Seaford College students took part in the Thameside 2 at the weekend as part of their training to compete in the demanding Devizes to Westminster Kayaking Marathon. This particular race is 19.5 miles from Reading to Marlow with 8 portages. The coaching team reports for us:
Another fantastic day of racing from the incredible Seaford kayaking squad.
After a week of rain, the team started what was their first mass-start race on a fast flowing river on a cold morning with a low sun in their eyes and wind at their backs. Despite a couple of boats having close shaves at the start, only one boat took an early swim. The six pairings paddled for the first time on the River Thames, where the weirs are bigger and the portages more tricky. They made a strong start and, by halfway, were posting some competitive times.
The team are paddling in aid of Ellie Holt. Sadly, Ellie is back in hospital, and likely to remain there for some time. The team are determined to help Ellie raise the £75,000 needed for life changing treatment. More information can be found here donations can be made on their fundraising page.
The team pushed themselves hard and dug deep despite blistered hands, rubbed backs and leg cramps. Having mastered portaging into weir streams, they all finished within 25 minutes of each other and beat many well established school and club crews.
The incredible and renewed pairing of Will and Ben posted the second fastest Seaford time of 2:55:04. After only their second race since returning from injury, Henry and Archie pushed Mark and Kaj hard with times of 3:08:24 and 3:14:58 respectively with both boats providing a little entertainment when crossing the start and finish lines at a swim!
The pairing combinations of Barney & Coni and Ollie & Beth pushed each other hard the whole way down the course to finish respectively 3rd & 4th in the Schools Mixed K2 class and 4th & 5th in the Junior Mixed K2 class in times of 2:56:01 and 2:59:44 against some established combinations – amazing!
The pairing of Zoë & Fliss continued to push hard in the Ladies K2 finishing astonishingly as the 6th fastest ladies time in 2:48:31 which was 3rd in Junior Ladies K2 and the fastest schools Ladies K2 – exceptional!
A truly inspirational performance from the whole squad for a heart wrenching cause! Huge congratulations to all the paddlers for a great performance in another gruelling race!
As always thanks to the hard work and support of the parent support teams.
Charlie & The Coaching Team
Watch a video of the race here: