Urquhart in sixth place

Freezing rain and a fast flow made for challenging conditions in the Avon Descent, a 10.3 mile race from Stratford to Bidford.

Banbury’s Dave Gallimore and Neil Urquhart took sixth place in his first K2 class which contained a number of international paddlers,.

They were followed home by Roger Weir and Gary Harper who also had a clean run of the weirs to finish eighth.

David Stanton and Lucy Ryan chose to portage and placed 14th. Ray Pearce and Chris Hills were paddling well until they fell victim to Welford Weir, losing considerable time. Even so, they still managed to finish 16th.

Sophie Rooney also chose to portage and this paid off well as she came ninth in a highly competitive K1 class, and was first female in an outstanding time of 1:18.52.

Dom Murphy elected to shoot the weirs and was well up until a capsize at Welford weir. He recovered to finish 12th in 1:25.15.

The Wild Water Racing class was also strongly contested, and Ian Warren did well to finish eighth in 1:29.25, despite some steering issues.

Paul Smith entered the touring singles class, and although it was his first descent, his racing skills came to the fore as he finished fifth despite an impromptu swim at Welford.