Maggie and Elie-Mae race to Lightning medals

Maggie and Elie-Mae race to Lightning medals
Maggie and Elie-Mae race to Lightning medals

A small team of eight paddlers from Leighton Buzzard Canoe Club raced at the two day National Sprints Regatta.

For 12-year-olds Maggie Rae and Elie-Mae Bennett this was the first time at the national event having recently made the qualifying times.

Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Both girls raced in the ‘Lightning B’ over 500m and smashed the field achieving first and second place. The pair combined on Sunday racing up to a higher level in their K2.

They headed into the final as favourites but a broken paddle at the start left them powerless but not downhearted, showing determination and guts the girls limped along the course to finish in third.

Coach Mike Martin, senior Ashley Townend and Junior Max Pickering found themselves battling it out in several races, with each one securing a victory over the other at some point in various distances. Ashley secured first place, piping Max in the 200m, however Max rose to the challenge and took first place over 1000m, followed by Mike in 4th and Ashley in sixth.

Laura Hussey and Charlotte Ellis both raced well in their K1’s but the strength was in the crew boats finishing well up the field in the 5K.

Max Pickering and Ashley Townend

Max Pickering and Ashley Townend

Leighton’s Charlie Smith took the most wins of any paddler at the Regatta winning the Mens A K1, 500m and 1000m as well as the K2, 500, 1000m and 5K with his GB partner Ziggy Chemile.