Following the National Championships, the Selection Committee met to select the two teams for the Worlds. Thank you to Norwich Canoe Club for hosting a successful weekend of racing. See below for the full selection note and handicap data.
We would like to congratulate the athletes on their selections to their respective teams.
Although it now feels longer after all the action that happened at the National Championships last weekend, the European Championships were only two weeks ago! A 13-strong team of athletes travelled to Slavonski Brod, Croatia, bright and early on Tuesday 11th July to be greeted by sweltering hot temperatures.
The racing took place over four-days, with the first day dedicated to short course racing for both Junior and Senior athletes for the first time. Long course racing in both K1 and K2 categories took place over the next three days. It was set to be very competitive with 307 athletes representing 23 European Countries.
The European Championship Team at dinner after the opening ceremony.
Short Course Racing – Thursday 13th July
Day one of the 2023 ECA Canoe Marathon European Championships saw some impressive and tight short course distance racing, resulting in one gold medal, one silver medal and one bronze medal.
The morning events consisted of short course heats for our junior and senior men. Some strong racing resulted in James Russell (Chelmsford Canoe Club), Harry Freeland (Reading Canoe Club) and Arthur Morley (Wey Kayak Club) automatically qualifying to their finals in the afternoon and Matthew Collinge (Fowey River Canoe Club) earning a best time qualification place too.
The Junior Women K1 Short Course was the first final of the day with British representation in Greta Roeser (Wey Kayak Club) and Sienna Payne (Chelmsford Canoe Club).
A powerful start for Greta allowed her to claim a lead position with the front group. Throughout the 3.4km course, she was consistently able to show her dominance within the field and after going clear from the rest of the field at the first portage, the European Champion title was hers for the taking. She claimed a magnificent gold and the first British medal of the competition with a time of 00:15:41.
Speaking after being crowned European champion, Greta said, “Iâm really pleased, it is such a positive result and I’m very happy with gold. With the course being on a river, youâve got flow and youâve got different angles of the portages and different locations of the buoys. It creates a different technical event, which is quite interesting because I was having to think about my next move and the next turn as well as putting in the strength and power. It’s been a great first day for the team, the junior team are just flying at the moment and I think we are all very proud of our accomplishments. Itâs all due to some great training throughout the winter. Iâm excited and looking forward to the long course. I hope it will be similar because that would be great, but there are a lot of quick people out there so Iâm hoping to get on some quick washes.â
In her international canoe marathon racing debut with one year still to go as a junior, Sienna had a brilliant race that saw her claim the bronze medal. As well as being a strong paddler, she was also very fast paced over the 100m portages, making up a few places on her first portage. She came into her second portage in third and a quick run saw her get back in the water and comfortably maintain the third place position round the final lap before she crossed the line bringing the bronze medal home.
Speaking after her bronze medal finish, Sienna said, “Itâs very overwhelming and unexpected to be honest, Iâm quite pleased and happy with the result. I hope the rest of the weekend goes this well. Itâs been nice so far, although very hot. The course is good and I really like the length of the portage, that is a big positive for me.â
The Juniors continued to shine in the Menâs K1 Short Course Final. Harry Freeland (Reading Canoe Club) had a great start to the 3.4km race. He established his place in the front group in the opening lap, taking up the lead going into the first portage. An impressive run made him the first boat back in the water. He broke away from the rest of the field with the Spanish boat of Pazos. An epic sprint finish saw the two boats cross the finish line within a second of each other. Freeland secured silver and third medal of the day for the Brits with a time of 00:14:06.
Speaking after his race, Harry said, âMy race went really well. It was a race where I knew where I was going with the portages and the turns, so overall the race really went my way. I was surprised with how I compared to my competitors. After last year’s results I thought I might be towards the backend of the group. It gives me the confidence for Saturdayâs long course that I can be up there. I spoke with Charlie Smith about portaging before I started to get some advice. He said to take your time and spending that extra second to get yourself in the right position will help you get a better race. With junior boys, it can be so unpredictable, so itâs about staying calm and staying clean. Iâve practised portaging quite a lot and I do a lot of running, so itâs definitely my strong side.”
Arthur Morley (Wey Kayak Club) was close behind his teammate, putting in a solid effort in the middle of the field. He secured himself a top ten finish in ninth place with a time of 00:14:55 in his international debut.
Fay Lamph (Wey Kayak Club) was representing Britain in the Senior Womenâs K1 Short Course race after five years away from international marathon competition. She had a good start to her race, gaining a comfortable position in the second V wash of the lead group. However, she consistently found herself on the fifth wash of the group and ultimately finished in a strong seventh with a time of 00:15:48.
The Senior Men closed off the day with a highly contested K1 Short Course race. James Russell (Chelmsford Canoe Club) was joined by U23 paddler Matthew Collinge (Fowey River Canoe Club) as they lined up in a stacked start line.
A powerful start from Russell saw him secure a promising front V wash position. He maintained his position within the leading group around the opening laps and into the first portage. This put him a particularly strong position as the reining European Champion, Mads Pedersen, had got caught up in a series of crashes and incidents off the start. A solid run saw him obtain third position out of the first portage. However a lead group of three started to break away, made up of two previous short course champions with Pedersen managing to catch up just in time, leaving Russell in fourth. A battle around the final lap, solidified the fourth place position for Russell, bettering his sixth place finish at the European Championship last year by two places. He finished with a time of 00:13:45.
Speaking after his race he said, “Iâve got mixed emotions, no one likes finishing fourth, but itâs an improvement on last year and Iâm heading in the right direction. There is a lot of flow on the course, which is similar to the River Trent in many respects which helps as I train there a lot. But starting on the left hand side certainly didnât help things. I just had to really commit to the first turn to make sure I could get out in front of all the carnage that was going to happen. I did that, but it cost a lot and I was really just hanging on from there on in. I was annoyed to turn around and see Mads (Pedersen) catch up again.â
Matthew Collinge also put in a dedicated performance around the course to finish in 16th position with a time of 00:14:21 in his international marathon debut as well as still sitting within the Under 23 age category.
Long Course Racing
The long course racing kicked off bright and early on Friday morning with the Junior Girls K1 event. Yet again, Greta Roeser (Wey Kayak Club) and Sienna Payne (Chelmsford Canoe Club) lined up to represent Great Britain.
A brilliant start for Greta saw her establish herself on the side wash of the leader. In the opening laps of the race she settled into the lead group of four boats, alongside two Hungarians and a Spaniard. The group put in a strong effort to create a massive gap between them and the chasing pack. After the first portage, Greta and the two Hungarians broke away from the Spanish boat, confirming themselves as the top three boats of the race. It was lap four that saw Greta and the Hungarian boat of Szerafin go clear. They completed the remaining laps as a duo until the final small lap when Roeser dropped back and confirmed her second place finish. A fantastic second race for the Wey Paddler that saw her become a double European Championship medallist, bettering her two bronze medals from last years championship in Denmark. She crossed the line completing the course with a time of 1:32:49.
Speaking after her silver medal win, she said, “It feels great, Iâm very pleased and pleasantly surprised again. I was up against some quick girls out there. I knew it was going to be quick off the start and it quickly broke away into different groups after the first turn, which was nice. I was just trying to maintain speed and try to expect what move was going to come next. I knew there was a chance I could be in contention for the top group. The plan was to get into one of the front four positions of the diamond and then I was just going with the flow.â
Unfortunately for Sienna, a bustling start to the junior race ended in a capsize within the first 200 metres. She showed perseverance and continued on for a few laps before retiring from the race in order to rest up for her K2 race the next day.
The afternoon saw temperatures well over 30 degrees for the Under 23 K1 Long Course races. These temperatures had major impacts on the performances of many athletes within the two races.
Samantha Martyn (Wey Kayak Club) secured a top ten finish at her debut at a European Championship. She had a strong start, after successfully avoiding a collision that occurred within the group off the start line. It was a rocky race and a collision for Martyn later in lap one caused her to drop back. Martyn exhibited brilliant perseverance as she advanced around the 22.6 km course solo for the majority of the race. She managed to fend off the group behind her and maintained a strong speed so they couldnât catch her up. She was the tenth boat across the line and finished with a time of 1:55:00.
The U23 K1 Menâs race rounded off a hot day of racing. Matthew Collinge (Fowey River Canoe Club) and Luke Shaw (Norwich Canoe Club) lined up on a highly competitive start line ready to battle it out over 26.3km. It was a fast paced start to the race and both Brits got off well. As a lead group formed off the line, both Collinge and Shaw were able to establish strong positions within it. Matt claimed the V wash, with Luke taking up the front side wash. Shaw put in a big effort leading the race around a large part of lap two.
The paced increased coming away from the first portage which caused Collinge to start dropping back from the leaders. His perseverance shone through as he pulled it back and joined team mate Shaw and the Irish boat, Foley, in a chase group. The Brits teamed up to paddle as a duo in lap five of the race before Shaw dropped back and Collinge put in a gruelling effort to complete the remaining distance paddling solo. His efforts were rewarded with a strong top five finish. Collinge was the fifth boat across the line with a time of 1:56:38.
Speaking after his race, Matt said, “Iâm feeling really happy because I was only hoping to get a top ten finish. That was my aim and I didnât really know exactly where I was going to be within the field, so Iâm really happy with a top five result. At the start I was reasonably confident because my sprints have been going quite well recently, so I knew I should be able to get up there off the start. The group did like moving around a lot and they did a few annoying burns I didnât enjoy as much. I just tried to minimise the amount of burns I had to do, so when they all started an âupâ, I just tried to ride the wash back into the group again to avoid doing burns when necessary. Itâs really tough paddling solo, but then again, I grew up training at a small club in Cornwall and when I used to race, there was virtually no one to race against, so I would do it pretty much on my own anyway. Iâm quite used to time trialling. It was very hot today. I was just trying to take on as much liquid as possible to help with that. The flow of the course is quite like Nottingham (where Matt currently trains) in terms of tactics, like hugging the bank due to the fast flow. There were a couple of sections with rocks sticking out, and I had a close call at one point in the race. Overall it was challenging, but in a good way.”
After a favourable first half of the race, Shaw found himself in the middle of the field in the closing laps as the weather conditions caught up. He continued to endure on to complete the race in eighth position with a time of 1:59:37.
Saturday saw the longest days of competition for our British team with racing starting early in the morning and the last finish not finishing until the evening. Our team staff were certainly kept busy!
It was an early start for the Junior Men in the morning for their K1 long course race. Silver medalist Harry Freeland (Reading Canoe Club) and Arthur Morley (Wey Kayak Club) were back in action over the 22.6 km distance.
Both Brits got off to a flying start. As a large lead group formed off the line, they both established good positions. Freeland put in an effort during lap one to lead the race. However, the Brits dropped back to the chasing pack coming into the first portage. Morley displayed great determination as he powered around the course. He matched his short course result from Thursday, crossing the finish line in ninth with a time of 1:44:42.
An impressive top ten finish from the Wey paddler at his first major international championships. Speaking after his race, Morley said, “Iâm happy with how long I managed to stay with the first group. I’d like to have stayed with them after the first portage but it was a big group and struggled to make my way into that front four. The pace was a lot slower today, it was nice to use washes and because it was bigger laps, we didnât have the portages splitting us up quite as soon.”
Freeland had a tough second half of his race, with temperatures already hitting 30 degrees early this morning. He persevered around the course and finished in 17th with a time of 1:47:55.
The next race on the course saw Greta Roeser (Wey Kayak Club) and Sienna Payne (Chelmsford Canoe Club) team up for the junior Womenâs K2 long course, joined by fellow brits Matilda Enoch (Nottingham Kayak Club) and Isla Bethune (Elmbridge Canoe Club).
A swift start for the Enoch and Bethune saw them secure a position in the lead group of four boats in the opening lap. Payne and Roeser settled into the chase pack off the line. The two Hungarian crews broke away in lap two, forcing the Nottingham and Elmbridge team to keep the pace high as they chased them down.
Roeser and Payne proved their running skill in the first portage, overtaking every other crew boat. They were the third boat back in the water behind the two Hungarian, with Enoch and Bethune were right behind them going into lap three.
The Chelmsford and Wey team put in a huge effort to chase down the second place boat and put themselves in contention for silver in lap four. They crossed the line seventeen seconds ahead of the third place boat after storming ahead of them on the last portage. They completed the course in a time of 1:27:28.
Greta adds another silver to her K1 gold and silver medals and Sienna adds to her K1 bronze. A fantastic display of talent from the junior girls. This was the first time Greta and Sienna had raced together in a crew boat, making the silver medal that much more impressive.
Speaking after claiming her second silver medal of the championships Greta said: âIt feels really great. I’m so pleased. We had 20 minutes of practice yesterday and the first half of the race was more or less getting used to the boat, but I think we did really well.â
Sienna continued, âThis was the first time weâve been in a crew boat together. I thought we were great, I loved every second of it. Iâm so pleased. It has been a bit of a roller coaster of a trip for me. Lots of ups and downs. Itâs been good to learn how to deal with both good results and bad results this weekend.”
Isla Bethune (Elmbridge Canoe Club) and Matilda Enoch (Nottingham Kayak Club) finished in sixth position in a time of 01:30:53, after a tight battle to the finish line.
It was then time for Fay Lamph (Wey Kayak Club) to line up for her second race of the championship. After her seventh in the short course, she improved her result by two places over the longer distance with a top five finish. She established herself in the lead group off the start and battled to maintain her position around the first two laps, only dropping off around the first portage.
In her final long lap, she put in a strong effort to close the gap to the chase group, consisting of the silver and bronze medal positions, by herself. She came heartbreakingly close as the group picked up the pace and moved away from her again.
A fantastic fifth from Fay rounded off her racing at the European championships. She completed the 26.2 km course with a time of 2:09:29.
Speaking after her race, Lamph said, “I enjoyed the race, it was very tough for the first few laps and I really struggled to come of the fifth was, luckily I’m used to this from the Wey club training sessions. It’s really great to be racing on a proper river rather than a lake, it’s a very technical course which has made it interesting. I have been guzzling a lot of water and electrolytes and I really began to struggle as I ran out of drink with 5k to go. It was really tough.”
James Russell (Chelmsford Canoe Club) was last on the water in the K1 Menâs long course race. With the sun blazing and temperatures still above 30 degrees at 17:15 local time in Croatia, it was a tough race for the athletes competing.
Russell had a brilliant start and as a group formed off the line, he claimed the V wash. Within one lap, the pace was still incredibly hard as Mads Pedersen (Denmark) was determined to stripe the top group away early on. James stayed with the crazy high pace until the group reformed. However, the combination of the heat and pace started to hit around the first portage, when he started to drop back. Russell retired from the race on lap five due to the extreme heat at the course.
The final day of competition saw only Joe Enoch & Huw Singleton (Nottingham Kayak Club) race in the Junior Boys K2. Temperatures were already reaching highs of 26 degrees at 8:45am local time, as the boys lined up ready to battle in out on the 22.6km course. They got off to a flying start and formed a large leading group with eight other crew boats, finding good positions on the wash.
The Nottingham crew had a strong first lap, keeping pace with the leading group. However, it started to become clear that something wasnât right when the crew began to drop to the back of the field in lap three. After putting in a commendable performance, the duo unfortunately had to retire from the race in lap three due to sickness. Gutting for the boys who had put themselves in great positions at the start of the event.
Speaking to the Team Leader, Katie Williams, about the teams success and challenges over the past four days of racing in Slavonski Brod, she said, âItâs been a very busy and full on weekend of racing for the whole squad, especially those who have come straight from sprint worlds. The course is a very technical course on a river, and it has been very interesting to watch. Overall the team has done fantastically but obviously the heat has really affected quite a few competitors. It’s been about 30 degrees for most races and some raced even at 35 degrees. Itâs been lovely to see Matt, Sienna and Arthur at their first major championships doing so well and to see Fay back racing after 5 years away from internationals. Weâve been really lucky to have so many supporters come out to watch too which has really helped the team. Itâs been a learning curve for some about how to manage paddling in bigger groups at times and the importance of getting nutrition and hydration right. Iâm sure everyoneâs looking forward to getting back home to train for World Champs selection in slightly cooler weather.â
It was a tough championship for our British team with the conditions but lots of lessons learned for all and a clear eagerness to build on the performances for their next races. Well done to the whole team.
We also would like to thank the team of staff who volunteered their time to ensure that the athletes were well looked after during their time away and were able to focus on their racing. Thank you to Katie, Peter Gorman, Bryn Price and Iain Bainbridge.
Our attentions now turn to the World Championships at the end of August and we wish the team selected all the best of luck. We look forward to cheering you on as you race in Denmark.
Norwich Canoe Club are gearing up to host the 2023 edition of the British National Canoe Marathon Championships 2023 and the Marathon Racing Committee are super excited to see some close racing on show throughout the weekend.
You can still find the full details of the event via the race details here, including schedule of races and course details. See below for final details on car parking.
The final assessments of 2023 will be held at the National Championships at Norwich Canoe Club on the 23/24thÂ July (this weekend). This event forms one of the lead assessments for the World Championships and will serve as the only assessment for the French Nationals U16/U14 trip and the Para Demonstration Event at the World Championships.
To be considered for selection you must fill in the correct availability form for the team you are seeking selection for:
The deadline for submission of your availability forms isÂ now 9am on Thursday 20th July (tomorrow). Once this time has passed, no more availability forms will be accepted.
A separate notice specifically for the Para team with more information can be found here. For the World and French Nationals, please take the time to familiarise yourselves with the Selection Policy foundÂ here.
If you have any questions about the availability forms or admin, please contact the Selection Committee Secretary, Kat Wilson. For questions relating to the selection process please contact the Chair of Selectors, Nanette North.
Sanabria K4 is an annual senior athlete development international trip where athletes compete in two K4 races in Spain against many international level crews. This years racing took place on Saturday 1st July and Sunday 2nd July. Below is a write-up of the trip including results.
This year Great Britain were looking to build upon previous years successes and the team brought both experience and youth to the weekend of racing in Spain. Ross McMullen (Elmbridge), Matt Enoch (Nottingham), George Durden (Elmbridge), Keith Moule (Chelmsford) and Elise Montagna (Royal), Becky Pemble (Addlestone), Maia WallaceâLoizou (Richmond), Becky Solway (Elmbridge) formed the line ups in the two GB boats.
British Airway flights leaving Heathrow made the perfect start, spirits were high and some great racing to look forward to. However, the team encountered itâs first challenge when at Madrid Airport all but one bag arrived. Then came the next challenge, the travel arrangements, saw all teams (Polish, Hungary, Ukraine, German and Czechia) on a coach trip reaching the hotel at 3am on the morning of the race.
This year the races were rearranged with Sanabria on the Saturday with Valladolid on the Sunday but with the same courses. Sanabria, as spectacular as ever, was the showdown for some great racing. However, another challenge, the GB menâs boat was damaged in transit so a frantic chase around to secure one of the club boats. Fortunately with 60 or 70 K4âs there racing in the domestic events, a quality boat was secured. Both the womenâs and menâs crews put in great performances, each facing their respective battles around the lake to get 4th place with Spain dominating both events. Great Britain secured 3rd place overall, a good start to the campaign.
Thankfully on Sunday a relatively short 2 hour journey to Valladolid and the same international crews lined up to carry on the battle from yesterday, this time however we knew with Mattâs experience of working to the âNorm Planâ and as George said âwe are used to spinning around tight turns at Hasler Racesâ, the much narrower course suited the GB team. Of special note was the Menâs great teamwork on the turns and big acceleration out of them, putting them 2nd to the Spanish until 400m from the finish, where Hungary and Czechia just out powered them, pushing them into 4th place. For the womenâs team, Becky S was keen to push on and improve on the 4th place on the Saturday and drove a quality race again picking up distance on the turn but despite a committed effort from all 4 women, managed 5th place. Again all 8 athletes contributed 100%, helping push Great Britain into overall 3rd place behind Spain and Czechia, but encouragingly above Hungary and Germany in the overall results. The Marathon Racing Committee, it seems, is helping to lead the way to challenge the status quo of the usual dominant teams.Â
As has become the norm, the hospitality of the Spanish Federation was excellent and an example to all nations of how to promote crew boat racing by keeping the ethos of high-level competition in an enjoyable environment. It was evident to all the GB paddlers when 100 plus Spanish K4âs are racing each day. from under 16âs to veterans, thereâs every reason to suspect another Merchant, Alonso or Waltz is being developed.
A huge amount of thanks to the Womenâs Team (Becky, Elise, Becky, Maia) and the Men’s Team (Matt, Ross, Keith and George) who all conducted themselves in a manner befitting of a quality international team, on and off the water.
Thank to Team Manager, Paul Dimmock, for writing this race report on the weekends events and for running such a slick operation while the team was away.
The final assessments of 2023 will be held at the National Championships at Norwich Canoe Club on the 23/24th July. This event forms one of the lead assessments for the World Championships and will serve as the only assessment for the French Nationals U16/U14 trip and the Para Demonstration Event at the World Championships.
The deadline for submission of your availability forms is midnight 18th July
More specifics on the Para selection can be found below. For the World and French Nationals, please take the time to familiarise yourselves with the Selection Policy foundÂ here.
If you have any questions about the availability forms or admin, please contact the Selection Committee Secretary Kat Wilson. For questions relating to the selection process, please contact the Chair of Selectors Nanette North.
Para Demonstration Event at the World Championships 2023
The Para Worlds Events:
The ICF have announced they will be holding a Paracanoe Demonstration event which is being held in conjunction with the World Marathon Championships in Denmark.
The program has the following Mens and Women’s classes:
Open event (10.2k) for all IPC defined impairment categories which are not included in the IPC approved impairment categories for Paracanoe.
Competitors are required to use kayaks and Vaâa boats which meet the ICF Paracanoe technical standards for all demonstration events, including the open event. Athlete Classification will be available at the event as required.
The MRC has received funding from British Canoeing to allow us to send up to 3 athletes* to this event.
Selection details for the event are as follows:
Selection will take place at the National Marathon Championships on the 23rd July.
If you have any questions about the availability forms or admin, please contact the Selection Committee Secretary Kat Wilson. For questions relating to the selection process please contact the Chair of Selectors Nanette North.
* team size may change and will be dependent on funding available and logistical considerations including availability of accommodation.
** unless otherwise agreed in writing from the Chair of the Selection Committee.
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