Maidstone Winter Series Report by Sienna Payne
For the first time, the Winter Series saw the introduction of a new course at Maidstone Canoe Club! While not a huge team made it, 28 Chelmsford paddlers rocked up and raced awesomely on the frosty morning of November 26th.
Just like last time, the first start off were the K2 16+ Men, from which representing Chelmsford we saw the Hampton duo of George and Mark take a solid 4th while John Avery and Adrian Applewhite took 5th and were the first Senior Veteran crew, fabulous results. On the same start line, they set off the Mixed K2 16+ in which all three crews were from Chelmsford! Leah Falltrick and Matthew Johnson took the win in a close finish against a Senior Men’s K2 while Cassian Payne and Lily Startford placed a comfortable 2nd a little while later, also in close finish against the Senior Men’s Hampton crew. Meanwhile taking third was James Benson and Alex Stratford and also earning the medals for the first Veteran crew.
Next off, the K2 16+ Female departed. Again, Chelmsford made up the entire startline meaning Naomi Fuller and Tara Karthikeyan took a splendid first and Tracey Avery and Jacqueline Hampton took 2nd and also claimed the first Veteran crew!
The first K1s set off were the Senior Men in which once again Tim Gannicott-Porter smashed the race taking the win, and a few minutes later Owain Herbert took 4th just beating his competitor who took 5th. Sadly, we had no senior females or U18s but in the Veteran Men, Doug Herbert took a close win by just two seconds while Joel Auvray took 5th, great results for the two of them.
Moving onto the shorter distance, in the SuperVet category, Graham Mckeand represented Team Chelmsford and claimed 2nd, just missing out on the win by a second but a splendid result none the less. And set off just after him, the K2 U16 crew of Rebecca Perrin and James Johnson set off taking a comfortable win in their solo race.
In the U16 Men, Jack Bates put up a great performance and placed 2nd while May Perrin dominated the U16 Females to claim first place.
Meanwhile, despite a bit of confusion about the course, in the U14 K1 Men’s, Matteo Bose took an epic 1st with Louis Auvray taking a second just behind. In the GP category, we saw both Deborah Wilkes and Helen Payne in a neck and neck finish again, with Wilkes taking the win and Payne swiftly following. Finally, Alessio Bose in U12 Men’s took a strong 2nd, just missing out on first by 5 seconds!
Overall, Team Chelmsford dominated the races and took the overall win with 246 points, over 150 more than the next closest competitor! So thank you to Maidstone for hosting and for everyone who turned up and competed even in the cold conditions! Cambridge next up.