Report by Team Manager, Brian Greenham
The German National Championship is an open event and part of the ICF World Series, attracting many of Europe’s top marathon racers. A young GB team of U17s and U23s was selected from the assessment race at Reading, to ‘race up’ in the junior and senior classes and gain international experience.
France and Italy both sent a strong team along with a number of Italian club entries. The course being a 5km circuit with start and finish in the middle and about 300m between the two. Portage being on pontoons with a run into the club grounds.
Race day the weather decided to go into a sulk and strong cold headwind with temperature around 10C.
First off where the Junior Men Ethan Wilkinson (WEY) and Benji Cabrera (FOY) in K1. Both made a good start staying with the leaders until the first turn. This turn is quite sharp as a result a lot of paddlers being taken into the wall. As a result both ended up in the third group and paddled a sensible race, the Italian pair of Neri & Tremalanti dominated the race. Our boys finished 7th and 8threspectively.
Flossie Ball (DEV) and Katy Walker (NOR) where off next in junior ladies double, with 4 entries a medal was a prospect. The German pair of Luda/Kurschat dominated the race and our girls paddled around with the Italian pair, The Italians somehow managed to mount our girls boat and damaged the from cockpit but that did not stop them from earning a silver medal.
The afternoon Anna Palmer (LON) in C1 raced off against two French athletes, including a multiple world medallist. Some shallow water unfortunately caused a couple of swims, with Anna finishing 3rd.
France and Italy were using this race as a warm up for the World cup so fielded a strong team for the senior races.As we we fielding an under 23 development team our boys and girls were facing a real challenge. Anouska Freeman (RLS) and Melissa Johnson (CLM) both made a strong start but dropped at the first turn. Melissa staying with a German girl and Anoushka paddling most of the race on her own. They finished 7th and 5th respectively.
Will Scammell (ELM) , Alex McIntyre (CLM), Dougal Glaisher (NOT), Tim Dowden (NOR) and Francis Huntingford (EXE) made up the senior men. Only Will was able to keep up with the first group until the turn, the rest in the second group. By start of the 2nd lap the four caught with Will and all five worked together. Francis being dropped on the 4th lap and Tim on the 5th lap. The 2 French paddlers Candy & Boulanger dominated the race with the german Paufler hanging on to the lead group. The lads finished 14th, 15th, 17th,18th and 22nd.
On Sunday the sun decided to show itself and the wind died down a bit.
The seniors raced first. With once again France and German K2’s dominating the mens race, Dougal and Francis along with Alex and Will simply could not keep up with the fast start. By the return Francis and Dougal had a race with the Italian crew and Will and Alex having a solo paddle for much of the race.
The senior ladies double was disappointing, The singles race had 13 entries, yet only 2 entries for the K2 race. So this race was combined with the men’s C2. Anouska and Melissa then had a race with the C2, each taking turns to set the pace and resulting in our only gold.
The Junior men K2 of Ethan and Benji had a very tactical race with the Italian juniors and came a very creditable 2nd place.
In junior ladies K1 Flossie managed to stay with the first group for a while but Katy had a solo paddle. Flossie finish 5th and Katy 8th.
Full credit must go to all the paddlers for showing excellent competitive spirit and behaviour.
I would like to give thanks to Teresa Gregory , Nettie North, Sam Simpson and Paul Wells for their help in making this trip a success.