STAFFORD and Stone Canoe Club (SSCC) held its final competition of the season, on the River Trent at Stone last week.
The National division’s three and four slalom attracted 87 entries on the Saturday and 117 on the Sunday.
Conditions for the youngest paddlers on day one were very challenging, with a high river following the heavy rain during the previous week.
Many of the club’s newcomers were competing for the first time in the division four races and several came away with excellent results.
In the Saturday race the top three places in the men’s kayak race were taken by home club paddlers with David Gentle 1st, Joseph Evans 2nd and Simon Hill 3rd, all gaining promotion to division three.
The women’s kayak race saw Katie Rubython take first place and also gained promotion. SSCC’s top results in division three came from Jamie Weddell and Chris Bowers, 1st in Canadian doubles and Sam Maingay, 2nd in Canadian singles. This result secured promotion for Maingay to division two.
The river had dropped to a lower level on the Sunday enabling the division four paddlers to cope better.
Best SSCC results came in men’s kayak with Ben Robinson 1st and Peter Appleton 3rd. Charlotte Wildblood took 1st place in women’s kayak, and all three gained promotion.
Paddlers in the Canadian categories again took top club honours in division three with Will Stewart and Nikita Setchell 1st in singles and father and son Steve and Rob Harratt 1st in the doubles.
The Stone Town Council Cup, awarded to the top paddler over the two days, went this year to Jack Hopper, an under-18 paddler from Peninsula CC who was the winner of the division three men’s kayak on both days.
Attending the race and presenting the prizes was Stafford and Stone’s 2012 Olympian Lizzie Neave.
She also took the opportunity to meet up with paddlers at the event and to sign autographs for her supporters.
SSCC’S more established paddlers have their final races with events at Matlock and Serpent’s Tail on the River Dee at Llangollen, with the British Open for premier paddlers on the Lee Valley Olympic course on November 3 and 4.