Assessment Races for 2018

The MRC Selection Committee has decided on the following Assessment Races for 2018. Venues could be subject to change after discussion with race organisers:

25 Feb Thameside 2, Reading (K2/C2)
25 March Elmbridge (K1/C1)
Following this race, selection of the GB team for the German National Championships

6 May Worcester (K1/C1)
Following this race, selection of the GB team for World Cup 1

20 May Nottingham (K2/C2)
10 June Maidstone (K2/C2)
Following this race, selection of the GB team for the European Championships, and International K4 Cup

21-22 July, National Championships, Reading (K1, K2, C1, C2)
Following this race, selection of the GB team for the World Championships, and (by 30th July) for the French National Championships.

Joint statement from Sprint and Marathon Selection Committees

The Sprint and Marathon International Panels would like to clarify the following points regarding the selection process for the 2017 ICF Canoe Sprint Senior World Championships, 2017 ECA Canoe Sprint Senior European Championships and the 2017 ICF World Canoe Marathon Championships.

  1. Nominations for selection for the 5K events at the 2017 ICF Canoe Sprint Senior World Championships and the ECA Canoe Sprint European Championships will be primarily based on results of the 5K events at the 2017 June National Regatta.
  2. Nominations for selection for all other ICF Canoe Sprint Senior World Championships and ECA Canoe Sprint European Championships events will be primarily based on results at the 2017 July National Regatta.
  3. To be eligible for selection for the ICF World Canoe Marathon Championships, it is NOT a requirement that athletes compete at the ECA European Canoe Marathon Championships. This applies to the Junior, U23 and Senior categories.

Alan Laws, Chair of the Canoe Marathon International Panel
Paul Dimmock, Chair of the Canoe Sprint International Panel.

5k races added to Marathon Assessment programme for 2017

Following discussions with the SRC Regatta Committee, and British Canoeing Talent and Performance Departments, the MRC have decided to include two 5k races at the May and June regattas in the assessment event programme for 2017.

These events will count as part of continuous assessment for the World and European Marathon Championships, and the Sanabria K4 races* but will not be considered in isolation – i.e. athletes will have to perform over full-distance marathon events also.

The programme of assessment events, team announcements and internationals for 2017 is now as follows:-

Date (event, not travel) Event Selected following this event
26-Mar Elmbridge Assessment (singles) German National Champs (junior development team)
30-Apr Bedford Assessment (singles) World Cup (development team)
06-May to 07-May German National Champs (junior development team)
07-May K2 5K Assessment at May regatta: men, women, girls, boys A/B classes
14-May Worcester Assessment (doubles)
26-May to 28-May World Cup (Hazewinkel, Belgium – development team)
04-Jun K1 5K Assessment at June regatta: men, women, girls, boys A/B classes European Champs (all classes); Sanabria K4* (GB invitation and date tbc)
30-Jun to 02-Jul European Championships (Ponte de Lima, Portugal) World Championships (all classes)
07-Sep to 10-Sep World Championships (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa)

*British Canoeing usually receive an annual invitation for a fully-funded crew team at the Sanabria K4 races in Spain. This invitation and the conditions attached to it will be unknown until later this year.


Assessment Races and wash riding other classes

Please note – a recent assessment race has highlighted the need to be extra clear about wash hanging or interfering with any other boat or competitor who is not in your own class/race. Participants should already be very clear that anything that may be construed as interference, such as wash hanging or assisting another crew will result in disqualification of all involved, if proven.

The MRC selection committee’s recommendation is that when taking part in an assessment race, athletes being caught up by those in other classes should show good sporting behaviour by staying at least 3m clear, and giving up the racing line to avoid any suggestion that any advantage was gained by either party.

Great Britain team for the 2015 Marathon World Championships

Following the final round of selection races at the National Championships this weekend, the following athletes have been selected to represent Great Britain at the World Canoe Marathon Championships in Györ, Hungary from 10th-13th September:-


Senior K1: Lizzie Broughton (RIC); Sam Rees-Clark (B3C)
Senior K2: Lizzie Broughton/Fay Lamph (WEY); Jenny Illidge (WOR)/Jenny Swallow (CHE)
U23 K1: Sam Rees-Clark; Jenny Illidge
JK2: Melissa Johnson (CLM)/Elise Piercy (ELM)

Senior K1: Keith Moule (CLM); Billy Butler (LON)
Senior K2: Tim Pendle (NOR)/Andy Daniels (LON); Keith Moule/Tom Sharpe (RIC)
U23 K1: Lewis Duffield (CLM); Sam Plummer (LBZ)
JK1: Magnus Gregory (LON); Zyggy Chmiel (NOT)
JK2: Magnus Gregory/Luke Harding (LON); Zyggy Chmiel/James Russell (CLM)

James Smythe, Ali Pendle; Dyson Pendle; Jo Bates; Melvin Swallow

National Marathon Training Group standards

The upcoming series of assessment races will also be used to choose athletes to invite to future National Marathon Training Group events. Achieving a certain Handicap performance at an assessment race will ensure you a place in this group for the next year; a selection to the GB team for a major international ensures a place for the next two years.

Please also read the recently published guide to assessment as it contains useful tips for athletes and coaches on how to reach the GB team in marathon.

World Champion level 8 9 10 0 1 2
Range of 2014 GB Worlds team 8-10 8-10 14 1 2 3-4
Range for other 2014 GB internationals 10 11 14 2 3-4 5-6
Level required for National Training Group 13 13 16 5 5 8
World Champion level 16 EST 17 EST 18 EST 8 9 10
Range of 2014 GB Worlds team N/S N/S N/S N/S N/S N/S
Range for other 2014 GB internationals N/S N/S N/S N/S N/S N/S
Level required for National Training Group 21 22 23 13 13 16

Great Britain Marathon Team Assessment Process

(or… how to earn yourself a GB vest)

If you want to earn yourself a GB vest some time in the future, then you need to do as many assessment races as you can, starting early in your career (even when you might not yet be very competitive).

The bulk of these races usually happen in May and June, because that’s when we need to be assessing athletes for Great Britain teams to the World Cup and European Championships. These internationals, and the assessment races, then allow us to choose our best team for the World Championships in September.

Assessments play an important role in all of the MRC’s international objectives: winning medals of course, and maintaining our position as a top nation, but also ensuring the long-term athlete development required for international success. For developing athletes, they provide a chance to learn by racing world class competitors, and understand what needs to be done to reach a similar level. We also use them to invite prospective future international athletes into the national training group, depending on the standards achieved.

Athletes should discuss their approach to assessment races with a coach. It’s important to be physically and mentally ready to take on the challenge as these are the fastest races in the country, but nobody gets to the top of the canoe racing mountain without starting from the base.

Here are some common sense bits of advice for those seeking international selection in marathon:-

1. Race assessment races as soon as you can in your career. The most successful athletes have almost always done several assessments in more than one season before their first selection. Junior women’s and C1 races are just a little further than a Div 4 race, junior men’s just a little further than a Div 3.

2. Do as many assessment races as possible. They follow the international race format so are good experience. And the more you do, the better your profile in the continuous assessment process. Other races (apart from the major internationals themselves) don’t count towards assessment.

3. Don’t expect to earn a GB vest with just one result. We run several assessment races to allow athletes to show more than one result, and results from different races can be benchmarked against the Handicap points system for a fair and impartial comparison of results.

4. Be realistic about your expectations, remember the winners of these races are very often international medal winners. And finish, no matter how badly your race may be going. You would be surprised how many places you can gain simply by reaching the finish line, and the experience of the distance is important.

5. Race hard, as even first place may not be enough. For the world championships this year we expect to have 16 athlete places. If we could afford to take up 2 boats in each class we’d need to send more than double this number. Selectors have lots of evidence of how fast international races are, so for example a men’s C1 in a domestic assessment would need to complete the course about as fast as our women’s K1s in order to gain a comparable result internationally. The Handicap points system can even help us to make a comparison between men’s and women’s K1 performances.

6. Whatever you do, fill in an availability form by the deadline. You wouldn’t believe how many people miss out on a selection because they just haven’t told the selectors that they’re available for an international race.