Marathon efforts from Leighton Buzzard canoeists

Bob Poole

Bob Poole

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Leighton Buzzard Canoe Club competed in the National Marathon Championships last weekend.

The club finished in ninth place from the 53 clubs competing, with a series of consistent rather than spectacular performances.

Jay Haycock

Jay Haycock

Racing by age group rather than divisions provided a great opportunity for club paddlers to rub shoulders with the very best kayakers in the UK.

Staged on the Thames at Reading, more than 1,000 seats entered with all entrants competing to be crowned national champion for their age group.

Gina Guscott and Jay Haycock achieved the only podium finishes of the weekend.

Gina took bronze in the veteran ladies K1 race and Jay taking third place in the veteran mens K2 race, also narrowly missing out on a medal in the K1 race, finishing in fourth.

Club coach Mike Martin performed well in both his individual K1 race, finishing in seventh place in a congested field of 41 paddlers, and a solid tenth place racing with fellow coach Reggie Elliot in the over 49s K2 mens race.

Bob Poole was the club’s busiest paddler over the weekend, racing in both the senior mens K1 and K2 races and also the mixed K2 race.

His best result came in the K1 race as the came home in fourth place in very high quality field.

In the junior races Thomas Pickering and Mat Callow had good results in both K1 and K2 in the Under 16 and Under 18 races respectively .

Thomas’ younger brother Max continued his good form with tenth place in the Under 14s race.

In the under 12s Adam Baker was the club’s lone paddler, and while he didn’t have his best results this weekend he completed his three races in determined fashion.

Training will now switch predominantly from marathon paddling to sprinting as the club prepares for the sprint regatta in Nottingham at the start of September.