Category Archives: National

  Reorganisation of Women Masters athletes into 4 classes

Following a request and discussion during the 2019 season it has been decided to increase the number of Women Master classes from 2 to 4. The new classes will be Women Masters C (MVCK) and Women Masters D (MVDK), mirroring the current structure for the Men Masters classes. It is hoped that the new structure will encourage more Women Masters paddlers to enter National Competitions.

As a result of implementing the new structure, Women Masters paddlers with current MVAK and MVBK will be regraded for the start of the 2020 season. Existing MVAK paddlers will be regraded to MVBK, and existing MVBK paddlers will be regraded to MVDK. In the Standards for Sprint Racing table, Women Masters A and B would move to Bands 3 and 4 respectively, and Women Masters C and D would be added to Bands 5 and 6 respectively. The Sprint Racing Committee (SRC) has approved this proposal.

The Standards for Sprint Racing have been updated to include these additional classes and to allocate all four Women Masters classes to the appropriate bands. The revised Standards for Sprint Racing tables will appear in the 2020 Racing Handbook. Preview copies are available on the link below.

    icon_pdf  Revised Standards for Sprint Racing

  Separate Standards of racing for male and female athletes

During the 2019 season a trial was held using a separate table for Women’s and Girl’s Racing Standards from the Men’s and Boy’s table when determining promotions and demotions.  This approach reflected the difference in times averaged over a suitable time period. While not having any impact on selections, it’s adoption will make it easier for more Women and Girls to progress through the classes and into the A classes than previously. It will also lower the entry requirement for each class by approximately 3 seconds.  The times being used have been adjusted from the original proposal and do not 100% reflect the real difference between the upper (fastest) and lower (slower) bands as adjustment have been made for safety reasons to reduce the impact of the proposed  changes on the lower bands and the minimum entry standard to race at the National Regattas.  The Sprint Racing Committee (SRC) has approved the adoption of these times.  This trial will be closely monitored and reviewed at the end of the season.

There is now a separate table for Standards for Sprint Racing for the Women’s and Girl’s classes. The Men’s and Boy’s classes will have their own table. The new tables will appear in the 2020 Racing Handbook. Preview copies of both tables are available on the link below.

icon_pdf  Revised Standards of Racing tables

  New Junior Sprint classes – Boys and Girls Intermediate Kayak

We are replacing the existing BU12 and GU12 Classes with two new classes, Boys Intermediate Kayak (BIK) and Girls Intermediate Kayak (GIK).

These new classes will allow any U14 paddler who has not yet achieved the minimum time for Boys D Kayak (BDK) or Girls D Kayak (GDK) class events to race in sprint K1 boats at the National Regattas.  This trial will be reviewed at the end of the season.

Boys Intermediate Kayak (BIK) minmum 500m time = 2:46
Girls Intermediate Kayak (GIK) minimum 500m time = 2:59

Once paddlers in the new classes have achieved the qualification time for a Junior D class they will be promoted and no longer be allowed to race the BIK or GIK classes.

BIK and GIK paddlers will be allowed to race in D class crew boats as long as 50% of the paddlers in the crew boat are ranked individually as D class paddlers.

Note that, as a consequence of these changes, there will be no U12 classes at the Junior National Championship in April.

More details of the new classes can be found on the link below:

icon_pdf  Introduction for Junior Intermediate classes

  2020 National Regattas

The dates and focus for this year’s national regattas are as follows:

28-29 March 2020 Open and National Senior Championship Sprint Regatta includes Senior selection events for World Cups and Olympic qualifications
25-26 April 2020 Open and National Paracanoe & Junior Championship Sprint Regatta includes Junior selection events for Europeans and Worlds, and Paras selection event for the Olympics
6-7 June 2020 Open and National Under 23 Championship Sprint Regatta includes U23 selection events
4-5 July 2020 Open and national Masters Championship Sprint Regatta
5-6 September 2020 The Inter-Services Championships and Open and National Inter-club MacGregor Paddle Challenge Sprint Regatta

  Women’s England Development Programme

The England Canoe Sprint Talent Programme are pleased to announce details of their upcoming Women’s England Development Programme (WEDP) training event.

15th December 2019 at the Dorney Lake, Eton College Rowing Centre, off Court Lane, Dorney, Windsor, Berks, SL4 6QP

Understanding females in sport; the demands, the successes and the barriers.
There will be On-Water activity and a workshop taking place in the morning. In the afternoon the intent is to observe Reading Football Club’s women’s first team in their match against Tottenham Hotspurs. Along with this we are hoping for the opportunity to spend time with the players to ask questions and learn from their experience of being females in elite sport.

Programme Purpose
The purpose of Women’s England Development Programme (WEDP) is to help female athletes learn what it takes to be an elite female in sport, build a community of like-minded people and increase female-specific knowledge of what they need to thrive and excel in our sport.

It is the hope of the talent pathway that this can be used as an educational starting block within a young female’s journey in sport.

A key component of this programme is around learning and equipping athletes with a toolbox of thoughts, capacities and expectations to allow them to continue their hard work at their club with specific focus for them as individuals.

The eligibility criteria for the training event is as follows:

  • be a member of British Canoeing

  • Be an under-16 athlete (with discretion in exceptional cases to include under-17s)


  • have been born in England or

  • have a parent who was born in England or

  • have been a resident in England for over three years by 30th September 2019

How to sign up
Athletes are invited to register for the December Women’s Development Programme (WEDP) day by using the link HERE before 9th December 2019.

  Sprint Competition Review – Community Consultation

A Working Group (WG) was appointed by the Sprint Racing Committee (SRC) in October 2018 to review the UK sprint canoe/kayak competition structure and make recommendations to improve that structure

The SRC would now like to share the group’s report and ask for views from the racing community. The consultation report has been prepared by the WG and is the culmination of a process that has involved;

  • Engagement with the UK paddling community, through a questionnaire administered in March 2018.
  • A comprehensive review of regatta participation data for the period 2011-2017.
  • Discussions with senior leadership of the Australian, Danish and Canadian canoe federations.
  • Insight and experience of individual group members who are active in the sport.

The full report and a full summary of all data analysed can be found here.

The report represents the final stage of the WG’s activity. It is the first stage towards a further process that will see the implementation of changes to improve domestic racing competition and participation levels in the sport.

This is the start of a consultation period with sprint paddlers and clubs.

The aim of this consultation is to encourage discussion around the report’s findings and recommendations.  The report does not aim to provide answers to every challenge and opportunity in the sport and indeed there will be varying views on what is presented. You may not agree with the recommendations, however it is important to bear in mind that whilst the existing structure has some strengths there are also significant weaknesses which means the status quo is not recommended.

We wish to encourage constructive feedback and therefore suggest you read the full report prior to sharing your views via the survey. You may like to take the time to discuss the recommendations at your club prior to responding. There is the option to submit your views as either an individual or on behalf of your club.

The WG haven’t addressed implementation of the recommendations within this report so we would encourage you to think around possible solutions as part of your response.

Thank you for your time and input.

Click here to share your views.

The report and summary data can be found here.

The closing date for responses is Sunday 1st December 2019

If you have any questions please email

  Statement regarding the election of the Chair of the Sprint Racing Committee

I write this as a personal statement as the current Chair of the Sprint Racing Committee to try and answer some of the questions around the process for electing the Chair and the proxy voting at the upcoming ACM.

The process of appointing the Chair of SRC

I understand that there is a concern about the advertisement that appeared at the beginning of the year to seek a new Chair for SRC and that this was not in line with the Terms of Reference in the handbook.

I had announced my intention to step down at the ACM in 2018 and despite lots of discussions to seek out a potential new Chair there were no candidates stepping forward to stand as Chair. The advertisement was intended to encourage people to step forward and had some limited success with one or two people making contact. This was never intended to change the fact that the ACM would elect the Chair, but was designed to try to find a candidate that wanted the role, had the skills to do the role and who may be suitable to the ACM.

The advert made it quite clear that the process of election and appointment rested with the ACM and that candidates could come through the normal channels. See extracts from the advert below.

‘The post of Chair of the SRC is one that is elected by the registered Sprint Racing Clubs at the ACM in line with the terms of reference’

‘The preferred person will then be nominated to the Annual Consultative Meeting of the clubs on 19th October 2019 for them to vote their approval. In the event of more than one nomination, the normal voting system will take place’

In the end this advert did not produce a candidate for these elections. The two candidates standing, Roland Lawler and myself both came through the normal process of being nominated by 2 members as per the Terms of Reference.

Proxy Voting

I understand there are a few concerns around proxy voting. Prior to this year to cast a vote, a member of a registered Sprint Club had to be present at the meeting.

This is the first year that proxy voting has been introduced. Proxy voting means that clubs can vote without having to attend the meeting, by sending their vote with someone else. It is designed and has been introduced to increase democracy not the opposite. The new terms of Reference [as in the handbook] allow for proxy votes and I would refer you to the 2019 handbook page A7 items 8.8 to 8.14. As per the Terms of Reference, the detail of the proxy voting system is at the discretion of the SRC and I am sure the SRC will be very happy to consider comments about how this could be improved for next year.

The Terms of Reference allow for a club attending the ACM to hold two (2) proxy votes. The guidance issued was incorrect when it stated a club could hold 1 proxy vote and this will now been adjusted to allow clubs to carry 2 proxy votes in addition to their own in line with Terms of Reference. The limitation was designed to encourage clubs to actually attend the meeting and so take part in the whole Annual Meeting process.

There is a concern that the proxy voting form does not provide for the facility for the club using the proxy to cast its vote in advance. It had been envisaged that this would have been done in conversation between the two clubs, so that the person holding the proxy would know how to cast the vote.

Proxy votes still need to be registered in advance by the deadline of Wednesday of this week.

I hope this helps to clarify the situation re the election of the Chair and the proxy voting

Your sincerely

Alan Laws
Chair SRC


  Draft 2020 Paracanoe selection policy available for feedback comment

A draft 2020 Paracanoe selection policy, including the draft Tokyo Paralympic Team selection process, is open for public consultation from now until 28th October 2019. The International panel invites feedback from any interested party on ideas on how to improve the policy, errors in the policy or other feedback. Following consultation, the final policy will be published by the end of December 2019.

The draft policy is available on the link below. Feedback can be provided by using the hyperlink contained within the policy document itself, or by using the link HERE.

    icon_pdf  Draft 2020 Paracanoe selection policy