Marathon Racing Regions for 2020

The document below explains the MRC  review of distribution of clubs in the Midlands and South West . The reasons are given and the issues that may arise are listed.  The main ones are that Midlands has a disproportionate number of clubs in comparison to other regions, and that distances to races in both regions can also involve several hours travelling.  It is hoped that the redistribution will ease both these issues.

Adjustment of Marathon Racing Regions for season 2020

 

Marathon National Training Squad

Following the success of the MRC Junior Development Squad (JDS), the MRC has launched the Marathon National Training Squad (NTS).

This squad will be aimed at athletes who are ready to progress out of the JDS all the way to our top international paddlers; bringing these athletes together to offer opportunities and progression that will support our current and future international success.

Congratulations to the athletes who have been selected onto the squad and we look forward to welcoming more on during the 2020 season.

Click here to see the list of squad members and full details of the NTS.

Volunteer Staff for International Trips

A reminder that the MRC is looking for volunteers to help the GB teams on their various international trips during 2020.

It should be a fun but challenging few days supporting our international paddlers, and helping them perform to the best of their abilities.

We usually need 3 or 4 staff per event, either flying with the team or driving overland with the minibus and trailer.    All staff expenses are paid and team kit is provided.

Please complete the form below if you are interested, or email Graham Warland for more information.

https://gonepaddling.wufoo.com/forms/w12bbocy0uvcnlj/

MRC Junior Development Squad 2020

After a successful first year (thanks to all those who gave up their time to coach), the MRC will be running the JDS again in 2020.  All those who were on last year’s squad should have received an email recently, with the link to re-join (if not, please check your spam boxes).

The qualification criteria remain the same – Boys U18 – Div 3, Boys U16 – Div 4, Girls U18 – Div 4 and Girls U16 – Div 5.  For Canoeists, the divisions would be one lower for each category.

ALL members need to re-join for 2020 – the form is here.

For those who attended any of last year’s events, there is also a feedback form here.

Events planned for 2020 at this stage are:

  • Saturday 21 March –  Elmbridge – national training day
  • Saturday and Sunday 18/19 April – 2 day residential camp, Longridge (limited numbers)
  • Saturday 30 May – Pangbourne – national training day

Coaches – we are keen to have as many as possible involved, of all levels.  This is partly to help run the events, but also to use them as an opportunity to learn together.  To this end, we are planning to hold coaching discussion sessions over the lunch breaks this year.

Sanabria K4 Report from Paul Dimmock, Team Manager

The annual invitation to the K4 events in Valladolid and Sanabria by the Royal Spanish Canoe Federation again did not disappoint.  There was high quality racing, exceptional hospitality and national teams from Hungary, Czech Republic, Argentina, Denmark, Portugal, ourselves and – of course – the home nation, Spain.

The GB crews selected were:

Women

Anoushka Freeman (Royal Leamington Spa), Lizzie Polgreen (Falcon Oxford), Mags Dilai (Nottingham), Anna Railton (Falcon Oxford)

Men

Albert Hicks (Norwich), Lewis Kirton (Royal), Peter Wilkes (Foy), Tom Simmons (Bradford on Avon)

Friday K1

As a prelude to the main racing, there were K1 races on the Friday over a 3.8km course with two entries per nation per class.

Anoushka & Lizzie and Lewis & Peter raced in packed fields and all put up strong performances, finishing 6th, 9th and 6th and 12th respectively.  It definitely got everyone in the mood for some quality racing, as there was sense that this was only the aperitif to the main events that were yet to come.  There was a real sense of anticipation in the GB camp that evening.

Saturday Valladolid K4 5k  

It was a crowded start line and there some big names on the water.  With countries using this as a sharpener for the Euros next weekend, the start was predictably fast and, on a tight river with 40 plus boats, both the men’s and women’s teams had an uphill battle (literally up the washes) from the start.

Tom stroked a quality race, but realistically it was an impossible task once they got behind.  However, if the men were having a challenging day at the office finishing 8th, the Hungarians struggled as well – finishing a couple of places behind GB.  This meant both crews had a point to prove the following day in Sanabria.

As with the men, the women’s boat (stroked by Mags) also struggled with the early pace.  However, with quality stroking and determination, the GB crew pulled back to 2nd place.  Alas however, the early effort had emptied the tanks and they finished 5th.

Sunday Sanabria K4 5k

A new day a new venue.  At Sanabria it was the same format – 5k over two laps.  This time both crews adopted a fast start strategy and launched their respective boats to the very front of the race.  As Lewis said after the race “after 500m I dared to look over to our left and we were head to head with the Spanish and Danes!”.

It was the same for the women, when a world class start put them at the front of the race battling it out with the Spanish and Hungarians.  Both British crews now had the space to move as they wanted rather than, as yesterday, being pushed to the back in the dirty water. The GB men stayed in the leading group throughout until the penultimate turn buoy.  Here the pick-up in pace just proved too much, and team GB and the Portuguese had the painful task of sitting a couple of boat lengths behind the leading group.  The finishing order was Denmark, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Portugal, GB.

After their blistering start the women settled into a strong cruise along with the other top nations.   Again, similar to the men, when the big efforts came for the turn buoys they just missed out.  They also had to contend with the wash from a launch carrying an excited TV camera crew, which made a return to the front group a step too far, leaving them finishing 4th behind Spain, Hungary, Denmark.

The combined results placed Team GB 4th in the medal table, with our crews always in the top 8 over the finish line.  This was a more than credible result for a development squad but, as is the way with high achieving athletes, they wanted more and are looking to return next year to improve.

As Team Manager there are always logistical challenges, changes to programmes, transportation issues etc, but these are all part of the job, so to speak. However, the reward is the privilege to work alongside athletes who give their all on the regatta course.  The K4 teams at the weekend gave absolutely 100%, so you may think they fulfilled their part of the team equation. However, what isn’t reflected in the results is the commitment they gave to supporting one another, and the ambassadorial role they played representing British Canoeing on and off the water.

Paul Dimmock

National Marathon Team Manager

Race Coach Course – MRC/SRC Bursary

As we move into the summer and the MRC/SRC bursary for the British Canoeing Race coach award continues, it would be helpful to know how many clubs would still like to put coaches forward for the award and the bursary.

We have had 60+ coaches complete the Race discipline specific course so far, and are now starting to allocate funding for the assessment to finish the qualification.  As the funding is from a finite amount, we need to spend it in the most effective and beneficial way for the clubs and sport.

If your club is wanting to put coaches through the award – or if it has already done so and is now wanting to arrange an assessment – then let us know so we can plan to help out accordingly, as it is on a first come, first served basis.

A reminder – the original information on the bursary and the course can be found here.  As the BC course finder isn’t working fully at the moment, we also have a list (not exhaustive) of course providers and assessors that we can put you in contact with.

Finally, a big congratulations to the clubs and coaches who have undertaken the course, and to those that’ll be passing this year – well done!

DW Statement

We take part in sport for the personal challenge; with that come great highs and great lows.  Tragically, last weekend the Devizes to Westminster race amplified that.  Whilst the race, as ever, created heroes and heroines of all who took part; this year the very worst happened when a paddler lost their life in the last few miles.

Stan Missen, Chair of the MRC said “ Our paddling community is a small world, and this is a devastating loss.  All our thoughts are with their family, friends and fellow paddlers.”

Junior Development Squad – C1 paddlers

For clarification, C1 paddlers are also invited to join the JDS if/when they meet the qualifying standards.  The eligibility criteria are one division below those required for K1, therefore for C1 paddlers that would be:

U18 boys – Div 4

U16 boys – Div 5

U18 girls – Div 5

U16 girls – Div 6

Junior Development Squad Skills Day

Around 70 young athletes from 24 clubs attended the first MRC Junior Development Squad event on Saturday.  This was a skills development day, focussed on group paddling and wash-hanging, kindly hosted by Elmbridge CC and led by BC President and multiple World Champion, Ivan Lawler.

The emphasis of the day was on having fun and enabling the paddlers to develop skills in a non-race environment, thus allowing them to take risks and not worry about making mistakes. There was a good mix of on- and off-water sessions, with the “classroom” time led by Ivan.  Complete with cardboard cut-out boats on a whiteboard, he demonstrated wash-hanging and group dynamics from the simplest two-boat scenario, up to the large groups encountered in international races.  The morning’s paddle was done in small groups, but the challenges were increased by the high winds and strong flow on the river.  Luckily the winds dropped for the afternoon session, when there were various drills and challenges, this time in bigger groups, such as having to find a place in a big group immediately from a start-line.

Paddlers and coaches came from clubs as far afield as Lincoln, Chester, Swansea and Cornwall.  In addition to developing the paddlers, it was a training day for coaches of all levels, providing an opportunity for them to work together and learn from each other.  The subsequent feedback on the day has been very positive, with all those involved taking back new skills and knowledge to their clubs.

There are now over 90 paddlers enrolled in the squad, which will continue to grow as more meet the qualifying criteria following promotions throughout the year.  This ensures that all the progressive juniors around the country are able to benefit.

Many thanks to Ivan and the team at Elmbridge for putting up with an extra 100 or more people taking over their clubhouse, and to the paddlers, parents and coaches who were all prepared to turn up on a very windy day.  We are now looking forward to the next MRC JDS event – the two-day training camp at Longridge in April.

MRC Junior Development Squad

 

The initial MRC Junior Development Squad list for 2019 has been announced.

JDS Squad 6.2.19

The first event for the squad and their coaches is this Saturday.  Hosted by Elmbridge CC and led by Ivan Lawler, the focus is on Group Racing Skills  and over 70 paddlers have booked to attend.

A reminder to those coming:

  • Please arrive in good time – the briefing is at 9.30, and you should be ready then.
  • Please bring a bungee if you have one.
  • Please encourage your coach to come too if possible.

There is no maximum number for the squad, and paddlers are encouraged to join throughout the year once they reach the required standards below:

Boys – U18 Div 3, U16/14 Div 4

Girls – U18 Div 4, U16/14 Div 5

The application form for the JDS:

https://gonepaddling.wufoo.co.uk/forms/s5xrpah0rbbz70/