All weathers at canoe slalom event

Baldock and District Canoe Club members were in action at the national Division Two slalom event at Cardington near Bedford on Saturday. The event was well attended with paddlers from all over the United Kingdom despite the poor weather conditions. Around

Baldock and District Canoe Club members were in action at the national Division Two slalom event at Cardington near Bedford on Saturday.

The event was well attended with paddlers from all over the United Kingdom despite the poor weather conditions.

Around 20 seconds covered the entire field in the men's kayak event.

Baldock's Paul Stephens put in a fast time that held the top stop for a long time and his clear run was the mark that everyone else was chasing.


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Andy Barras and Brian McCusker also produced clear runs but not as fast.

As the much higher ranked paddlers finished, Paul was lying in 10th place at the end of the first runs.

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The second runs saw Paul again put in a clear run and he was just under a second slower that his first run. This was good enough to see him finish in 11th place missing a top 10 finish by less than a second.

Andy was 23rd overall, and Brian finished 19th overall and first place in the division veterans' event.

Carmel Buttimer was the sole Baldock representative in the ladies' kayak and her two runs saw her take 15th place in the division.

Paul Stephens then swapped his kayak for his Canadian to compete in the C1 category where he was fifth after the two runs.

Terry Griffiths was the final Baldock competitor on Saturday competing in the separate veterans' category.

His clear first run saw him over 10 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. The second runs saw other competitors improve their times and get less penalties but were no match for Terry who put in another faultless run to take the top spot.

On Sunday, Terry and Brian returned to Cardington to compete in the National Veterans' Championships contested by all paddlers over 35 in the country.

The rain from the previous day had stopped to be replaced by sunshine and galeforce winds.

The course had been set to confuse and test the best canoeists in the country.

Brian completed his second run slightly faster than his first again with three penalties. This unfortunately saw him finish in 12th overall missing out on a top 10 finish by less than a second.

Terry's second run was much, much faster, although penalties saw him finish in a respectable eighth place.

Baldock and District's next slalom event is this weekend at Howsham Weir in Yorkshire. They then have members competing at the International Canoe Polo Tournament in Hull.

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