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Canoe Sprint & Paracanoe Selection and National Championship regatta concludes

Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe athletes returned to the National Water Sports Centre for another action-packed day of racing as the British National and Open Paracanoe, Senior and Masters’ Championships concluded.

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Alongside bidding for national titles, Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World and European places were also up for grabs ahead of the two competitions taking place in August. 

A number of junior paddlers were in action too as they battled the windy conditions at Holme Pierrepont.

After finishing fifth in the A Final at the ICF World Cup in Poznan last weekend, the women’s K4 crew of Debroah Kerr (Anker Valley), Emma Russell (Chelmsford), Emily Lewis (Worcester) and Rebii Simon (Embridge) put another strong performance in as they won the 500m final on the Nottingham course. 

They were chased down all the way by Abi Burgess (Wey), Zoe Clark (Royal), Enya Dale (Falcon) and Florence Duffield (Norwich), with just over a second separating the pair.

The women's K1 200m final was hotly contested, with both heats winners battling it out to claim the national title. Off the back of their K4 final, it was Tokyo 2020 Olympian Emily Lewis (Worcester) who took the spoils ahead of Royal’s Zoe Clark, winning in a time of 43.73.

Continuing his fine form from both yesterday and recent World Cups, Dan Johnson (Chelmsford) added a further three titles to his weekend of racing. The 27-year-old was the eventual winner of a stacked men’s K1 500m final, posting the quickest time of the six heats before winning the final by over a second ahead of Trevor Thomson (Ealing).

Dan also combined with Noah Dembele (Leaside) to take a commanding victory in men’s K2 500m, putting in a strong showing through the choppy waters to claim the national title ahead of Trevor Thomson and Phil Miles (Royal Leamington Spa).

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He then backed that up alongside brother Matt Johnson (Chelmsford) later that day, winning the K2 1000m final in a time of 3:25.64.

There was an impressive performance by Grace Anderson who secured victory in the Women’s K1 1000m final. The Norwich paddler got off to a great start and held her lead to finish in 4:21.46, over a second ahead of Katie Brookes (Worcester).

There were two individual victories for Chelmsford’s Beth Gill as she put in solid races in both the women’s C1 500m and 1000m to win the two national titles ahead of Reading’s Anna Palmer.

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An impressive performance from Arthur Leech (Richmond) saw him secure victory and the national title in the men’s C1 1000m final. He was pushed all the way by Jonathon Jones, but held on to cross the line over a second ahead the Fladbury paddler.

Arthur and Beth then combined in the mixed C2 500m final to win in a time of 2:06.68.

Due to the weather conditions, today’s paracanoe races were not used for selection but a number of athletes opted to race this morning. 

In the men’s VL3, 2021 World Champion Jack Eyers put in two strong showings across the rounds. Initially posting a time of 50.68 to get the victory ahead of Martin Tweedie, Jack opted to race rounds two and three, posting his quickest time of 49.79 in the latter.

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Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Jeanette Chippington too continued her form into the Va’a as she put down a quicker time on her second run. Having raced the KL1 yesterday, 1:04.76 was Jeanette’s fastest performance of the day in the women’s VL2.

It was the 5km races that concluded proceedings in Nottingham. 

After her fifth place finish at World Cup 2 in Poznan, Anna Palmer claimed the women’s C1 5000m national title ahead of Beth Gill. 

Off the back of his K2 victory earlier in the day, Matt Johnson (Chelmsford) took the victory in the tricky conditions of the men's K1 5000m final. With a leading pack of five

The final race of the day saw an incredible battle to the line between Melissa Johnson (Chelmsford) and Jessica Urquhart (Nottingham) The pair were in touching distance throughout, before going neck and neck towards the finish, with Melissa just getting in ahead to take the title.

British Canoeing’s Senior Coach, James Train was pleased to see some great performances over the two days off the back of a busy few weeks.

“It was great to see some really strong performances across the weekend. The last few weekends at World Cups have presented some good learning opportunities and athletes have backed up a big series with some good performances here in Nottingham which is a huge positive. 

“There were also some great performances from U23 athletes ahead of selection in July which is positive to see.

“In Paracanoe there was some course records broken in challenging conditions which gives us a real indication that the squad had a solid winter of training and are in a really good place ahead of the World Championships,

It was a tough block of racing but they’ve built a lot towards the Worlds and now it’s time to have a little rest. There’s eight/nine weeks of focussed training now ahead of the World Championships.

– James Train

In the Masters events, Norwich paddler Caroline Banson put down a time of 59.88 to win the O44/54 Women’s K1 200m after winning the 500m title yesterday.

Andrew Boland (Salmon Leap Canoe Club) won his first title of the weekend, taking top spot in the men’s O44, whilst Nottingham’s Paul Brookes narrowly won the men’s O54 event ahead of Reading’s Kevin Smith to add to his K2 500 title yesterday.

It was Richard Vincent of Soar Valley who claimed the men’s O64 200m title. 

Sally Alexander (Addleston) and Catherine Ayling (Maidstone) concluded the Masters racing with a win in the O34/44/54/64 K2 1000m final, over 20 seconds ahead of the nearest pairing.

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The Nottingham K4 crew of J Butler, M Enoch, N Jones and S Walsh took victory in the O34/44 1000m final, just ahead of the fast approaching Exeter crew of R Bullock, C Heard, D Millar and J Piper.

Reading’s J Raciborski and K Smith triumphed in the O54/64 K2 1000m final, whilst club mate Laurence Plant added a further title to his weekend of racing with a win in the O34 K1 200m final.

All of the results can be found here

A huge thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their time over the last two days to make the regatta a success once again.