Canoe slalom gives Roses victory

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Lancaster’s Canoe Club battled through a closely-matched race in the canoe slalom to not only win both the men’s and women’s events but snatch the final two points needed to clinch the overall Roses victory.

Following a tense match in the Open canoe polo on Saturday night which eventually ended in a draw, the teams were keen to end with a decisive result.

Within the first half-hour Rob Beaumont and Rosie Law quickly clocked up high scores for Lancaster. Law paddled round the course in one minute 34 seconds whilst Beaumont took just one minute 24 seconds to complete.

The course itself was a good one, giving a challenge to more experienced paddlers but still allowing novices to compete fully. Each paddler had one run round the course, negotiating their way through a series of gates strung above the river. Penalties were given for missing or hitting a gate.

Canoe Club President Matthew Biggins achieved the quickest and cleanest run of the event, taking one minute 21 seconds and getting just one penalty for hitting a gate. The quickest run in the women’s competition was Katie Kemble, who got round the course in one minute 30.

The only real disaster happened when Lancaster’s Bridget Coles hit an eddy line and tipped over, coming out of her canoe halfway through the course and having to walk the rest. Whilst all other competitors made it to the end many had problems with the shallowness of the river, hitting their paddles on the river bed or getting stuck on a rock just in front of the finish line.

Once all paddlers had been round the course there was a tense wait whilst the judges calculated everyone’s time. The three best times for each team were added together to give the overall result.

Finally the news was given that Lancaster’s times were shortest in both events. In the men’s a close match meant that Lancaster’s three shortest times came to a total of four minutes 15 seconds, compared to four minutes 44 for York. The women managed a more decisive victory, taking four minutes 53 seconds whilst York needed six minutes 49.

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