ACTION on the water has resumed for Melksham-based Wiltshire Youth Canoe Club, with the first two race events of 2022.
The club reports, “After much disruption over the last two years, the race season for paddlers from Wiltshire Youth Canoe Club (WYCC) has started early for 2022.
“Racing kicked off on home waters with a National Ranking White Water Racing sprint event hosted by the club in Melksham. It was a great opportunity for some of the club’s newest members to get their first taste of racing.
“The fastest time of the event was set by Wiltshire Youth’s Regan Toop on his way to winning the Men’s Kayak category (K1). The closest battle of the day was behind him with 2nd, 3rd and 4th separated by a mere 5 seconds after 5 minutes of racing. John Kent (Bradford on Avon) narrowly edged out Josh Sutton and Jake Marsh (WYCC). There were also age group wins for Isaac Whitlock (Under 12) and Anson Coop (Under 10).
“The Women’s kayak class was dominated by Wiltshire Youth with Katie Pocklington taking victory ahead of Kitty Kirkby and Harriet Gwyn (all WYCC).
“There were more wins for Wiltshire Youth with club coach Alex Edwards winning Men’s Single Canoe (C1), Molly and Flo Gwyn winning Women’s Double Canoe (C2) and Regan and Molly winning Mixed C2.
“Following this successful start to the season, last weekend eight of the club’s paddlers then travelled to Southampton for another National Ranking White Water Racing Sprint, including a tidal weir making the course extremely challenging as it was changing throughout the competition.
“It was a great day out for the club’s paddlers with fantastic performances all round and several class wins.
“Women’s kayak was another all Wiltshire Youth podium, club coach Dee Paterson took 1st place, with Millie-Ellen Vasques-Wheeler in 2nd place (and first under 10) narrowly ahead of Elizabeth Whitlock.
“Men’s kayak was a hotly contested race, from WYCC, Regan was narrowly edged out into 2nd place by only 1 second, with Will Beard a further 2 seconds back taking 3rd. Isaac Whitlock added 1st placed under 12.
“In the canoe categories, coaches Alex and Dee teamed up to win Mixed C2. Alex also won Men’s C1 and teamed up with Regan to win Men’s C2.”