Month: June 2024

National Canoe Marathon Championships 2024: SUP Races Information

Did you know we have SUP races alongside the National Canoe Marathon Championships next month in Reading??

On Saturday 13th July, SUP paddlers can compete over an 8KM course in one of four categories: Rigid Board (Women), Rigid Board (Men), Inflatable Board (Women) and Inflatable Board (Men). They will not be national title races but you will be involved in the event and have a opportunity to see some marathon racing either side of your race!

Get your entry in by the 5th July at 23:59 to avoid the late entry fee! We would love to see you there!

More information here:

Marathon Racing Committee ACM 2024 Papers

The Marathon Racing Committee’s 2024 Annual Consultative Meeting will be taking place online at 8pm on Monday 8th July, as previously advertised.

As a reminder, please make sure your club has registered to vote for the ACM to ensure you are represented.

Please see below for all relevant papers for this years edition. Any questions, please direct them towards the MRC Secretary, Anoushka Freeman, here.

Change from Event Tickets to Single Event Membership – Racing Update

There is a change to what used to be Event Tickets (ET). Temporary PaddleUK membership for an event is now available online as a Single Event Membership (SEM). Paddlers entering without either On the Water Membership or Club Associate Membership via an Affiliated Club will need to purchase SEM where they used to use an ET. This can be done while entering.

Race Organisers will need to be aware that the paper ET form should no longer be used or payments taken which will reduce their tasks. 

Team Leaders and Paddlers will need to be aware that they need to purchase SEM if they do not have other membership of PaddleUK. Team Leaders should however use Club Associate Membership if at all possible where a club paddler does not have On the Water Membership of PaddleUK. The link to Membership classes on the PaddleUK Website is

The system has been tested and appears to work fine, but should an issue arise, please let Mick Nadal know.

World Cup 2024 Write-Up

Over three weeks have past since the 2024 World Cup in Brandenburg, Germany. The event concluded with one medal and some great racing experience for our senior development team. It was also existing to see and take part in the test short course relay event being run for the first time on the international stage.

On Saturday 1st June, the team competed over the short course distance, with the senior women taking to the water first. Racing over 3.4k, athletes completed three laps and two portages. Both the Senior Women and Senior Men had to qualify from heats earlier in the day, with the top six from each heat qualifying automatically with the next best eight times making up the final start list.

In the Senior Women’s heat, Melissa Johnson (Chelmsford), Katie Brookes (Exeter) and Freya Peters (Richmond) all put down strong enough races to qualify, with Melissa qualifying automatically and Katie and Freya getting through on fastest times.

The afternoon final saw Melissa secure a solid position in the large lead group round lap one. Kiszli (Hungary) kept the pace high, and Johnson was able to stick with it all the way to the first portage. She was swift out her boat and a quick run meant she was able to gain a few places making her the third boat back in the water. Kiszli broke away from the field in lap two, leaving Johnson and Panna of Hungary to battle it out for the remaining podium positions. The duo upped the pace to create a gap from their chasers which cemented their top three positions.

Portage two saw Melissa in third place. She put everything into the final lap to emerge victorious and sped ahead of Panna to claim the silver. She upgraded her bronze medal in the short course earned last year at the World Cup, with this year’s silver finishing with a time of 0:18:01.

Speaking after her medal winning performance Johnson said:

“It was great, there was a lot more competition this year, so coming home with a silver medal definitely shows that I’ve improved over the winter and looks good for upcoming international races this year. I’m very pleased with second, I wasn’t expecting it and I was just hoping for a top ten finish so I’m really happy In the heat I was up against Kiszli, it was great to go around with her and gave me insight into what I need to do to be in with a chance of getting a medal.”

“In the final I got caught out on the start but moved myself into a great position next to both Hungarians going around the first turn. I think that put me in a great position going into the portage because I was able to run past them. I couldn’t quite keep to Kiszli’s pace, but the other Hungarian and I worked well together.”

Freya maintained a strong position mid field throughout the final as well. She fought hard to make it to the front group in lap one but dropped back to finish in 12th place with a time of 0:19:08. Brookes sat at the back of the group in the first half of the race but was able to claw back up the field, putting in a dedicated performance to finish 14th with a time of 0:19:27.

The Senior Men’s K1 field was one of the most competitive World Cup field we have seen for a couple of years and the short course heats were hotly contested. We had six athletes representing Great Britain in the heats: Matt Collinge (Fowey), Tim Dowden (Norwich), Finn Cadell (Nottingham), Will Stroud (Chelmsford), Sam Cribbett (Nottingham) and Arthur Morley (Wey). The latter three athletes were competing in a senior men’s international race for the first time. The heats were tough, with Matt qualifiying automatically and Tim and Finn getting through on fastest time. Sam, Will and Arthur just missed out but gained great experience within some very fast fields.

In the final, it was a fast race with the likes of Knudsen (Denmark) and Ramalho (Portugal) setting the pace high from the start. Matt powered to work his way through the field but an unfortunate swim towards the end of lap one, due to a class of paddles, caused him to lose contact.

Tim and Finn kept a strong pace and progressed around lap two together. Cadell dropped back from his team mate on the second portage, due to a couple of incidents at the portage. Tim crossed the line in 15th place with a time of 00:16:51, he was closely followed by Finn in 16th place in 00:17:11. Matt continued to show dedication to the race and completed the course in 18th place with a time of 00:18:37.

The new mixed relay race event also took place on the Saturday as a test event with a view to it potentially being introduced at a future ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships.

Three Brits took the opportunity to compete as part of multinational teams.

Melissa and Matt teamed up with French junior Ana-Lucia Nowakowski and Danish junior Jeppe Frejo-Rasmussen. It was the international racing debut for the French and Danish junior athletes and it was great racing experience for them to team up with the British senior athletes. The team performed well together and completed the relay race in 7th place in a time of 0:24:33.

Katie joined the Belgium team of Marthe Billet, Maarten Verschatse and Frederik Schulze to take on the relay. They proved to be another great relay team and finished in 8th place with a time of 0:24:59.

The relay order saw the junior women get the racing underway to complete the first stretch, followed by the senior women, junior men and then senior men finishing the final lap of the 4.8k course. The teams completed four laps in total. Each athlete completed one lap the length of 1.2k and a portage to hand off to the next team mate.

It was great to see the inclusion of a new racing format at this World Cup. The combined nation teams provided a positive opportunity for our athletes to take part and gain experience in a new type of racing.

Melissa noted how enjoyable the relay race was:

“It was great fun and I’m glad we got to collaborate with the French and Danish team. I hope they do more relay races like this one because it was great fun to be a part of and really cool to pair up with different countries for the test race.”

Sunday saw the turn of the long course racing with all nine Brits taking racing in blustery conditions. The Women’s long course was the first race of the day with British participation. Melissa, Freya and Katie all lined up to race over a 26.2km course.

Melissa found a position in a large lead group off the start. It was a battle for washes and to keep up with the high pace set by reigning World Champion Kiszli of Hungary. Katie and Freya were close behind forming the second group.

After the top turn of lap one, Melissa dropped back and committed to chasing down the leaders. A large gap had been created between the leaders and chase groups by the time the first portage came around.

Johnson and Brookes teamed up midway through the race to form a chasing group with a number of other athletes in the mid field. The British duo split later on in the race with Johnson progressing through the field ahead. She sat on the edge of the top ten positions during the later half of the race. A hard fought final stretch saw her finish in 11th place with a time of 2:18:17.

Speaking after her race she said:

“My start was great, I got into the front group for the first half a lap but couldn’t quite keep the pace coming down the back straight. Was in a nice group of four until the fifth lap, then was dropped and did the final lap on my own. I’m very happy with where I came after a great performance yesterday. I came into the race hoping to make the top 10 but I’m happy with 11th.”

“It was a great experience being in the front group, I managed to get myself into a lot of good positions going up to the top turn. My aim is to try and get into the front group as often as I can.”

“Training has been going very well, I think I’ve made a big improvement from last year, in sprint as well as marathon. There is a big group of us that train together in Nottingham, and we all support each other during training and races. Dan has been great, he’s been coaching and supporting me and the team in Nottingham. I also get a lot of support from Chelmsford which has helped.”

Katie clawed back to gain a few places before crossing the line in 14th place with a time of 2:19:20.

Reflecting on her race she said:

“I really enjoyed the race. It was great lining up against some top senior women. I had a good start and was in the second group. I felt like I had a lot of learning experiences during the race, there is a lot to take away from it.”

The final Brit across the line was Freya in 17th position. She cemented a comfortable position mid-field early in the race and maintained it with hard work and good race knowledge. She split away from her chasing group and powered on solo towards the end of the race finishing with a time of 2:21:47.

Katie races again at the European Championships in the Under 23 Women K1 and the Senior Women K2. Melissa will also race again at the European Championships in the Senior Women K1.

The Men’s long course race took place in the afternoon with six British athletes competing in an incredibly high caliber race. They took on eight large laps and one small lap, racing over 29.8k.

It was a stacked start line, and the pace was fast off the line. Matt Collinge made it into a large lead group and fought for a comfortable position in the washes. He maintained this position around the first few laps before a group of four athletes broke away to lead the race out of a portage.

Matt proved to be fast on the portages and kept a strong position in a chase group of four for the majority of the race. The pace quickened in the final laps which saw Collinge drop back in the field. He was the first Brit across the line in 14th position. Finishing with a time of 2:20:25

Matt reviewed his performance post race saying:

“I was relatively happy with my race, I would have liked to have placed higher but I can’t complain. I went in with the plan to go out hard and try to stay at the front of the race for as long as possible. I was in the front group for the first 10km, moving from V wash to V wash, trying to race as efficiently as I could. As is life, all good things must come to an end, and I blew out at around 20km. After it was a long slog to the finish especially with the side chop.”

Finn and Tim were next across the line in 15th and 16th positions respectively. Cadell fought well throughout the race. Initially paddling with teammates Arthur and Sam around lap four, he was able to break away and join Dowden’s chase group further ahead in the field.

The Nottingham paddler had trouble with water getting in his boat on multiple occasions. However he always made up for any lost time on the portage get outs with exceptionally fast runs along the portage. He finished with a time of 2:21:57.

Finn shared his race experience saying,

“My race started particularly badly but improved as it went on. I was dropped clean out of the start and found myself in last place after a kilometre, having not responded well to the crowed start line and ugly cross wind. After the first lap I finally got into my grove a bit, and slowly moved up through the field. About 15km in, I chased down and caught up with a group who I then stayed with until the last portage, when myself and fellow Brit Tim Dowden broke away. Tim and I then had a head-to-head into the finish, which I just about won. I think my portages unexpectedly went well today, portaging is often an issue for me, but I learned that I certainly need to do some more work getting used to paddling in chop”

Tim held strong in the middle of the field throughout the race, he was consistent in demonstrating his strong racing knowledge and abilities. He was close behind Finn on the line finishing with a time of 2:22:02.

Arthur and Sam worked as a team in a chasing group of four and kept pressure on the group ahead with good pace. Unfortunately for Sam, rudder issues after the penultimate portage meant he had to stop to fix the problem. This caused him to lose touch with team mate Arthur and the rest of their group. Arthur finished in 23rd place with a time of 2:24:40 and Sam in 24th with a time of 2:27:34.

Will powered around the course accompanied by the Polish paddler towards the later half. He also demonstrated great portage technique and running speed, completing the course in 26th with a time of 2:27:56.

A successful trip with the principle aim to give international exposure to developing senior and under 23 athletes. Lots of lessons learnt and adjustments to take home to training. Thank you to all the staff who volunteered their free time to help support the trip and the team. Well done to all the athletes who represented Great Britain well.

Full results from the event can still be found here and you can rewatch the racing here. Unfortunately it seems the short course racing live stream seems to have been removed from Youtube.

The next international event is the European Championships, taking place between Tuesday 23rd July to Sunday 28th July. We look forward to seeing how the international team gets on. We are also counting down to our National Long Course Championships on the 13th-14th July in Reading. For more information, visit the entries page here. Entries are welcome from British clubs, independents and also internationals.