Leighton Buzzard Canoe Club make best possible start to Hasler season
Victory by a single point at Chelmsford
The first race of the Eastern Region Hasler season 2021-2022 was held at Chelmsford at the weekend.
Chelmsford have only lost their home race once in the past 10 years, so while confidence was high after a good summer of training realistic expectations were for a second place finish for Leighton Buzzard Canoe Club.
Jack Rayment has made huge strides in the last year and narrowly missed out on promotion to division three with his second placed finish racing over 8 miles in Division 4. Leon Dixon was similarly impressive in division 5 also finishing in second place.
On the shorter, 4 mile course, Ollie Power finished in third place and gained promotion to division 6 where he’ll be joining Joseph Galliers and Magnus Gravell who finished in fifth and sixth respectively in their race.
Newcomer Ayden Bates made his racing debut in the biggest field of the day in Division 9, he missed out on promotion this time but his potential is clear and it won’t be long before he’s moving through the divisions.
In the Under 14s A class the podium all wore the yellow jerseys of LBCC, with Ethan Duncan, Ewan Bates and Nicola Kear securing the top three positions, the two boys earning promotion to division 9 where they’ll be racing against senior paddlers in the future. In the C class race Ethan Boyce narrowly missed out on the top three but was still fast enough to gain promotion to B.
The K2 crew boats is where the club always thrives. Victories for Lydia Oxtoby and Jodie Barrell in division 4, Charlotte Ellis and Chris Jones in division 5, Andy Murphy and former GB athlete Steve Tingay in 7 and Becky Greer and Adam Smith in division 9, along with second place finishes for Katy Dixon and Josh Power in 4 and Adam Kear and Carly Hudson, followed by Maggie Rae and Mandy Hussey in third in division 7 were enough to secure victory for the club by the narrowest of margins - beating Chelmsford by a single point on 596, with Norwich following a further six points behind.
There are five more races to come, with the top three clubs in the region set to qualify for the national Hasler finals, the club are off to the best possible start.