Leighton’s canoeists continue to impress in Waterside races


Eleven paddlers from Leighton Buzzard Canoe Club took on the Waterside B challenge in both single and double manned kayaks making up part of the 270 boats that raced.

In the Junior K2 class new pairing of Eloise Hall and Matt Callow paddled a great race to reach 10th place in a very respectable time of 2 hours 57 mins 27 secs.

Long time Waterside supporter Beth Goodland turned in another rewarding performance achieving 2nd place in the K1 ladies event with a time of 3:13:49 and moving up a place on last year. Hot on her heels was Charlotte Ellis in 4th with a time of 3:20:21.

Five LBCC K1 paddlers competed in the Men’s Veteran class. New to the series was Nigel Dixon who battled the distance and portages well to finishing in 3: 52:39.

New members James Callow and Paul Stenning paddled courageously to finish in 3:21:32 and 2:57:04 respectively. Ahead of them was Paul Plummer who came in 13th with a time of 2:53:05. Mike Martin was pleased to take 7th in the class with a time of 2:33: 54.

In the K1 seniors it was a sterling performance from newcomer Ashley Townsend who had never covered a distance like this before. He completed the 17.5 mile marathon in 3:40:23.

Out again this weekend for LBCC was GB squad member Sam Plummer looking to impress further the selectors ahead of the GB Marathon Assessment Race next week at Thameside 2.

Sam is looking to secure his U23 place to compete in the first international of this year, the Waterlands marathon in Amsterdam.

The main competition for Sam came from Chelmsford paddler Mark Wilkes. The pair worked together for the first part of the race however on the return journey Sam pulled it out of the bag on the portage. Drawing on his superior running skills Sam chose to take it long and run around 1 km.

A great call as this drained Mark and allowed Sam to open a gap in the last stretch finishing 17 seconds ahead of him in a time of 2:12:10.