Langley School pair top on national stage as Norwich crews dominate
PUBLISHED: 14:30 21 November 2017
James How and Tim Dowden of Langley School Kayaking Academy became National Schools Kayak Sprint and Marathon champions for the second year in a row as six Norwich Canoe Club schools crews dominated at the U19 National Schools Championships in Wokingham.
How and Dowden, racing together in a K2 – kayak for two people – won the 500m sprint time trial, the 200m knockout sprint race and the afternoon 20k marathon race on the River Thames.
Close on their heels in the sprint competition were the K2 of Connor Smith and Kieran Smith from Old Buckenham High School finishing second in the 500m sprint and Toby Booth and Alec Rijks of Langley School who were second in the 200m knockout competition.
The K2 of Bronte Holden and Sofia Groves – also of Langley School – were the fastest ladies sprint crew.
In total there were six K2 crews, who all train with Norwich Canoe Club, representing four different local schools at the national event which attracted an entry of 55 crews from all over the country.
How and Dowden were imperious winners of the 20K kayak marathon in the afternoon in a time of one hour and 21 minutes.
Second fastest ladies’ crew in the marathon were Grace Anderson and Katy Walker of Wymondham College while Eliose Roghi and Charlotte Thistlewood of Norwich High School were a very creditable sixth.
“Norwich Canoe Club have incredible partnerships with so many schools,” said Tim Scott, coach from Norwich Canoe Club and Langley Kayaking Academy.
“Langley School have a Kayaking Academy in partnership with Norwich Canoe Club which is the first kayaking academy in the country, but many other local schools are now developing flourishing links with the club and these results prove beyond doubt that it is fast becoming a national centre of kayaking excellence.”
Many of the athletes train on the water at 7am before school starts as well as after lessons have finished.
“It takes a lot of dedication especially in the winter, and all the parents make incredible sacrifices to support their training and racing,” added Scott.