British titles were won across the weekend as the top slalom paddlers took on the Lee Valley White Water Centre at the 2021 British Open.
Racing across the Halloween weekend (30/31 October) in challenging and ever changing conditions, three Tokyo Olympians were in action alongside international athletes as over 150 paddlers raced the competitions across the two days.
After finishing fourth in the Tokyo Olympic Games, and claiming a top ten at the 2021 World Championships Adam Burgess claimed the British Open title in the men’s C1 after posting two strong runs on the Sunday.
After first posting a 97.68 including one touch in the morning run, the Stafford and Stone paddler went on to post a clean 97.28 in the afternoon as his best time which was nearly a second ahead of the next best paddler.
Spanish athlete Miguel Trave took second place and the U23 title, fresh from winning gold at the 2021 World Cup in La Seu, whilst U23 athlete Kurts Adams Rozentals claimed third spot after delivering a clean 100.52 during his second run. Luc Royle was the top finishing junior boat from the day with 105.18.
It was a tight battle for the title in the women’s K1 race, with the 2021 World Championship team gold medal trio of Kimberley Woods, Fiona Pennie and Mallory Franklin all looking to secure that top spot.
Putting down a strong second run, it was 2021 World Championship bronze medallist Kimberley Woods who claimed the title. The Tokyo Olympian knocked nine seconds off her first run time during the afternoon to top the leaderboard in 100.89, half a second ahead of Fiona Pennie, with Mallory Franklin taking third place.
Two strong performances saw Megan Hamer-Evans take the U23 title, whilst Joely Walling was the fastest junior boat across the two runs.
2021 Olympic silver medallist Mallory Franklin did dominate the women’s C1 event, after taking on the event’s Olympic debut in Japan. The Windsor and District athlete showed the experience that also won her silver at the 2021 World Championships, putting down a 105.40 to take top spot by over ten seconds.
Eilidh Gibson secured second place with 116.12, whilst Sophie Ogilvie came in third with a best time of 123.03 which also saw the CR Cats athlete finish with the U23 win. Louise Fernie took the junior title.
In the men’s K1, Ben Haylett put down a storming second run to claim his first senior British Open title. The Holme Pierrepont athlete delivered a time of 86.44 to secure the win ahead of fellow U23 paddler Chris Bowers (Stafford and Stone) with the U23 World bronze medallist over three second behind.
2013 World Champion Giovanni De Gannaro came third with 90.26 including a touch on gate 9.
With Haylett also securing the U23 title in the process, Thomas Mayer put down an excellent first run to claim the junior title.