Pride for Norwich Canoe Club despite end to unbeaten record

Not even the threat of rain could put the determined paddlers from Norwich Canoe Club off their game in Leighton Buzzard.

The team fought hard to continue this seasons winning streak, but in the penultimate hasler race of the season the city club missed out on top spot by just nine points.

Norwich took to the water with a smaller team than usual – all of which meant they were happy to come so close to a winning position.

The team raced over three distances, with the more experienced top paddlers racing over 12 miles.

In the top divisions, Norwich's Albert Hicks paddled hard over the long course to take second place. The 17-year-old has also been selected to represent Great Britain at the World Cup in Rome.

Other divisions also raced over 8m and 4m, for novices, with the longer races included a portage – getting out of the boat to run around the canal locks.

After a bumpy start Sam Stronge and Tim Scott paddled together in a K2, to finish first in the Division Four 8m race.

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For the first 100 meters the Norwich duo lost control of the kayak, with it going everywhere – but despite the sight of other paddlers getting further away, the city canoeists fought back superbly to catch them up at take the line.

Finishing just behind Strong and Scott were Norwich's top female paddlers Stacey Terry and Louise Linnell, paddling together for the first time this season.

Langley School pairing Nat Morris and Oli Kirkham, who have been paddling less than a year, did themselves proud by finishing first – demonstrating a great racing focus from the start, and little fear of their experienced competition.

In the Under-12 race Daniel Hobden from Norwich School came second, while his school-mate Henry Wootton, was not far behind in third.