Leighton Buzzard Winter Series Report by Sienna Payne
At the penultimate race of the 2023/24 Winter Series season, we saw over 30 Chelmsford paddlers turn up to Leighton Buzzard. Thankfully the day wasn’t accompied by snow, just chilly temperatures making us all wish for summer to come back, but despite it all Team Chelmsford smashed it yet again.
Just like normal, Senior Men’s 16+ K2 were set off and as consistent as ever the Hampton crew of George and Mark came 3rd yet again. Swiftly followed by John Avery and Adrian Applewhite coming in 4th and claiming the first SuperVet position.
Equally as consistent, Matt Johnson and Leah Falltrick took the win in the Mixed K2 16+ while Alex Stratford and James Benson, and Chris Slade and Claire Cheung came 6th and 7th respectively. Meanwhile, Naomi Fuller and Tara
Karthikeyan took 2nd in Women’s K2 16+ followed by Tracey Avery and Jacqueline Hampton placing 3rd and taking the win as the first Veteran crew, excellent results!
Senior Men’s saw a bit more action than it had this season with Tim Gannicott-Porter taking the win but only after helping rescue a small junior by getting into the water himself to help the boy back into his boat, something that really needs to be applauded because to describe the water as cold is an understatement!! Also, for the first time this season, James Walkinton made an appearance claiming bronze with Owain Herbert taking 4th shortly after.
In Veteran Men, Doug Herbert and Joel Auvray represented Team Chelmsford claiming 5th and 7th respectively. While in U18 Women, Sienna Payne took 1st again.
In the middle distance of approximately 10km, Graham Mckeand took 2nd in the SuperVet Men while U16 K2 duo of Becky Perrin and James Johnson dominated, again taking first. Similarly in U16 Men’s, Cassian Payne took yet another win in the race with Jack Bates also taking a fabulous 5th. While in U16 Women’s, Olivia Cooke also took a smashing win!
U14 Men’s saw Matteo Bose and Louis Auvray respectively claiming the top two positions on the podium, just as they have all season! As well as, Tim Chamberlin dominating the GP Men’s race in a solid 1st. In the GP Women’s there was a change compared to previous results, with Helen Payne claiming the win and Deborah Wilkes closely following in 2nd! Finally, U12 Men’s saw Nathaniel Slade smash it and take the win!
Overall with 261 points, we claimed the top of the table, increasing our overall lead even more! So congratulations to all those who raced, thank you to Lily Stratford for being Team Leader and all parents and supporters for making the trek over to Leighton Buzzard.