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WATER SPORTS: Chelmsford Canoe Club keep on winning
6:00pm Tuesday 24th December 2013 in Local Sport
Chelmsford Canoe Club continued its winning streak in the Essex Winter Series, notching up a series of fine results across the board.
Cheshunt was the third of six races in the series, and at this point, Chelmsford’s grip on the overall trophy looks very strong.
In the Senior Men’s K1 race, Keith Moule made it three wins from three, with the podium filled out by Lewis Duffield and Mark Wilkes, with Owen Shepherd finishing fifth.
After a fast start, Moule and Duffield broke clear over the first portage, leaving Wilkes to work with Aaron Jordan (Maidstone) to try and bridge the gap.
They proved unable to do so, and Wilkes won the sprint finish to take third place.
In the tussle for the win Moule’s speed over the portages proved too hot to handle, as he simply ran away from Duffield with five miles to go.
Honours were even in the Under 16 K2 class after the first two races of the series between the Chelmsford crews of William Stroud/Zac Williams and Alex Bunyon/Aiden Strong, so the Cheshunt race represented an opportunity for one of them to take the advantage.
The pairing of Bunyon/Strong committed from the first stroke, taking a decisive lead in the early stages of the race. However, Stroud/Williams refused to panic and gradually reeled them in, overhauling them just half a mile from the end.
Further victories from Matthew Johnson, Melissa Johnson, James Russell, Emma Russell, and Deborah Wilkes show why family participation comprises a key part of Chelmsford’s success.
Emma Russell’s four-minute winning margin in the Under 14 Girls K1 category was the largest of the day.
Elsewhere, credit is due to the crew of Mark Deville/Toby Flack who were Chelmsford’s highest finishers in a tight Senior Men’s K2 race.
The absence of the current series leaders means the race for the top K2 in Essex has been thrown wide open. Equally, the club has been underrepresented in recent years in the Veteran Men’s K1, so it was encouraging to see five Chelmsford paddlers contesting the race; Chris Bunyon in fourth delivering the best result.
The Marathon C2 race is often one of the most fiercely contested, and spectators were not disappointed as the top three crews were separated by just 37 seconds. Chelmsford’s Mick Barry/Roger Edwards and Barry Howe/Philip Hyde forced into second and third place respectively by a Bishops Stortford crew.
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