Friday, 18 June 2021

Henley paddlers make their debut in Hasler marathon

PADDLERS from around the south converged on Henley Canoe Club on Sunday for the latest round

PADDLERS from around the south converged on Henley Canoe Club on Sunday for the latest round of the Southern Region Hasler marathon canoe races.

The national Hasler series is for flat water racing canoes and kayaks and is named after Lt Col Blondie Hasler, leader of the “cockleshell heroes” raid during the Second World War.

Races took place in single and two person boats over different distances depending on crew ability. The shortest races were 2.8km for junior paddlers with race distances increasing to 6.6km, 13.2km and 17.1km for the best crews.

Those racing over 13.2km and 17.1km were required to portage Hambleden Lock before making the turn and racing back to the finish at Henley Canoe Club above Henley Bridge.

This year saw 281 paddlers competing in 150 single boats, 53 doubles with the remainder making up the lightning classes for U12s and U10s.

Weather and water conditions on the day were good for racing but the stretch below Henley bridge was challenging. The wash from the racing boats caused the water to become choppy making handling the narrow and unstable race boats difficult.

Henley were well represented in the lightning class with five paddlers racing for the first time. Also two Henley paddlers, in their first race, completed the 6.6km course round Temple Island racing against much older and more experienced paddlers.

First home over the longest 17.1km course was George Durden of Elmbridge CC in one hour, 14 minutes, 37 seconds. The first double kayak home was Connor Peters and Louis Allen of Longridge CC in 1.15.55.

Callum McLeod, also from Elmbridge was quickest over the 13.2km course (1.01.05) while Richmond CC’s Max Meuhler and Kat Jendrusinska were the quickest double (58.50).

Reading CC’s Joseph Beeney was quickest over the 6.6km course in 33.00 while the combined Longridge and Reading crew of Anna Palmer and Erika Hutchinson were quickest double in 30.01.

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