On the 3rd July a 5 strong team left Belfast early in the morning headed via Dublin to the July Regatta in Nottingham. They arrived to 25 degree sunshine with not a cloud in the sky, but as it is Nottingham there was a vicious 18mph head wind.
With the race also counting as selection for the Senior Sprint World Championships in Milan all the top British Canoeing boat were on the start line and it gave all the athlete’s a real taste of what the fastest in the world look like.
Despite the tough conditions CANI athlete’s had some sterling performances. Zoe Thompson taking part in her first Nottingham Regatta finished a remarkable 9th in Girls U14 A final K1 200 racing against many who were 2 years her senior.
In the U18 K2 200m Jordan Calder and Craig Wilson lined up for what was to be a tough race. They had a solid start and had 4th place secured within the first 50M, they began a charge and were reeling in 3rd by 100M, unfortunately at around 160-170M disaster struck. No one is quite sure what happened but both ended up in the water blaming each other for, some from the side thought they just wanted to cool off.
In the Masters Ray Sweetlove and Ben Dooley finished strong in the K2 200m finishing a very respectable 2nd just missing out on first by a few strokes.
The last race of the day was the K4 500m which saw Ben Dooley, Ray Sweetlove, Jordan Calder and Craig Wilson all jump in a boat together. With a mix of experience and youth they were pushed hard to the line but managed to come away with a 3rd place finish.
This was a great regatta for all involved with great weather, great racing and great friends. There were lots of positives to take from the weekend and everyone has set their goals for coming back in September.