Gruelling course is not enough to stop Leighton’s canoeists

Ben Stratford, Josh Power and Adam Baker
Ben Stratford, Josh Power and Adam Baker

Canoeing’s Winter Series continued in Chelmsford at the weekend, with some excellent results for Leighton Buzzard Canoe Club.

The route took competitors through the town centre which meant that there were hard concrete banks and a narrow waterway so there was a challenging, bouncy course with tight turns and low bridges to content.

A split start meant that those doing the 3-mile course were off first and this was led out by the under 14 boys.

Leighton paddlers Leon Dixon and Ollie Power were joint in series points going into this race and finished with only nine seconds between them with Leon coming in third and Ollie in fourth.

David Shipway was in the novice canoe class and due to the type of boat meaning he doesn’t have a rudder but relies on paddle strokes to steer he struggled with the windy conditions but still came in fourth.

In the under 12’s race, despite being under the weather Jack Rayment came in second and was followed by Kayleigh Dixon in sixth who was also the first girl to finish in this race.

The second start began with those on the 3-lap, eight-mile course.

This was headed out by those in the open doubles race with a large start line on a narrow waterway. Bryan Handsley and Amanda Morris came in 13th.

This was followed by Mike Martin in the veteran’s race who came in third. Max Pickering was in the under 18 men’s which came down to a sprint finish however he managed to come first by just one second.

In the 2-lap, 5 mile course in the under 16 boys race Ben Stratford came in third, Josh Power came in third and Adam Baker took a swim after the first lap but showed great determination to get back in the boat and finish seventh and four minutes ahead of the next boat.

In the women’s race Beth Goodlad came in fourth while in the canoe doubles race Paul Stenning and Nigel Dixon came in third.

In the under 16 girls race Katy Dixon it again came to a sprint finish with Katy coming third.