Racing behaviour, and the image of our sport


We sincerely hope that all competitors continue, as they do in the main, to conduct themselves, even in the heat of competition, in a responsible way. It is however evident that there is an increased amount of ‘pushing and shoving’ taking place at portages to gain advantage or put off the opposition. This is clearly unacceptable and events will be monitored and result in sanctions against crews where necessary.

Continue reading “Racing behaviour, and the image of our sport”

World Championships 2013 report

ICF: World Championships Marathon 2013 Copenhagen Denmark.
It was a three day programme starting Friday 20th September. We arrived Wednesday afternoon, our hotel was 10mins drive (not walking distance) from the course. The venue was excellent and the course was on Bagsvaerd lake which has been used before, although the finish line was a bit tight on the turn and portage.

Friday saw our junior K1 girls & boys competing first, Ed Haws (Wey) & Bruce Jones (Elm) in a large field of 44. Casper Pretzmann (DEN) looked to be favourite after winning both K1 & K2 at the Euro’s and medals at the Sprint Euro’s. A front group formed consisting of Casper, Peters, (Bel), Rice (SA), 2 Hungarians and 2 Portuguese, with Ed best placed in the next group and Bruce a group behind Ed. The pace was fast but with no real commitment by the leaders to get the group down to 4. This allowed Ed to keep in touch with the front of the race after the 1st portage and he stayed there for 2 laps, a good effort. The race was won by the Hungarian with Peters (Bel) 2nd, Hun 3rd , Casper (Den) disappointed in 4th after the Hungarians had done their work on him. Ed finished 12th, 4mins down and Bruce 21st at 6mins.

Amy Ward (Elm) and Sam Rees Clark (Bas) both got off to a good start in the front group. Amy was getting the rough end of the 2 Hungarians and consequently dropped at the portage. The race then strung out with 2 leaders Hun/SA, closely followed by Hun/GB (Sam) with Amy in no man’s land 5th, clearly not having a good time. We decided to pull Amy out saving her for the K2. Hun won over SA with Sam sprinting for the line for the bronze, the Hungarian narrowly getting the edge.

U23’s is a really competitive class with 17 women (Jenny Illidge, Run) and 31 men (Jonny Tye Wor and Tom Sharp Ric). These races are just as fast as the senior races, just I lap shorter. It also enables Friday’s athletes to compete in the Sunday K2 senior race with a rest day in between. Jen went for the long haul start doing her own thing until the first turn and came into the first portage with a group and chased the next group going out, getting 12th from 21.

In the mens race there was a string of good athletes from SA, Nor, Spain Bel, Hun and Den. The race was full on the whole time dominated by the SA’s, Birkett, and Van de Walt, and Morton Minde (Nor), (winner 2011) who blew out big time and retired. Jonny and Tom chased in the 2nd group and finished 2.30 mins down on the winner SA, Birkett with Van de Walt on his wash, Hamar (Nor) 3rd. Tom and Jonny are guys who can progress at this level.
Saturday programme; Junior girls/boys K2 (Amy/Sam), (Ed/Jack Childerstone), (Sam Plummer LBZ/Nick Romain Ric). Sam and Amy were really up for the K2, they were focused for the start, settled in a group of three off the start and came into the portage the same. After the get in, all three were chasing Hun who were going for gold, GB in hot pursuit leaving the Portuguese to follow. The race stayed like that until the last 1000Mts when the Danish crew made a brilliant effort catching the 3 placed boat to get the bronze. A silver for GB.

Jack & Ed started very well and hooked on the back of the large front group, leading was Casper (Den) doubling up from K1 the previous day but a bit nervous after the beating he received from the Hungarians. The Danish crew asserted themselves well and were strong throughout. Jack and Ed took advantage of the cat and mouse from the other crews dropping off and then paddling back to the front group, by picking those wash’s and finished only 30sec down on the winners Casper/Graversen Den, from Hun, then Spain. A very good 4th place. Jack & Ed have another year in this class and should be one of the front runners next time out. Nick and Sam had a good start and despite falling in at the bottom turn only finished 4 min’s down.

Senior men K1 Keith Moule (Clm) Edward Rutherford (Elm) 38 starters.
Another big field with quality athletes. Grant van Walt SA, (winner 2012 U23) Ivan Alonso Esp, (Winner 2012), Hank Mcgregor (winner 2011), Ramalho (2nd 2012), Rene Poulsen 500/1000Mt euro champion & 4th 1000mt worlds 2013) and Cylle Carre, France, another quality sprinter.

Poulsen blasted the start and held the lead to the bottom turn, the field split, with Poulsen, Mcgregor, Alonso, Ramalho and Carre forming a front group. Coming to the first portage the 5 were still setting the pace, but with a string of athletes in hot pursuit just a few seconds back including Ed with Keith another group back. The race stayed like that for another lap, but with so many good athletes within touch of the front group the race was any body’s with at least 10 in the mix. On the third portage Poulsen had blown a gasket and struggled over the run going backwards through the groups. Ed held his place and was looking good even relaxed over the portage, Keith also looked strong about a minute behind the front. On the 5th lap Poulsen revived and came back from about 500Mts down to challenge the lead. Ed made the most of Poulsen’s surge and hooked onto the front group. Poulsen then faded again and left the race finish to Mcgregor 1st, Alonso 2nd, Carre 3rd , and Ed finished 5th only 30sec down and Keith 14th at 2mins. My money had been on Ramalho (Port) because of how he dominated the race in the front group, attacking the portages, and stringing the race out. He capsized coming back up on the 5th lap and lost about 4 mins but still finished 11th, less than 2mins down. A good race by our boys.
Sunday Womens K2 (Lizzie Broughton Ric/Fay Lamph Wey and Mens K2 Tim Pendle Nor/ John Simmons Wey & Keith/Tom.

A really good start saw Fay & Lizzie form a front group of 5 which came into the portage together. The Hun, Den and CZE weren’t waiting for anybody, and a small gap opened and after 500mts was too big to chase down so our girls and the Spanish stayed as a pair. The race stayed like that until the finish apart from a group of 3 chasing our girls, Peters/ Broekx (Bel), Anderssen/Johnsson (Swe), and Cicali/Alberti (ITA), 3 really good crews. The pair held off the challenge, and our girls won the sprint over the Spanish for 4th.

The men’s was also super-fast, with the 2 Spanish boats (Merchan/Alonso), (Bouzan/Fernandez), Rubenstein/Sean Rice (SA) Poulsen/Larsen (Den), all wanting to take the lead for the 1st 2K. Our boys both got off well and were in a large front group at the turn, 12 boats strung out over 50Mts coming into the first portage. Leading out were Spain, Spain, SA, Hun, SA and Den with our boys just behind. Tim and John decided to switch sides at the get in because of the congestion on the right, the French doing the same but clearly had rudder problems going out and had to retire. The next time round the Spanish clearly wanted to be on their own out in front and went about their business, chasing were SA & Hun. Keith & Tom were well positioned just behind the pack with Tim & John. Tim & John clearly had a problem with their rudder going out for the 3rd lap. Next time round at the 3rd portage the Spanish were away 30sec ahead of Rubenstein/Rice and the Hungarians and a chasing 3 containing Poulsens boat. Keith and Tom were next followed by Tim and John who came in for boat maintanance (bent rudder), the rudder was catching on the bottom of the boat making steering almost impossible. Straightening the rudder was almost a waste of time with the blade ending up on the deck with the slightest touch meaning the end of the race for Tim and John. (Gutted). The race never changed from this point, only to decide which Spanish crew was going to take gold and the other the silver. It was Merchan/Alonso then Bouzan/Fernandez and Hun in 3rd, Keith & Tom finished 12th, 4mins down, an excellent race for them.

Just worth mentioning for those who train using pace per 1000Mts. Taking sub 4 mins as a reasonable time for a 1000mts, these guys, (Spain on their own, 2 boats) did the race including 7 portages and 15 turn points in 2:00:59. A quick calculation gives you 4min per 1000mts covered for the whole race!

Summary: Although only 1 medal gained the team as a whole performed well with so many just outside the medal places, confirming our domestic racing is at a reasonable standard and only requires raising our standard a little to find those medal places. We felt all aspects of our arrangements worked well and full credit to the staff and admin. Melvin Swallow, Ollie Harding, Sarah Akerman and David Enoch

Dyson Pendle Team Manager.