Persistent rain did not deter a good number of competitors from coming to the opening race of the 2022-2023 Winter Series at Bishops Stortford - 130 competitors took part.
The senior doubles class, which has been steadily increasing in popularity over the last few years attracted 23 entries, making for a packed start line, to which the increased flow caused by the rain added an additional challenge. Leah Falltrick & Kat Wilson, who came third in this class, completed the 7-mile 6-portage course in 1:02:04 and thus beat the record of 1:09:20 for an all-female crew set by Ella Beatty & Maia Wallace-Loizou in 2015.
The other course record to fall this year was that for a C1 on the 3-mile 1-portage course. Shan Zheng Tan (4th overall in the Red class for Novice C1 & u14 Girls K1) finished in 34:33 - the previous fastest time (35:06) was achieved by Robin Dromard in 2006.
Class winners were:
Class 9 (Senior K2/MC2) - Sienna Payne & William Stroud (CLM)
Class 8 (K1 Open) - James How (NOR)
Class 7 (Vet M K1) - Rich Winstanley (BSF)
Class 6 (u18 M K1) - Ali Kabeer (WOK)
Class 5 (u16 M K1) - Jack Rayment (LBZ)
Class 4 (16+ K1 & Adv C1) - Rachael Hampton (CLM)
Class 3 (u16 K2) - Eddie Kirtland & Libby Gaulton (BSF)
Class 2 (u16 F K1) - May Perrin (CLM)
Class 1 (TC2) - Dora Goupil & Hadar Ben Gal (IND)
Class Blue (u14 M K1) - Matteo Bose (CLM)
Class Red (u14 F K1 & C1) - Johanna Milbradt (CAM)
Class GP - Tim Chamberlin (CLM)
Class Yellow (u12 K1) - Noah Nobbs (NOR)
The Mayor of Bishops Storford, Dave Anderson, kindly attended to present the medals.
Eight teams took part. Chelmsford CC were the overall winners (271 points), with B. Stortford CC second (114), followed by Leighton Buzzard CC, Cambridge CC and Norwich CC.
The next race will be at Cambridge on 4th December.