CANOEING: RUNCORN Canoe Club left rivals in their slipstream in winning five titles at the Kayak National Sprint Championships.

And paddlers from the Clifton Village club backed up with 15 silver or bronze-medal performances at Holme Pierrepont National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham.

Two days of competition saw the best of British race over distances from 200m to 5,000m in one-man (K1), two-man (K2) and four-man (K4) events.

The club produced an outstanding dis-play in the Veteran Men's (Over 35s) category.

This was despite very difficult conditions on the first day.

A strong head wind created large, rolling waves on the regatta lake course but Runcorn canoeists showed their skill and fitness.

Stephen Marnell took gold in the K1 500m and a close silver in the K1 1,000m, missing gold by 0.2 seconds.

He teamed up with Graham Illidge to take three more silvers in the K2 500m, 1,000m and 5,000m events.

Paul Brookes with Lincoln's Andy Grimwood won the K2 500m and 5,000m while clinching third over 1,000m.

Runcorn also provided three of the victorious K4 teams in the Over 35 group.

Also on day one, Martin Layng was unlucky to miss out on gold medals in the Under 16 boys' K2 events at 1,000m and 500m, claiming silvers in both.

But his recent form has warranted a call-up to compete for Great Britain.

Fellow international James Mayers enjoyed a first place (K1 1,000m) and two second positions (K2 500m and 1,000m) in Men's B events.

On a broader scale, much attention focused on the Men's A K1 1,000m event.

World champion Ben Fouhey, of New Zealand, took first place - three seconds ahead of Britain's Tim Brabents, a former Olympic bronze medallist.

Hopefully, this result will be reversed next month in Athens.

There was a slight improvement in the weather for day two, when the club's U12s and U10s were in action.

Runcorn's girls made their mark with Jenny Illidge a runner-up in the U12s K2 1,000m.

Jenny also won a K1 bronze at 500m while finishing fourth in the K1 1,000m, behind bronze-medallist team-mate Lauren Marnell.

Amy Robinson narrowly missed out on medals in the K1 500m, coming in third, and also the K1 1,000m.

The U10s section saw Chelsea Brookes finish third in the K1 500m.

Always on the lookout for new members committed to canoeing for recreation, fitness or high-level competition, Runcorn Canoe Club are based on the River Weaver at Clifton.

They train most Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings and also weekends.

Potential new members should contact James Mayers on 077763 26669 or for further information, visit the club website at