We specialise in flat water canoeing from our clubhouse on the River Wey. All members have access to our coaches and facilities, regardless of their abilities, with the aim of getting as many members competing as possible. Our members compete at all levels around the country at marathon and sprint races.
There are races run all over the UK throughout the year, usually on Sundays. Competitors have an official Marathon Division Ranking from 1 to 9 and Lightning Class. New competitors start in Division 9, and progress through the divisions by winning or coming close to winning races.
Divisions 7, 8 and 9 race over a course of about 6.5km (4 miles). Divisions 4, 5 and 6 race over a course of about 13km (8miles) and Divisions 1, 2 and 3 over 20km (12miles). To find out more about marathon racing in the UK visit the British Canoeing Marathon Racing site.
The main championship that our members enter is the Hasler Trophy, which all canoeing clubs in the UK compete for. Qualification for the Hasler Trophy finals is done on a regional basis, in our case London & South East. Points are awarded for race positions and the top four clubs in each region go forward to compete in the Hasler Final, which is held in September. To take part in the final you have to have competed in at least three qualifying races during the season (1st September – 31st August). We compete at Clubs such as Royal (Kingston), Elmbridge (Weybridge), Richmond, Maidstone, Hastings, and Tonbridge.
We have our own race, the Wey Marathon, in April, when over 200 canoeists will compete. Wey has a strong tradition in the Hasler Trophy series, having been in the top three most years and winning it many times.
For those who prefer to canoe at speed in straight lines, sprinting is the choice. This is an Olympic sport over 200, 500 and 1000 metres, usually in lanes of 6 or 8 canoeists and we have an impressive track record of training World and Olympic Sprint champions. There are two levels of Sprint racing that our members can enter – club and national.
There are a number of club Sprint races in our area and we hold our own, the Wey Sprints, in March every year. National Sprint events are run at two locations in the UK – the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham and Dorney Lake at Eton which was the venue for the 2012 Olympics).
Unlike Marathon Racing this is not for beginners, as a minimum standard (based upon the time to cover the specific distance) is required to enter the races. Canoeists have normally paddled for a least a year before reaching this standard. Having reached the minimum standard canoeists are categorised by Men, Women, Boys (under 18) and Girls (under 18) and within each category a ranking of A, B, C or D, with D being the slowest. Progression through the ranks is by winning races. There are five competitions at Nottingham during the year (April, May, June, July and September), each one over a weekend. Many people camp, although there is some accommodation available at the centre and obviously local B & B and Hotels. July is the National Club Competition, so we try and get as many canoeists from Wey to compete, particularly as we have been UK Champions on numerous occasions, most recently in 2009.
To find out more about sprint racing in the UK visit the British Canoeing Sprint Racing site.