Piercy on point at national gala
MAKING a splash – that was a handful of paddlers from Elmbridge Canoe Club. They were proof that the talented Walton Lane outfit continue to produce champions at a prolific rate – the latest arena for success being the National Marathon Canoe Champs in Worcester. Elise Piercy, 17, became the U18 Junior K1 Girls champion and will be off to see what she can achieve at the Worlds in Oklahoma at the end of this month, with proud mum and dad taking a holiday at the same time. And she was joined by 15-year-olds Kayne Wilkinson and Stef Di Gregorio, who won by two seconds in their 13km and one portage race, to see them crowned U16 K2 champions. Another worthy performance came from Rebekah Solway, 15, who took silver in her K1 U16 race and then stepped up to compete with the U18s in a K2 with Piercy, taking another silver. In all, 22 U18 boys raced a gruelling 20km with two portages while another 15 U18 girls paddled the same distance – Elmbridge’s best performers standing among them. This event was closely followed by the National Canoe Sprint Regatta at Nottingham, an altogether different discipline. Unusually, the lake was calm, with little wind speed and the sun managed to make an appearance making near perfect conditions for the paddlers. Elmbridge brought home an abundance of medals. Ross McMullen, who was disappointed by his sixth place at Worcester, smashed it on his 18th birthday and took silver in the K1 1000m U18s. Piercy added to her trophies and came home with no less than five medals – a pair of silvers and three bronze. And Solway, definitely an up and coming star at the club, paired with paddlers from another outfit and managed silver and bronze successes in U16 K2 races.
Anybody aged 10 and upwards and is a competent swimmer can join Elmbridge Canoe Club for the 2015 season. Junior courses start in April and details can be found at www.elmbridgecanoeclub. com.