GB sent a development squad of 12 out to the German National Championships in Rheine. The race course was set around a 5km lap with a nice pontoon portage, the seniors had to completed 6 laps (5 portages) and juniors 4 laps (3 portages).
First race off was the juniors men k1 in which we had 8 entries. Philip Miles (RLS) won the start convincingly, and six of the boys made the front group. After a couple of regroupings and swims from 4 of the boys the field spread out a lot. Will Scammell (LON) made a charge from the back and picked up a few of the other Brits on the way. By this point James Smithson (RLS) was in the lead group and he managed to sprint in for the win. All the British Boys came in within the top 12.
Next off was the junior girls K2 of Bronte Holden (FOY) and Steph Hutchinson (LON); due to a small field the senior ladies crew had to race down to the junior girls race. Bronte and Steph had a good start and managed to drop all other boats other than a C2 within 2 laps. The girls unfortunately managed to damage their rudder on the last portage so struggled with the last turn with just 500m to go to the finish so came in 2nd but top women’s K2 crew.
The senior men of Robert Poole (LBZ) and Luke Bowyer (ELM) had a very fast start Robert managed to paddle straight into the lead V wash, with Luke onto the lead 5th. Robert managed to stay with the top group of 5 for just over a lap but then dropped off. Luke and Robert then worked together and dropped the Germans in their group and finished in 5th and 6th.
Day 2 racing saw all the athletes on the water at the same time, boys and men in k2 and the girls in their K1s. The men’s k2 start line included the German pair who came 5th in last years’ World Championships, Poole managed to get their K2 straight into the lead V. The boys were dropped from the lead group but fortunately for them the lead K2 got a 30 second penalty and after a lap or so all four top boats were back together. The top four then split into two but the British boys managed a smooth last portage and sprinted in for 3rd place.
Junior boys K2 race also had a very fast start from the Germans with Tim Dowden (NOR) & Kieran Haywood (NOR) aswell as Philip Miles (RLS) & James Smithson (RLS) making the front group. With a bit of grafting from Will Scammell (LON) & Dougal Glaisher (EXE) and Tim Gannicott-Porter (CLM) & Alex McIntyre (CLM) they chased down the front group and we had all four K2’s finish in the top 7.
In the Junior Women’s K1 both Steph (LON) and Bronte (FOY) made the front group but unfortunately after two laps Bronte had to pull out due to injury, Steph had an excellent race and managed to spend a fair amount of time in the V wash and then lead the group into the last portage and left the Belgians and Germans for dead and convincingly took the win.
Thanks to all the parents and coaches of the athletes as well as the support staff on the trip Phil Gunney, Sam Simpson and Dave Sackman who gave up their free time for the trip.
Senior men’s K1: Robert 5th Luke 6th
Junior ladies K1: Stephanie Hutchinson 1st
Junior ladies k2: Steph and Bronte Holden 1st
Junior boys k2: Phil and James 3rd, Tim D and Kieran 4th, Will and Dougal 5th, Tim GP and Alex 7th
Katie Williams, Team Manager