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Bishop's Stortford Canoe Club come fourth in the penultimate Eastern Region round of the season on the Grand Union Canal in Leighton Buzzard



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Bishop's Stortford Canoe Club came fourth in the penultimate Eastern Region round of the season on the Grand Union Canal in Leighton Buzzard.

The hosts took the honours in the Leighton Buzzard Hasler Marathon while Norwich and Chelmsford tied for second place.

Stortford, whose squad of 23 included three new members and a clutch of rising stars, are also fourth in the overall standings. They host the final round of the season on July 10 when the Easter Region trophy will be awarded and the four clubs who will qualify for the national finals in Runnymede will be decided.

Joe Fitzpatrick (front) and Eddie Kirtland at the start of the Division 4 doubles race (57542864)
Joe Fitzpatrick (front) and Eddie Kirtland at the start of the Division 4 doubles race (57542864)

Team leader Joe Fitzpatrick paired up with Eddie Kirtland, one of his junior development squad, to take on the Division Four doubles race. They completed the eight miles and two portages in 1hr 5min 22sec with deceptive ease to take first place with a rival boat from the host club finishing just six seconds behind them.

Most of the Stortford team raced on the four-and-a-half-mile course. Libby and Kayleigh Gaulton – the former is one of their youngest paddlers but has been promoted from the under-14 competition due to excellent performances – paddled together in the Division Nine doubles race and won silver.

Older sister Kayleigh, who is a trainee coach at the club, was competing for the first time in several years and, despite a minor mishap, they had every reason to be pleased with their time of 42min 49sec, especially as they had never crewed a boat together before.

Libby Gaulton (front) and Kayleigh Gaulton, racing in Division 9 doubles (57542866)
Libby Gaulton (front) and Kayleigh Gaulton, racing in Division 9 doubles (57542866)

Finishing just ahead of the Gaultons in 42.27 were Ewan Gowing and Arthur Catmur. The youngsters are ranked as Division Nine, but elected to paddle up in the Division Eight race and finished fourth, hard on the heels of their coaches Jaqueline and Dave Cayford who took Division Eight doubles bronze in 42.18.

The best singles result of the day came from Tom Barton, who won the Division Seven race in 40.32 in a close finish with Chelmsford's May Perrin.

New team members John and Tamzin Catmur and Miller Kitchener all successfully finished, with John doing especially well to sprint across the line in a dramatic photo finish with a Chelmsford paddler for which they were awarded joint fifth.

BSCC results: Doubles (eight miles, two portages) - Div Four: 1st Joe Fitzpatrick & Eddie Kirtland (1hr 5min 22sec), 5 Mark Adams & Kerstin Queeney 1:08.58.

Some of the BSCC team with their medals (57542868)
Some of the BSCC team with their medals (57542868)

Doubles (four-and-a-half miles) - Div Eight: 3 David Cayford & Jacqueline Cayford 42min 18sec, 4 Ewan Gowing & Arthur Catmur 42.27; Div Nine: 2 Kayleigh Gaulton & Libby Gaulton 42.59, 4 Jasper Kirtland & Finlay Sandal 48.57.

Singles (four-and-a-half miles) - Div Seven: 1 Tom Barton 40.32, 6 Jack Gaulton 42.44), 7 Jaroslav Klumpler 42.51; Div Eight: 11 Petr Luksan 45.53; Div Nine: 5 John Catmur 46.55, 7 Karen Bradley 47.53, 13 Miller Kitchener 53.28, 14 Tamzin Catmur 54.20.

Under-14s (two miles) - Div B: 6 Rupert Kirtland 22.52, 7 Oliver Klumpler 24.41; Div C: 6 Emilie Klumpler 28.13.



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