The Essex Winter Series provides a number of opportunities for marathon racing over winter and a chance to win a series title both individually and as a club. Leighton’s event will be on 26 January on the Grand Union Canal but today’s (12 Jan) round was at Chelmsford on the river Chelmer. The course passes near the centre of town as well as being more rural and the weather was a cold wind and a bit overcast.
There were some stand out performances from Leighton Buzzard paddlers but the top billing surely goes to Joe Galliers and Ollie Power in the U16 K2 race. Given the club’s newest K2 to ‘christen’ for this event they smashed the field and won comprehensively coming 15 minutes ahead of the opposition. A massive margin as their time was 48 minutes. Clearly this sets a precedent for that boat which will need to be continued.
In other K2 events Beth Goodlad and Mike Thornton were 5th ahead of Paul stenning teamed with Amy Carter in 8th and the senior/junior pairing of Paul Murphy and Maggie Rae. Beth and Mike might have been further up had they not missed a turn and gone a bit further than needed.
Mike Martin was the outstanding achievement in the K1s with a win in the veteran’s race ahead of Bryan Handsley who was 4th. In the under 18s K1 Ben Stratford kept up his rivalry with Chelmsford’s David Gurney, but was second, home advantage may have been a factor. Jack Rayment although under 16 raced in the senior men’s K1 event and came a creditable 5th against seasoned opposition. In the U16 age group Josh Power got a great second place and Adam Baker was 5th.
In the younger groups Leon Dixon was 4th in the boys event and in the girls event Megan Pickering was 3rd and Kayleigh Dixon 5th.