Banbury pipped by Falcon but juniors lead the way
Hosted by the Banbury club, 250 paddlers raced on the Oxford Canal for their annual Hasler qualifying race, which saw the club’s junior paddlers lead the way.
The under-12 Lightning team had an emphatic win over Reading Canoe Club.
Joe Ellis and Jake Gilbert opened the day by winning the under-12 K2 and Ellis also took third place in the under-12 boys’ race.
Lizzie Harte won the under-10 girls’ race, ahead of team-mate Isabella Murphy in second.
Together they won the under-10 K2 with Edward Lawlor and Toby Pimlott in second place. Will Brown took another second place in the under-10 boys’ race.
With several of the club’s top paddlers now at university, the focus is on the next generation and they lived up to expectations.
Rosa Davison and Edith Lobban won the four-mile division 7 K2 race, ahead of Izzy Bayliss and David Woodcock in third place.
In division nine, 9 Will Larner was second in his first divisional race and promoted while Josh Perry was second in division 7 and Alex Battison, in his high-kneeling canoe, was third in division 8 and promoted.
Will Pepper continues to impress, with second place in the eight-mile division six race, ahead of Michael Phillips in third. Both boys, along with Toby Hext, were promoted to division five.
Those tackling the 12 miles included junior international Joe Petersen, who came second in division 3 K2 with Isla Johnson, and Will McCracken racing up in division 2 with Ben Quittenton from Lincoln for third place.
The juniors did not have it all their way. Ali Duncan stormed through division 4 K1 to win ahead of David Jault.
And there were more second places for Will Austin and Sam Jones, making a welcome return to racing, in division 4; Will Harte and Neil Urquhart in division 5, and Jacqui Smith and Zoe Dyndor in division 8. Malcolm Gilks, another paddling up a level, was third in division 6 K2 with Paul Smith.