Newcastle Canoe Club return to BUCS action

Newcastle University Canoe Club took to the waters at the National Water Sports Centre.

Jack Train
1st March 2022
Some of Newcastle University Canoe Club Slalom Team. Credit: Brian Stephenson
The cold and windy evening of the 11th of February saw Newcastle University's very own kayak and canoe team head to Nottingham for their first major BUCS outing in England since 2020.

The cars were packed with kit and boats stacked high on the roofs; after the obligatory pit stop at Ferrybridge services, and a quick overnight stop, the team was on to Nottingham and Holme Pierrpont Park - where the National Water Sports Centre is.

So, before we dive into what was a cold and wet but exciting weekend: what on earth is a kayak and what is a canoe? The two words are often used interchangeably, annoying everyone in the sport. First though you have your paddle: the stick-like instrument used to propel the boat though the water. Kayaks use a double-bladed or double-ended paddle whereas canoes use a signal-bladed paddle with a T bar on the top.

Then there’s the boats. In a canoe you kneel and in kayak you sit in. Both have a water tight membrane (known as a spray deck) placed on top locking you into the boat allowing the paddler to roll and complete the variety of skills required.

Newcastle Slalom Captain Ben Code in a Kayak. Credit: Brian Stephenson

Anyway, back to the contest last Saturday which saw the Men’s K1 and women’s C1 take to the water which had all manner of abilities and passions. Nottingham took an early lead and held on to this throughout the day, taking over the podium. Newcastle were not to be down trodden though, Adam Kemp initially took 7th before being knocked down to 14th, with Alex Owen taking 18th.

The afternoon saw two Newcastle teams head to the Mixed Team event where teams compete using a mix of C1 and K1. This unfortunately ended in both teams capsizing and given DNFs.

Sunday saw the return of Men’s C1 and Women’s K1, with Men’s C1 giving Alex Owen this opportunity to get his highest ranked place of the competition, 12th with a time of 616.13. Not to be out done Harry Street came in with a time of 1006.95 after penalties. The women’s K1 gave Abbie Lawrence her chance to show her stripes with a result of 23rd, just below the racked paddles of GB.

The open team which followed in the afternoon proved much more successful for Newcastle. Their teams came 7th and 10th giving Newcastle a strong position to push into the 2022/2023 season.

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