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    National Schools Canoe & Kayak Championships

    A highly successful start to the season for our purple paddlers!

    Kimbolton canoeists enjoyed a highly successful outing to the National Schools Canoe & Kayak Championships at Wokingham on Sunday 19 November. The purple paddlers were placed second overall in the team competition, while siblings Fiona and Josh Denton took the mixed crew marathon title, meaning Kimbolton retained the trophy for the third year in a row. Zak Hall and Jessica Simpson took 3rd place in the same category – an impressive achievement in what was Jessica’s first race. 

    Canoeing Captain Michael Millington and Edmund Gray, along with Peter Salkield and Matt Lee, won their respective 500m finals, while in the marathon Michael and Edmund finished 7th overall - just ahead of Josh and Fiona in 8th. Frankie Winter and Victoria Bowland came 3rd in the senior girls’ competition. Mention must also be made of three other new paddlers, who completed their first kayak race: Lorne Dryer, Nathan Hunt and Matthew Lee.

    The event, run by the Devizes to Westminster (DW) Organisation, Marsport and British Canoeing, consisted of two sessions. The morning session focused on sprint racing, starting with heats to warm up and seed the paddlers, followed by a 500m race and a 200m knockout competition. Then, in the afternoon, the 20km marathon race took place over a lapped course between Caversham and Sonning.

    Our paddlers also took the opportunity to fit in some training on the Thames the previous day, with professional kayaking coaches. They focused on improving their paddling and portaging technique, as well as how best to prepare themselves for the watersides series and Devizes to Westminster international canoe race.

    Head of Outdoor Pursuits Mr Jon Sweet said: “I'm very proud of all the team and their efforts over the weekend, it's great to see all the training translate into positive results and hopefully this will lead to a good Waterside Series and DW next Spring.”