Harper and Jones leads the way as Banbury make final

Sam Jones with Rio Olympians Liam Heath and Jon Schofield
Sam Jones with Rio Olympians Liam Heath and Jon Schofield

Banbury & District Canoe Club sealed their qualification place for the National Hasler Club Final at Worcester next month.

The final race of the season, at Longridge Canoe Club on the Thames at Marlow, resulted in three fine divisional wins and an overall fourth place overall.

The under-12 team finished second place on the day in Geoff Sanders Trophy competition, against a strong Southampton team, so retaining their overall first place Nationally going into the finals.

Performance of the day was a competition in itself as Max Harper took the top prize finishing first in division three, impressing National Team selectors who were watching the racing.

Sam Jones won division four to gain promotion and George Urquhart won division five, sealing his promotion.

In division five K2, Neil Urquhart and Will Harte proved the continued success of their partnership by finishing second in a hotly contested final lap of the eight mile race.

Young Toby Hext confirmed his long term potential, working extremely hard to be the first junior home in fifth place in division nine to secure a deserved promotion.

Izzy Bayliss built upon her excellent successes this season by taking another first in the under-10 female lightning category.

Lightning performance of the day went to Josh Perry, pipped into third place, after a gutsy sprint finish in the under-12 boys race in only his second start for Banbury.

The day’s successes were rounded off when the medals were presented by Rio Olympic medallists Liam Heath, who took gold in 200m Men’s K1 kayak and silver in the men’s 200m K2 kayak, and Jon Schofield, who took silver in the men’s 200m K2 kayak. The duo held a question and answer session and showed off their medals, which was an inspiration to all the racers.

Meanwhile, in the Flemish Open Championships at Neerpelt, Belguim, Arthur Urquhart won gold in the K4 1000m while Joe Petersen took bronze in the K4 1000m and K1 5km in the Super Regional Sprint Squad.