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Moule chosen for GB squad
1:22pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in Local Sport
CHELMSFORD Canoe Club had an exciting Bank Holiday weekend competing in the British National Open Marathon Racing Individual and Team Championships on the River Thames.
The first day’s racing at Pangbourne saw some excellent performances from team Chelmsford in the face of tough competition.
First in action were Zac Williams, Alex Bunyon and Emma Russell. Emma, 13, finished 12th in the girls under-14. Zac and Alex came 16th and 20th respectively in a large, high-quality field of boys under 14, Zac being promoted to division 6.
There were high hopes of a victory for Keith Moule in with a realistic shot of taking the Wilkinson Sword trophy (Senior K1 National Champion), but a slight injury took him to third place. Mark Wilkes fought hard, coming a respectable 12th.
In the junior men’s race, Matt Johnson had one of his best ever races, coming out of the last portage leading the second group finishing eighth – earning him a promotion to division 2. Tom Stanway finished 13th and Lewis Duffield was forced to pull out.
Charlotte Avery (Junior Ladies), had a gritty race coming an excellent ninth, capping off a great year for her. Leah Falltrick showed one of the most determined displays of the day to finish a tough 12-mile course.
With over 50 entrants in the U16 Boys were Chelmsford’s James Russell and Owen White. James started strongly but a miscalculation at the first portage dropped him to 13th where he finished. Owen paddled well earning him a promotion to Division 5.
In the U16 Girls, Melissa Johnson never quite got in touch with the lead boats, paddling very stongly still finished to a classy fifth place and promotion to Division 4.
Final paddlers for the day were Masters (over 44’s) Chris Bunyon and Dean Williams, Dean finshing 13th in a field of second and third division paddlers with Chris a little further back. The over 39s class saw John Avery finding the going tough in his new streamlined k1 and was forced to withdraw.
After a tough first day’s racing, Team Chelmsford gathered renewed optimism to meet the challenges of day two. First up were Tracy Avery and Jackie Russell in division 9 – both coming back having really enjoyed the experience.
Next were the senior K2 races – traditionally one of the hardest and most high profile domestic competitions on the calendar.
Keith Moule racing with Tom Sharp of Richmond quickly established themselves in a lead group of four, later dropping two of these crew boats. A massive effort on the final portage saw Moule and Sharp take a deserved lead which they held over the last 500m to take the title.
Following his excellent performances over the two days and his incredible record of wins this year, Keith Moule has been selected to compete in the world championships in both K1 and K2, which are taking place in Copenhagen at the end of September.
Mark Wilkes (paddling with another Richmond paddler) and Lewis Duffield and Peter Wilkes were both well set in the U23 Men’s lead group, Peter and Lewis suffered a mechanical failure and were forced to withdraw from the race.
Mark battled onwards and was still in contention for the win at the start of lap three. The group then thinned out as the strong Wey crew pushed on, Mark finishing second.
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