Venue: Centre of Rome, river, with flow, within the site of national row/canoe centre.
Staff: Dyson Pendle Norwich (Manager) Melvin Swallow Chester, Sarah Akerman Wey, Dave Sackman Reading, Stan Missen Bradford.
Weather: A comfortable 25 degrees some rain.
Sen. Men K2; Ben Farrel /John Simmons Royal/Wey, Stuart West/Jonny Tye Worcester.
Sen. Women K2; Fay Lamph/Lizzy Broughton, Wey/Richmond.
U23 Men K1; Tim Pendle Norwich. U23 Women; Jenny Illage Runcorn.
Jun. Men K2; George Barnicote/Louis Allen Cokethorpe, Albert Hicks/Dan Johnson Norwich Chelmsford.
Jun. Men K1; Albert Hicks Norwich, Charlie Welsh Wey.
Jun. Women K2; Amy Ward/Rebi Simon Elmbridge.
Jun. Women K1; Amy Ward Elmbridge.
The event featured a strong field in all classes as usual, with 40 countries attending and some Olympians from London 2012 with medallists like Pimenta (Portugal silver 1000Mts K2) and many others from various sprint teams especially in the junior classes.
U23 men K1: Tim got off to a good start and was always in the mix in the front group which was fast slow-fast slow, at one point a group of 6 travelling at high speed with second group some 3 minutes down, just to come back together again with pimento POR and Grant Van de welt (the eventual winner) dictating the race. Minde NOR last year’s winner finishing 4th Tim 8th only 42secs down and only 58sec splitting the first 12 boats.
U23 Women K1: Jenny normally struggles off the start and then establishes herself in the second half of the field, finishing here in world cup events. She fared better on the world U23 women start (a much harder race), clearly some work has been done is this area. She improved her position during the race and finished 9th ,4mins down on the leaders instead of 8mins as she did at the world cup.
Junior Men K1: A very fast start as you can expect, Albert and Charlie both struggled with pace off the line, Albert with few years experience at this level, quickly picked a good line in clear water downstream, with that and picking his way up the inside coming back up stream, he was with front group of 8 or 9 by the portage. This split into two after the portage and with two Hungarians in the front group there was no slowing down. Charlie was in the next group back after Albert. This stayed the same until the last lap with Albert’s group trailing by 40sec for most of the race, when Albert made an all or nothing effort and caught the front group at the bottom turn. This ignited the front group and the medals were decided by the last portage. Albert finished 1.10secs down on the winner.
Junior Girls K1: Amy got off to a cracking start and looked comfortable throughout the race, she negotiated the portages well which is not considered her strong point. The two Hungarian girls worked together to get away at the last lap leaving Amy and the talented Belgian girl to fight it out for bronze. Amy ran the portage well and dropped the Belgian by 60Mts. Amy made a great effort to stay away for the last 1500Mts but the Belgian proved too strong and beat her over the line with a sprint finish.
Junior Boys K2 : Again a strong field Louis and George had a blistering start riding on the wash of the leading crews, as like most junior racing with large numbers all sorts of clag ups and crashes happened within the first 500Mts. Albert and Dan got caught up in the washes with their boat turning sideways they struggled in the first 500Mts. Two crews fell in, two ended up in the trees and one came across Louis and George running over George’s paddle which broke clean in half. They paddled over to our supporting staff, who had a paddle waiting with minimum time lost. Meanwhile Albert and Dan also had trouble but were very fast and managed to catch the front group . Again the Hungarians were dominant and broke the group early, leaving the second group chasing. Albert and Dan did well at the sprint finish and finished 6th. Louis and George worked their way up the field and finished in a credible 14th after their problems at the start.
Junior Girls K2: Amy and Rebi started well and controlled their race and although they had some moments when they looked as if they would lose the pace in the front group, Amy’s driving and Rebi’s power kept them in contention. All four boats in the top group went into the last portage together, after leaving the portage the boats were separated and the girls crossed the finish line an impressive 3rd place.
Sen. Men’s K2: This was the fastest race at the championships, Jonny and Stuart got a good start in the front group, Ben and John had to avoid a clag up and sensibly skirted round to pick up clear water. By the time they reached the first portage Jonny and Stuart were comfortably in the front group which was moving at high speed, with Ben and John trailing two groups back. Ben didn’t panic and believed they had the speed to get where they needed to be- with the front guys. By the time the next portage came around our guys were all together in the front group, although strung out over the portage. The Spanish crews pushed the pace on and broke the group, getting away with the South Africans. By the third lap, Jonny and Stuart were feeling the pace and had dropped off the chasing pack. Ben and john were now in a strong position in the second group and looked comfortable. There was an incident at the next portage which saw Ben pushed in the river by the Argentines which was protested. Ben looked deflated after he had dragged himself back on to the pontoon, but wasted no time with getting back. They lost around 40secs through unfair behaviour at the portage. By the 6th lap they were back with a group of 4 chasing the two crews in the lead, they finished 6th and Jonny and Stuart a respectful 14th.
Sen Womern K2 : Lizzy and Fay believed they could do well at this championship and were fired up for it. The start was quick and they went off well, they were caught by a crew from behind slightly, but enough to miss a couple of hard strokes at a crucial time meant they didn’t make the front group which they needed to settle down. They chased the group hard to the portage not quite making it. They suffered over the next 2K as a result, they paddled well for the rest of the race picking up a few places on the way and still managed to beat both Spanish crews, no mean feat, they shouldn’t feel too disappointed with top 10 in the world, they are still a quality K2.
Summary : Although only one medal, we finished in the top 10 in every class we entered, which shows the depth we have in the team. Make no mistake medals at this level are hard to come by. It was clear that poor portage arrangements led to some ugly scenes during the get out and get in, something the Italians should have taken more advice from those who have more experience.
Dyson Pendle Team manager.