The 2017-18 Winter Series drew to an early close at the end of January, with the finals as usual hosted by Leaside CC. Councillor Soraya Adajare came along in her ceremonial robes as Speaker of Hackney to add dignity to the occasion by presiding over the race starts as well as presenting the awards.
There were 123 paddlers taking part and in particular there was another big turnout in the K2 race (22 boats), with good numbers of mixed and all-female crews.
There were some close finishes, notably just a 5 second gap between Leaside's Finn O'Brien Chelmsford rival Oscar Griffiths in the Mens u18 K1 race. Barking CC came second overall to Chelmsford CC at this event, with host club Leaside CC just one point behind them. The full results of the day's racing are on the Winter Series Results page.
The prize-giving for the race was followed with the presentation of the series awards.
The team from Ealing CC, who have become regular attendees at Winter Series did particularly well, winning three of the series trophies.
While the senior K2 races have seen large numbers across the series, entries in the Junior K2 event have been sparse - a missed opportunity for somebody there!
Because the Winter Series has been running for so long, many of the trophies are little pieces of history in themselves, with familiar names gradually progressing from trophy to trophy: you can check out the full list of past Winter Series class trophy winners on the Results page.
The next event will be the finals at Leaside on 27 January - see Leaside race information page. The presentation of the day's medals will be followed by the presentation of the Series trophies.
The Winter Series resumed after the Christmas break with 147 contestants battling it out on the Chelmer. The course extended along the River Can through Chelmsford park and back, with racers on the short, middle and long courses completing one, two or three laps respectively.
Host club Barking & Dagenham CC provided safety cover with power boats along the course but there were few retirements and everything went off smoothly to plan. We hope that B&D can arrange some local parking and secure the future of this long-standing event on the River Roding.
The next race will be at Chelmsford on 14 January - see Chelmsford race information page.
Despite a bitterly cold weekend, the turnout for the Cheshunt Winter Series race was a good one, with 126 competing over 3, 6 or 8 miles on the River Lea.
The race was notable for the number of Canadian canoes taking part, as these have been declining in recent years. As well as the four boats in the C2 race (won for the second time in succession by Anna Maria and Stefanie of CAM), there were five C1s. David Shipway (LBZ) competed on the short course in Class 16, while four others (Paul Stenning of LBZ, Andy Porter of CLM and independents Ross Pearton and Nicholas Boyd) took on the 6-mile course - Paul won the medal for first C1.
The organisers and volunteers of HYM-COPS - the smallest of the clubs who host the Winter Series - worked very hard to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. They also ran a raffle to raise funds for Crisis at Christmas.
The next race will be at Barking on Sunday 3rd December - see the Barking WS page for full details.
There were 145 paddlers at this event with large fields for Class 1 (Senior K2) and Class 7 (Ladies K1 & Advanced C1). The largest number of boats was for Class 3 (Veteran Mens) - a record breaking 24 entries, of whom nearly half were SuperVets.
The next race will be at Herts Young Mariners Base at Cheshunt on Sunday 19th November - see the Cheshunt HYMB WS page for full details.
The final sprint of the 2017 Summer Series took place at Chelmsford. The home team were out in force, with three other clubs represented, and a total of 48 paddlers in all.
The morning was given over to 500m and 200m K1 heats. After the lunch break there were 200m and 3000m K2 races. The forecast rain held off and by prize-giving there was even a little sunshine.
The full results can be found on the Summer Series results page.
Photos of the event taken by Chris Worrall can be found in his Flickr album.
Next Sunday Chelmsford will be hosting the third and final regatta of this year's series.
The regatta due to take place at Chelmsford on Sunday 25 June 2017 has had to be POSTPONED due to a heavy weed growth in their river.
The organisers hope to reschedule for a later date this season - the new date will appear on the Summer Series page and will be be circulated to those on the FRA mailing list (sign up for mailing list) as soon as it is decided.
The AGM of the Flatwater Racing Association will take place at Bishops Stortford CC Clubhouse on Wednesday 14 June 2017 at 8pm. Each of the six member clubs should send their designated representatives. If anyone else wishes to come along, please let the Secretary know.