Norwich Paddlers shine at British University and Colleges Sprint Championships at Whitlingham
An exciting weekend of canoe and kayak flat water racing at Whitlingham Broad in the British University Sprint Championships saw Norwich Canoe Club paddlers Luke Shaw and Lucy Lee-Smith share the limelight with Olympian Emily Lewis. Luke who was representing Nottingham University won his first ever kayak medal aged eleven on the Great Broad and returned to the same venue now as an under 23. He swept the board in the men’s competition with a haul of five gold medals. “It’s been a nice change”, said Luke, “the atmosphere has been relaxed compared to Nottingham and therefore slightly more enjoyable but it’s still been good hard racing, I couldn’t recommend it more.”
Lucy Lee-Smith representing Nottingham Trent started paddling at Norwich Canoe Club when she was at primary school in Long Stratton and now is knocking on the door of the Olympic team. She came away with two gold medals and two bronze. “It’s nice to get racing again pre-season.`’ she said, “and it’s been great to come home and experience this kind of atmosphere at your home club.”
Emily Lewis represented GB at the Tokyo Olympics and was at BUCS paddling for Nottingham Trent University. She won gold in K1 200m, 500m K2 200, 200m relay and 5000m. It was the first time ever she had competed in a 5000m race and her twelve races over the weekend formed part of a tough training block leading into the first selection regatta in April. “It’s been a really professional set up and a cool event,” she enthused.
The collaboration between Norwich Canoe Club, BUCS, Whitlingham Adventure, British Canoeing Sprint Racing Committee and Events Team and University of East Anglia was a new venture. Tim Scott Race Director said: “Huge thanks to Sam Glover and his technicians for putting in the lanes – it looked magnificent – we hope this event has inspired not only those competing but the spectators walking around the Great Broad who saw all the action”.
If you would like to learn to kayak, Norwich Canoe Club have limited spaces on courses over Easter which are for all ages. Contact Harriet Hicks on : email@example.com or vist www.norwichcanoeclub.co.uk