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November 13, 2014
On the 8th November, the first North West regional wildwater race was held at the Burrs country park in Bury and over 70 paddlers turned up to test their skill against a high flowing river.
Once again Duddon Canoe Club performed brilliantly, watched by Jonnie Schofield K2 Bronze medallist from the London Olympics.
Duddon CC took over 20 paddlers of all ages to take on teams from all over the North West, Yorkshire, Wales and Lancaster & Leicester Universities.
Winners on the day were;
Under 16 Boys K1 winner - Brandon Wilson, Under 18 Girls K1 winner - Rhiann Taylor, Under 14 Boys K1 winner - Owen Wilson, Under 16 Girls C1 winner - Emily Longstaff, Under 12 Boys K1 winner - Hadley Cartmell, Under 14 Girls K1 winner - Ruth McKenny, Under 10 boys winner - Connor Bentley, Alex D’Amico got the 3rd fastest time of the day and Rhiann Taylor got the fastest female time of the day with Ruth McKenny and Victoria Longstaff getting the 2nd and 3rd fastest times respectively.
Racing on the day was competitive but it was only a preliminary for the presentation event to take place after the race. 2013/2014 season was the best season Duddon racing team has ever had, having 7 paddlers being crowned GB wildwater racing champions in their age categories and the club winning the team event for the first time. Olympic Bronze medallist Jonnie Schofield who is in training for next year’s world championships in Italy took a break from his busy winter training schedule to present the team trophy and the individual awards.
The winners were; Under 16 C1 girls GB WWR Champion Emily Longstaff, Under 14 K1 girls GB WWR champion Ruth McKenny, Under 12 K1 girls GB WWR champion Victoria Longstaff, Under 10 K1 girls GB WWR champion Corey Cumberbatch, Under 14 K1 boys GB WWR champion Harvey Petcher, Under 12 boys GB WWR champion Owen Wilson & Under 10 boys GBWWR champion Connor Bentley.
It was a double celebration for Owen Wilson & Victoria Longstaff as they won their age category for the 2nd time Wilson said winning the GB title once was good but to win it a second time and to have it presented by one of my sporting heroes is awesome. Longstaff said to be crowned the best under 12 girl paddler in the country for a 2nd time is amazing and I am looking forward to moving up to the more competitive under 14 category next year.
The double celebration for Duddon was at the same presentation the junior Lightning team were crowned North West Lightning series for a second time. Team Duddon showed that winning the competition in their first season was no fluke by doing the double. Duddon didn’t have it all their own way this year with some very competitive racing in every race.
Paddlers’ race all over the north west of England from Coniston to Macclesfield & Trentham, every venue has different conditions to overcome as well as determined opposition.
The season started in atrocious conditions on Coniston and Duddon got off to a flying start winning both the under 12 boys and girls competition and under 10 boys. This set the tone for the rest of the season with the Victoria Longstaff wining 3 races and Steph Dunn winning 2 in the under 12 girls competition and Owen Wilson winning 4 out of 5 races in the under 12 boys comp & Connor Bentley also winning the under 10 boys competition for a second time and he races in the under 10’s again this coming year so he wants to make it a hatrick of wins.
The team trophy was once again contested between Duddon and Trentham canoe clubs with both teams entering paddlers in every one of the north west competitions but in the end Duddon took the team trophy again with a total of 460 points.
The under 12 paddlers now have to move up into the adult competition which is divisional and raced of a distance of 4 kilometers rather than the 2 kilometers in the lightning competition >>More