Leighton dominate Hasler marathon’s top division races

Leighton Buzzard Canoe Club made the short trip to Bedford at the weekend to take part in the third Hasler marathon of the season.

Celebrating their 40th anniversary, the club have set the lofty target of finishing the season top of the Eastern Region, and through team leader Beth Goodlad’s efforts the club are currently sitting joint top with three races left including the home marathon in July.

During their races the paddlers all wore armbands to commemorate the life of the popular member of the club, Robert Creamer, who sadly passed away the previous week.

Leighton paddlers dominated the top division with Bob Poole winning, closely followed in the sprint finish by Charlie Smith and Sam Plummer.

Returning after a long layoff from racing Ben Haynes took an impressive second place in Division 2, while Matt Callow scored the same result in division 3 and was tantalisingly close to promotion.

Katy Dixon, still in her first season out of the ‘Lightning’ division for the under 12s gave another excellent performance in Division 8, earning her second promotion of the season.

In his first race for the club, racing in Division 9, Jeremy Stratford overcame a congested start and rough conditions to finish with a credible 11th place from 24 starters, the largest field of the day.

The strategy of entering as many two man ‘K2’ crew boats as possible again reaped dividends.

The club dominated division four, with second third and fourth places while Max Green and Adam Ashton managed another promotion with their fourth place finish in division 6.

In division 7, a hard winter of training paid off for Bryan Handsley and Amanda Morris who took control of the race at the midway point, and lead to the finish for a comfortable victory.

They’ll now be racing in Division 6.

In division 9, Holly Noonan and club coach Ann Hoile raced together for the first time and took second place, followed by youngsters Ben Stratford and William Minter who performed well finishing in sixth place.

Further afield, siblings Tom, Max and Izzy Pickering were representing the club at the Chester Hasler; all performed well, but Max in particular had a great result finishing fourth in a time that earned him promotion to division five.

The next race is in Norwich, where the home team are expected to dominate, LBCC will be looking to take second place ahead of Chelmsford which would leave them top of the region.