CANOEING: CHESTER Sailing and Canoeing club held the first of their two annual marathon races last weekend, including a selection race for the British marathon team.
The morning consisted of the divisional races and the lightning race for children under 12. In Division Five, which was won by M Brown from Worcester, Chester had three competitors, Roger Williams who was second, Adele Blakeborough fifth and Graham Bulmer sixth.
In Division Six, the race was won by D Daman of Shropshire. Chester paddlers were Andrew Parkinson who finished fourth and Dave Madeley sixth. A Malcolm, of Nottingham, won Division Seven with Rodney Stallworthy fifth and Kevin Carey seventh. Thirteen-year-old Josh Cowburn won Division Eight from Ray Stamp fourth and Phil Madeley fifth.
In the doubles race, Divisions Five-Six, Seven-Eight and Nine were combined and even with a two-minute handicap, Jenny Swallow and Liz Holmes finished a minute ahead of the next crew. Colin Smith and Brian McNulty raced in their C2 and finished seventh in this race.
The lightning race had a good entry and was won by A Hicks, of Norwich. Chris Dawson was second with James Tidman third and his younger brother Sean sixth.
The afternoon races featured Division Three singles and the assessment classes. In K1, Andy Dawson was first over the line but had a three-minute handicap on the other competitors as a Division Two paddler and was third.
The senior men's assessment K2 race included junior world champion Ben Brown, of Elm-bridge, Surrey, with his partner Tom Daniels, Reading, the current British number one Steve Baker, also of Elmbridge, racing with Gary Mawer from Ireland, and many other current British team members.
This was a good race won by Baker and Mawer, from Brown and Daniels who were one second behind. Chester's Melvin Swallow paddled with Andy Kelly, of Kendal, and finished seventh.
The senior ladies' race had a good turnout and was won by Bates and Hynds, of Elmbridge.
The junior boys' race had a smaller turnout than usual but was won convincingly by Owen and Daniels, of Addlestone and Reading, who were four minutes ahead of the next boat. Gareth Williams paddled with Richard Etheridge, of Wey, Guildford, and finished fourth.
Farish and Gillbe, of Nottingham and Wey, won the junior girls' race. Victoria Swallow and Kim Dawson were fourth.
The C1 race was a combined senior-junior race, which was won by James Train of Fladbury. Colin Cartwright finished second.
Selection will take place based off this and other races for the two World Cups coming up in France and Portugal, and they will have some say on the final team for the World Championships in Bergen, Norway, in August.