Waterside A – 2015

A great day on the water for the opener of the Waterside Series. 13.5 miles from Great Bedwyn to Newbury incorporating 21 portages. A record ten single canoes entered.

I was a bit concerned about the possibility of ice on the course and was pleasantly surprised until the last couple of portages before Newbury. Two, half mile stretches of ice meant that we had to get out and run. I was so glad that The Darkness only weighs eight kilograms, and felt so sorry for some of the junior crews who were carrying “monster” boats.

The race started well, it was a bit cold but I soon warmed up by the second portage. I was able to catch the three C1s which had started before me.

The new paddle was working really well, such long, slow but powerful strokes, but I was tiring towards the end and the next day I ached a lot in my right leg.

I lost some time at the get out points, mostly due to poor canoeing etiquette. I don’t blame the juniors, and I expected some of this on the first race of the Series.

I managed to overtake loads of crews on the portages. I ran both locks at Froxfield, but this was a mistake. I’m not the runner I thought I was and slowed somewhat on the second pound, lesson learnt for C and D.

Marcin overtook me in the high-kneeler just before Kintbury and won the day with a time of 2:11:07. He doesn’t even seem to be trying, but has such an efficient stroke, and boy can he run!

Waterside A saw a record C1 entry of 10 boats. The first sit&switch boat home was Tom Fryer at 2:17:34 in a Wenonah J203, followed by me in third place at 2:32:40 in The Darkness, beating my best WS A time by 15 minutes, so I was really pleased.

Pete Jones was next in his new J203, followed by Dave Fryer also in a J203.

In sixth place also in The Darkness, was the only lady paddler Sue Digges la Touch, in her first competitive race. She was followed by Chris Hotchkiss who swapped his Apache boat for The Darkness, two days before the event.

The Poole Harbour pair of Tom Barnard and Lyndon White came in next, both paddling Wenonah Advantages, and finally David Whitby from Colet who was paddling a prototype of a new boat design.

Fantastic turn out, great day, thank you Newbury Canoe Club.



1 492 Marcin Ponomarenkow – Richmond, 2:11:07
2 488 Tom Fryer – Hemel Hempstead, 2:17:34
3 485 Nick Adnitt – Independent, 2:32:40
4 491 Peter Jones M – Independent, 2:37:54
5 489 Dave Fryer M – Hemel Hempstead, 2:39:34
6 487 Susan Digges la Touch – Independent, 2:46:01
7 490 Chris Hotchkiss – Army Canoe Union, 2:51:17
8 486 Tom Barnard M – Poole Harbour, 2:53:59
9 493 Lyndon White M – Poole Harbour, 3:04:43
10 494 David Whitby – Colet, 3:05:43

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