International Masters Racing – Overview

Masters Cups events are organised in conjunction with the World and European Championships every year. Entries are currently available to all racers over 35, making their own logistical and race entry arrangements.

Please refer to the website of each championship for details of the masters races, accommodation and accreditation. There may be space available on the GB trailer to such events, on a first come first served basis after the GB team’s boats have been catered for. If a masters boat is transported by the GB team trailer to an event in Europe, the owner will be asked for a £50 contribution to costs.

Staff sought for Internationals

The MRC is seeking volunteer staff to support the GB team at its international races next year.

It’s a fun but tiring few days travelling with our best athletes, helping them achieve their best possible result. You will be an integral part of the team, helping in all sorts of ways like driving, general organising, drinks changes at portages, emotional support, and safeguarding. Teams are led by an experienced manager so new staff are well supported. All expenses are paid, and team kit provided.

Please click here if you are interested in being on the GB Team staff for any of the following events:-

German Nationals, Kassel. Travel overland and ferry, 10-15 May inclusive.

World Cup, Portugal. Travel by air with the team 24-28 May inclusive. Driving minibus and trailer 21-30 May inclusive.

European Championships, Metkovic, Croatia. Travel by air with the team 4-9 July inclusive. Driving minibus and trailer 29 June – 11 July inclusive.

World Championships, Vila Verde, Portugal. Travel by air with the team 5-10 Sept inclusive. Driving minibus and trailer 1-12 Sept inclusive.

French Nationals, near Bordeaux. Travel overland and ferry, 13-18 Sept inclusive.

All staff will need to get a portable DBS Certificate with British Canoeing (or have one already), and pass the online Paddlesafe course. Staff with driving licences, especially those that allow you to drive with a trailer, are particularly welcome! If you passed your test before 1st Jan 1997 you will probably have this right without the need for a separate test.

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.

International dates for 2018

The  MRC has decided  on the following International engagements for 2018:-

12-13 May, German National Championships, Kessel, Germany. A junior and first year senior development team of approximately 12 plus 4 staff.

25-27 May, World Cup 1, Viano do Castelo, Portugal. A senior and junior development team of approximately 12 plus 4 staff.

5-8 July, European Championships, Metkovic, Croatia. A first-choice senior and junior team of approximately 16 plus 4 staff

6-9 Sept, World Championships, Prado Vila Verde, Portugal. A first-choice senior and junior team of approximately 16 plus 4 staff

15-16 Sept, French National Championships, Bordeaux, France. An U16 junior team of approximately 12 plus 4 staff

If invited, the International K4 Cup in Spain, July (tbc). A first-choice senior team of 8 plus 1 staff

England Racing Skills Day, 13th January, Reading CC

The racing skills day at Reading Canoe Club has been rescheduled to Saturday 13 January 2018.

Reading Canoe Club in partnership with British Canoeing are delighted to be running a racing skills day on Saturday 13 January 2018 at Reading Canoe Club.

Racing skills looks to bring coaches, athletes and parents together to share knowledge and to allow those to be better informed to aid the growth of the young paddler in a fun and inventive way.

Racing skills is open to those coaches, parents and athletes who wish to compete in racing kayaking or canoeing. It will mostly be aimed at U13 upwards.

Please see here for information on the upcoming racing skills day and please click here for more details about the England Racing Skills Programme, to register an interest in this day please use the online registration form.

Any questions relating to the England Racing Skills Programme should be directed to Mark Hoile (Talent Pathway Manager – Canoe Sprint) (’

Five Star World Championships for Marathon

The GB team has enjoyed its best set of World Championship performances in a paddling generation, returning from South Africa with one world title and four other medals. The following is merely a summary of some of the races, with athletes across the board doing their sport and their clubs proud.

The highlight must be GB’s first world marathon title since 2010, with Lani Belcher (club credits to Elmbridge, Nottingham and even a nod to Brisbane!) winning the Women’s K1. Lani had come into the race after being narrowly beaten by multiple world champion Renata Csay at the Europeans, but a confident and dominant performance saw her sprint to gold ahead of Hungary’s new star Vanda Kizsli and Ireland’s Jenny Egan, who is a familiar face at UK clubs and races.

Lani also doubled up with Nottingham team mate Hayleigh Mason to take bronze in the Women’s K2. Two 26km races in the space of less than 24 hours is a hell of a task, but the Normplan stars’ Clifton world record had clearly set them up well.

Leighton Buzzard’s Charlie Smith took silver in the junior men’s K1, continuing a strong tradition of British performances in this race. It was an exciting one with two Hungarians smashing the field on the first lap, but with the help of a young South African, Charlie was able to catch and overhaul one of them to take second.

Longridge CC’s Alex Lane has been a revelation, launching herself from beginner to world bronze medallist in the U23 Women’s K1 in a handful of seasons. This time in 2015, Alex was falling in a few times a week and training for a non-stop DW – six months later she’d broken the women’s K2 record in that race and another six months on, was racing her first world champs. Like Nottingham, Longridge is a club with a great vibe and a world-class, but entirely voluntary coach.

Chelmsford’s Emma Russell and Richmond’s Freya Peters took bronze in the Junior Women’s K2. This crew have managed a string of great GCSE results as well as two major championship medals this year, juggling both with great support from their parents, coaches and clubs. And still only 16!

The whole team have performed brilliantly this season, so congratulations to all those also racing for GB at the Worlds:

Joe Petersen (Banbury) and Oscar McKittrick (Elmbridge) – 4th JMK2; Magnus Gregory (Longridge) – 10th in U23MK1, and 11th in SMK2 with Charlie Smith; Flo Duffield (Norwich) – 13th in JWK1; Lizzie Broughton (Richmond) – 7th in SWK1 and 13th in SWK2 with Alex Lane; and Keith Moule (Chelmsford) – 23rd in SMK1.

And a final note to all those behind the scenes who made it possible to get the team there: Dave Sackman (Reading) and Graham Warland (Banbury) who sorted all the remarkably complex logistics, Dave Enoch (Nottingham) on chequebook, and Dyson and Ali Pendle who travelled with the team. It was a difficult task but the team have rewarded you all with excellent results.

Quick report from Spanish K4 international series

The Spanish K4 series is a two-race international event, with races in Valladolid and Sanabria. This year we entered two teams, a Women’s K4 of Lani Belcher (ELM), Hayleigh Mason (NOT), Fay Lamph (WEY) and Alex Lane (LON), and a Men’s K4 of James Russell (CLM), Matt Johnson (CLM), Nicky Cresser (NOT) and Zyggy Chmiel (NOT).

A summary from the team manager, Paul Dimmock:

A well attended event with Argentina, Czech, Poland, Belgium, Portugal, Hungry and of course Spain all competing.

Both British crews performed well, in Valladolid the men’s race GB were 5th, after problem with a lean which was causing Zyggy at stroke a lot of problems and consequently weren’t as competitive as we believed they could be. A change around with James driving for the race on Sunday resolved the lean issue and the boys were very strong, on the first lap they were in a comfortable 2nd/3rd spot with the Spanish, the Argentinians who won on Saturday looked to be in control and the Hungarians just behind, but sadly on the top (island) turn we bumped the rudder and couldn’t steer effectively for the last 1/2 of the lap and dropped back. The women were very strong all round, won on Saturday much to the disappointment of the Hungarians who claimed an impingement by the GB boat, the Spanish officials weren’t impressed with the Hungarians and so the result stood, on Sunday a great race and the Hungarians just took it from Team GB followed by Spain, a really good race and great effort.

All in all, the team were excellent, they were well organised and supported each other with running boat repairs, and general support. The Federation looked after us well, although one boat was broken when we arrived the two crews used the one larger boat on Saturday, however Sunday with the both men and women on the same start line the repair man struggled to get the women’s boat ready in fact 25 minutes prior to the start, but as I say the team were true professionals and got organised.