Month: June 2023

ACM Change of Date

We have had to postpone the MRC ACM to Wednesday 12 July. This will still take place on Zoom, starting at 7.30 and lasting approximately 1 hour.

The Agenda and papers are all in the pdf pack below, along with the Zoom link. Please note, we do encourage paddlers to bring up any topics that they would like the MRC to discuss/review during the year, and there is an opportunity for that at the end of the meeting.

World Cup 2023 Race Report

Over two weeks have passed since our 2023 World Cup team competed in Ruse, Bulgaria. The event concluded with one medal and multiple top ten places from our senior development team.

After a long coach journey into Bulgaria on Thursday afternoon, the team were able to check out the course and portage on Friday. The organisation had done a great job with the venue set-up and even the army had been drafted in to construct the 200+ metre portage using transportable army bridges to form the pontoons. The weather was hot but cooled enough in the evening to enjoy some dancing and music at the open ceremony.

On Saturday 3rd June, the team competed over the short course distance, with the senior women taking to the water first. An exceptional start from Becky Solway (Elmbridge) saw her in a comfortable position for the first few hundred metres, while the rest of the women had to work hard to make the first turn from their left-side-of-the-pontoon start. As the field started to split apart, Melissa Johnson (Chelmsford) was using the washes to move her way closer to the lead group coming into the first portage. A strong run put her within medal contention with four other boats. Becky found herself back in a chasing group with Samantha Martyn (Wey). Katie Brookes (Exeter) and Lucy Guest (Nottingham) found themselves a little further back after Lucy had an incident with a turn buoy. The second portage resulted in Melissa putting in competing for either silver or bronze with a Danish boat. The final sprint was tight and she crossed the line earning bronze, her first international medal.

When reflecting on her performance, Melissa said, “It was a really good race. It was quite interesting off the start, and I was just trying to climb my way through the group. I managed to run through quite a few other athletes [at the portage], and once I got back in I just kept climbing through and managed to get [my first] bronze [medal].”

Samanatha Martyn finished in eighth with Becky Solway just behind in ninth. Katie Brookes and Lucy Guest finished in 12th and 13th respectively.

Quickly after the senior women came across the line, the senior men’s short course race started. A strong start from Ross McMullen (Elmbridge) allowed him to make it into the front group and fighting for washes. A tough start on the left-side-of-the-pontoon saw Alex McIntrye (Chelmsford), Finn Cadell (Nottingham) and Joe Petersen (Banbury) form the chasing group, working to close on the lead group. George Durden (Elmbridge) suffered off the start and found himself trying to claw back to a group. The first portage was tough and Ross found himself back with the chasing group and the three other Brits. Working hard together saw some tight finishes after the second portage. Finn came out top, securing sixth position overall, closely followed by Joe in seventh.

After his race, Finn said, “It was really good fun… this was only the second marathon short course race I’ve ever done. It was a very long portage, but I think that played into my strengths… overall it was a good race and a good day.”

Alex finished in tenth, Ross in twelfth and George in 16th.

Sunday saw the turn of the long course racing. Our Senior Women had an earlier start but a shorter than normal course of 22km and much cooler temperatures than earlier in the week. All five Brits had a strong start, enabling them to make the front group, with Samantha Martyn (Wey) finding herself in the lead v-wash for the first lap. Unfortunately a tight second turn saw Melissa Johnson (Chelmsford) squeezed the wrong side of a buoy, earning a 15-second penalty that she had to take at the first portage. This incident also caused the front group to split up with a chasing group of Lucy Guest (Nottingham), Becky Solway (Elmbridge), Melissa Johnson (Chelmsford) and Katie Brookes (Exeter) forming. However, a small incident with a confused fisherman saw Katie catch and then tow a fishing line into the first portage. Quick action from team staff member, Oli Rix, saw it removed, but the damage on Katie’s involvement in the chase group had been done.

The front group had started to break up further and Samantha Martyn found herself chasing with Czech paddler Katie Milova the lead boats and medals. They continued to close the gap and Samantha found herself finishing in fourth position, only seven seconds behind bronze medal position. She was controlled right up to the finish, even being considered in her sprint finish and when to action it. She was also surrounded by paddlers who secured a top five position in last year’s under 23 women’s world championships.

After her race, Samantha said, “The start wasn’t quite as fast as I’d hoped for but I got some good washes and had a few lucky moves which helped me secure a safe spot…Catching people later in the race is something I know I can do so I felt confident on the later laps [but] I wasn’t sure on that last lap what was going to happen so I was little nervous coming into it, but I’m really happy with ending up in fourth place.”

Melissa finished in eighth, Becky in ninth and Lucy in eleventh.

Our Senior Men raced over a 25km course in the early afternoon. Yet another strong start from Ross McMullen (Elmbridge) saw him find a position within the lead group, alongside Alex McIntrye (Chelmsford). The first lap is always a quick one and staying on the washes and keeping safe is always the main aim. McIntrye did this well all the way into the first portage. Ross found himself dropping back into the chase group containing Finn Cadell (Nottingham) and Joe Petersen (Banbury. They worked hard to try to keep the gap between them and the lead group level, and even try to close it. George Durden (Elmbridge) found himself working hard just behind the chase group with a Ukrainian paddler.

The pace of the first portage was high and Alex found himself not able to latch onto a wash afterwards to stay there. He wasn’t the only one though and a group of five boats formed, including Ross who had completed an exceptionally fast portage to jump a group. As they came into the last portage, Alex was in a strong place to try and secure a top five position. A tight and powerful sprint finish from a Belgian paddler saw Alex finish in sixth. Ross finished in ninth, Joe in twelfth, Finn in 15th and George in 16th.

After his race, Alex said, “Very happy with my performance, I did what I could to get in the front group. After my performance yesterday, I decided I needed to commit more to the first lap or two, so I went all in and it paid off… I got a good portage on the last lap and I managed to split away with the Belgian paddler and we had a good sprint finish into the end. My overall takeaway from the weekend is that I need to get faster. I want to get better at moving around a group in terms of pace, but overall I am happy with my performance.”

A successful weekend saw one medal and ten top ten places secured. David Sackman, the team manager, reflected on the weekends results and said, “Really pleased. Some great results and performances [over the weekend]. A pleasure to manage such a lovely team. And of course having good staff team makes things run so smoothly.”

Well done to all the athletes and thank you to our amazing volunteer team of staff that helped make the trip happened.

The next international event is the European Championships, taking place between Thursday 13th July to Sunday 16th July. We look forward to seeing how the international team gets on.

Team Announcement for 2023 European Championships and Sanabria K4

The selection committee would like to again thank Elmbridge Canoe Club for hosting a very professional assessment weekend. Following the assessment weekend the Selection Committee met to complete the selections for the two events. Please view the linked documents below for the full selection note, assessment results and HC data.

Congratulations to the athletes on their selections to their respective teams.

As per the 2023 Selection Policy (published here), any requests to review the selections must be made in writing to the Chair of the Selection Committee, Nanette North, within 48 hours of the publication of this document, i.e. by 10pm on Saturday 17th June 2023.

Race Insurance

We understand that some clubs have recently had their race permissions returned from the CRT saying that they/BC did not have enough insurance, which may be due to supplying the wrong document. The CRT require £10,000,000 and the BC insurance is structured as £5,000,000, that is then insured with another £5,000,000, and which is confirmed in this document – To Who It May Concern Letter.

This was covered in the webinar with the insurance company in November 2022, which is available from the Clubhouse Archives page.

Assessment Weekend Final Details

Please see below for the final details of this weekends assessment race. It is due to very hot over the weekend. If you are racing or spectating, please ensure you are well-hydrated and considering the weather.

If you are unable to attend to spectate, racing will be live streamed via our Facebook group. Updates of results will also be posted on our social media stories throughout the day.

Assessment is per selection policy as detailed on our International Selection page.

Elmbridge K1/C1 MRC Assessment race – 10/5/23

1st Briefing at 10:00am

Start order:

  • 10:30am – 12 miles for Senior & U23 Women K1 and Senior Men C1 (depending on entry numbers) – 6 laps, 4 portages 
  • 10:32am – 8.5 miles for Junior Girls K1, Junior Boys C1 and Senior Women C1 (depending on entry numbers) – 4 laps, 2 portages

2nd Briefing at 2:50pm

Start order:

  • 03:20pm – 16 miles for Senior & U23 Men K1 – 8 laps, 6 portages
  • 03:22pm – 12 miles for Junior Boys K1 – 6 laps, 4 portages

Start at the white house (an upstream start so this might change if conditions are unfair), paddle upstream around the back of the little island to a 3 buoyed turn, turn anti clockwise and continue downstream via the main channel of the little island (club side), head past the portage outside the club (DO NOT PORTAGE ON THIS LAP), continue down the cut to the 2nd turn just below Desborough Island, and turn anti-clockwise upstream around the back of Desborough Island.

Repeat as appropriate to your race.

The portage is outside the club, using the floating landing stage, up the tow path and back in on the 2nd landing stage. There is a gap between the floating landing stage and the edge, paddlers need to be aware!

On the last lap, you turn in the same place as normal (3 buoy turn), but you finish at the bridge below the club some 300m+ from the top turn. 


Elmbridge K2/C2 MRC Assessment race – 11/5/23

1st Briefing at 10:30am

Start order:

  • 11:00am – 12 miles for Senior & U23 Women K2 and Senior Men C2 (depending on entry numbers) – 5 laps, 4 portages
  • 11:02am – 8.5 miles for Junior Girls K2, Junior Men C2 & Senior Women C2 (depending on entry numbers) – 3 laps, 2 portages

2nd Briefing at 1:15pm

Start order:

  • 01:45pm – 16 miles for Senior & U23 Men K2 – 7 laps, 6 portages
  • 01:47pm – 12 miles for Junior Boys K2 – 5 laps, 4 portages

Start at Elmbridge canoe club and continue downstream via the main channel of the big island, continue down the cut to the bottom turn at Walton bridge (staying outside the separation buoy), and turn anti-clockwise upstream and head up the cut on the right hand side, turn around the little island anti clockwise to the first portage.

Repeat as appropriate to your race.

The portage is outside the club, using the floating landing stage, up the tow path and back in on the 2nd landing stage. There is a gap between the floating landing stage and the edge, paddlers need to be aware!

On the last lap, you turn in the same place as normal, but you finish at the bridge below the club some 300m+ from the top turn. 


World Cup 2023 – How to watch

The 2023 Canoe Marathon World Cup team have successfully arrived in Bulgaria to compete this weekend. Our team of athletes will be racing at the following times over the two days:

  • Saturday 3rd June at 10am BST – Senior Women K1 Short Course Final
  • Saturday 3rd June at 10:30am BST – Senior Men K1 Short Course Final
  • Sunday 4th June at 08:40am BST – Senior Women K1 Standard Distance Final
  • Sunday 4th June at 12pm BST – Senior Men K1 Standard Distance Final

Start lists and live results for all events can be found here. Any live updates from our British team will be shared via our social media platforms.

All racing will be live streamed via the PlanetCanoe Recast Channel. To find out more about Recast and how to set-up your account, visit our “How to watch Canoe Marathon” page here. Click the links below for the relevant live stream for each race.

German Nationals 2023 Report

The annual development trip to German National Marathon Championships fielded a twelve-strong team of juniors and under 23’s after successful selection from the long course assessment race in April. Consisting of seven juniors and five under 23’s, the team traveled to Rheine to take part in three days of racing two weeks ago.

After a long travel day, the team took on the short course distance on Friday evening as a warm-up to the long course events on Saturday and Sunday. Short Course marathon racing consists of a 3.2km course over small laps. In the junior boys category, the British team produced a dominant 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th finish order with Arthur Morley (Wey Kayak Club) taking the overall win. Flynn Holt (Royal Canoe Club) finished in the bronze medal position, Lukas Schleiter-Nielsen (Falcon Canoe Club) in 4th position and Alex Worgan (Royal Canoe Club) in 5th.

In the junior girls race, Chloe Ritchie (Wey Kayak Club) had a lightning start with Nerys Hall (Wey Kayak Club) and Beth Hall (Southampton Canoe Club) benefiting from her wash. A tough fight at the front of the race resulted in Nerys taking the silver medal with Beth Perry and Chloe Ritchie not far behind in 4th and 5th position respectively. Elise Montagna (Royal Canoe Club) had a consistent race in the senior women’s category to finish in 4th position. 

In the senior men’s race, a fast pace off the start line broke the race up quickly. Matthew Collinge (Fowey River Canoe Club) made the break into the front group and was able to battle it out to achieve the silver medal. Tim Dowden (Norwich Canoe Club) finished 7th, James How (Norwich Canoe Club) in 8th and Tim Gannicott-Porter (Chelmsford Canoe Club) came in 9th.

Saturday saw the turn of the long course K1 races and the results of the previous day were almost completely replicated. Racing over a 19km course, Arthur Morley took the gold medal again, with Flynn Holt replicating his short course result with another bronze medal. Lukas Schleiter-Nielsen finished in 5th and Alex Worgan secured 9th position, despite racing up an age group from under 16’s. The juniors girls also competed over a 19km course. Nerys Hall secured a hard earned silver medal, despite having issues with her boat pump, and Beth Perry secured 4th. Chloe Ritchie ended up retiring after a frustrating incident involving a post in the water. 

Elise Montagna competed over a 19km course and had a successful sprint finish to secure herself another fourth position. The senior men’s race was another packed field with a quick start. Matthew Collinge finished the 24km course in silver position again, with Tim Dowden not far off the pace securing fourth. Tim Gannicott-Porter finished in 6th and James How in 7th. 

As tradition for a canoe marathon national weekend, Sunday was the turn of the crew boat with all our athletes combining into K2’s. Yet more podium positions and medals were secured, despite a chaotic move of a race start that disrupted some of our paddlers’ later breakfast! 

In our junior races, our strength in crew boats nationally showed, with every boat entered securing a medal. Chloe Ritchie and Beth Perry won the start and continued the form to take the silver medal behind an experienced German K2. In the junior boys race, the two K2’s of Arthur and Flynn, Lukas and Alex, dominated the field and made an early break away from the rest of the boats to secure a first and second place finish order. Nerys Hall raced up to the senior race, partnering with Elise. A disappointingly small field meant that they didn’t experience the race they would have enjoyed but they still managed to earn a silver medal. In the senior men’s race, a fast paced front group of four challenged our two K2’s through some tight portages, with Matthew and Tim securing the overall victory and a gold medal. Tim and James finished in fourth.

A successful weekend of racing which enabled all athletes to put their hard winter training to the test away from home. Thank you to all volunteers who made the trip possible, especially our trip staff of Nanette, Suzanne, Charlie and Graham.