Wey Kayak paddlers on the international stage
Paul Dimmock reviews the recent international sprint events
Wey Kayak Club looks as strong as ever with new athletes rubbing shoulders with our more experienced paddlers as they take on the world’s best at World Cup 1&2 in Szeged and Duisburg respectively.
Chris Carson and Andras Kovacs were the two youngest paddlers in Team GB at the world Cups (they may have been the youngest competitors at both events) racing the k2 500m. It is without doubt a daunting prospect for two young athletes stepping into the cauldron of sprint racing in Szeged where sprint racing is a major sport and passions run high both on and off the water. Un-phased, Chris and Andras raced like pros from heat to semi to final getting faster and faster, indeed every time they raced they put in a Personal Best – no easy task and a real credit to their commitment, their results being:
Szeged Heat – 1.37.764, Semi – 1.35.730, B Final (8th) 1.35.526
Duisburg – Best Time Heat 1.35.244
Of course the two youngsters were there at both events with Wey’s Liam Heath and Rachel Cawthorn. Liam, Olympic, World and European Champion (k1 200m) who was competing in the k4 500m. The racing was brutally hard and although leading the first quarter of the race Liam’s boat (Schofield, Fletcher, Robinson) slipped from top three at 250m to finish 9th in the B final, time 1.22.382. In Duisburg they achieved 6th B Final so already shoots of improvement sprouting in this highly explosive boat. This is a new boat trying a new strategy and the world cups act as a great opportunity to try new tactics so come the world Championships in August the marginal gains needed to be spear heading the final are in place. Rachel Cawthorn appeared in two different races, in Szeged she raced the k1 200m achieving 8th, B Final in 41.109 and in Duisburg raced k4 500m, 7th A Final (Kerr, Lewis, Brown, Cawthorn) 1.36.225.
Both Rachel and Liam have now qualified for the world Championships, so the hard work begins to try and convert that potential into Medals in Portugal at the World Championships.
There were of course some great performances from the GB Team as a whole including Lizzie Broughton (Richmond CC) taking an impressive win in the k1 1,000m Duisburg, and Katie Read Women’s C1 200m, 9th A Final, and the Gold and Silver in VL2 Women’s 200m respectively, Emma Wiggs and Jeanette Chippington.
About Wey Kayak Club
Wey Kayak Club is one of the top kayak clubs in the country and caters for the needs of over 400 participants of all levels: from beginners to international level canoeists representing Great Britain at European Championships, World Championships, and Olympic Games. All our members paddle in flat-water conditions – “Placid Water” – using a wide range of canoes and kayaks built specifically for flat-water racing and suited perfectly for the conditions of the river Wey.
We specialise in flat water canoeing from our clubhouse on the River Wey. Members compete at all levels around the country at marathon and sprint races.
Our 30+ British Canoeing qualified coaches run training sessions for all levels of paddlers. We run introductory courses to teach technique and give confidence in the boat.