similarly, in Div B Jack Bates and David Suculiuc also placed 1st and 2nd and each earned
promotion to Div A. Danielle White placed 4th, while missing out on a medalling spot,
she finished as the highest junior female in her class and raced splendidly. Alessio Bose,
Louis Horsman, Nathaniel Slade and Diya Patel also performed excellently amongst Div B
helping to contribute to the club overall points. Finally in Div C, we saw Francis White take a
closely fought bronze with fellow Chelmsford paddler Edith Smerdon who took a 4th 2
As the earlier racers came back, others got on to warm up for the starts of Divisions 1, 2 and
3, as well as Divisions 7, 8 and 9.
On the first start we saw the Div 2 K2 William Stroud and Sienna Payne teamed up and take
the win against David Gurney and Oscar Griffins who placed second. Following that, the Div
3 K2 were set off, in which Owen Shepard and George Hampton represented Chelmsford,
taking a bronze, in a newly trained boat. In Div 3 K1, we saw an impressive performance
from Cassian Payne breaking away from the rest of his class to claim the win while
Nathaniel Fuller chased him down in a pack of 3, to claim second. Also in that class, Richard
Ager had a strong performance placing 6th.
After this, we saw the beginnings of the 6.5km race which included Divisions 7, 8 and 9. First
off, we saw the duo of Zowie Shephard-Wyatt and Gayle Mckeand taking the win again in
Div 7 K2, the crew have taken a win in every race they’ve entered this year, proving what a
strong K2 they are. Taking on Div 8 K2, Rebecca Perrin and Dylan Birch paired up, as well
as Alex Stratford and Tracey Avery. Following the Div 7 duo result, the Perrin-Birch crew also
took the win, while the Stratford-Avery crew took a happy 4th.
Back to the K1s, we saw James Johnson, Tara Karthikeyan and Amanda Clark all in Div 7.
James Johnson had a strong performance placing second and earning himself a promotion
to Div 6 which he should be very pleased with. While Tara and Amanda also had solid
performances placing 8th and 13th respectively.
In Division 8, another 3 Chelmsford paddlers: James Benson, Olivia Cooke and Bruno Bose
showed up and performed fabulously. James Benson took a confident 3rd while Olivia
narrowly tied for 4th and Bruno came 8th.
In the final start of the day, we saw the Div 9 K1s set off. This divsion saw our highest
number of entries within this race, with Chelmsford making up 13 of the 25 entries. Chris
Slade was our highest placer within that race coming 4th and recieving a promotion to Div 8.
With many close finishes and impressive performances, a big well done to all of those
racers, especially as for many it was their first race experience!
Overall, the entirety of Team Chelmsford smashed the last regonial hasler race of the
season, all helping contribute to our overall points total of 595 which placed us just in front of
Bishop Stortford on 592, allowing us to take the win!
Therefore, a big well done to all racers, podium placers and promotion earners for an
excellent day of racing. Plus an even bigger thank you to Bishop Stortford Canoe Club for
hosting yet another lovely race to end the regional season, as well as everyone else who
helped support Team Chelmsford! We can’t wait to see you all at Marathon Nationals and the
Halser Final later on in the season!