The main focus of this page is to explain how the club is involved in Sprint and Marathon Racing and provide guidance on how you can get involved.
Members of the club are primarily involved in two types of racing: Marathon and Sprint. There are a number of variations on marathon racing including the National Hasler Series, Devizes Westminster and associated races, and descent racing. You can find out more about these various types of racing below:
Although it sounds like marathon racing is for those who have years of experience or lots of endurance it is actually the best place to start racing as the Hasler Series is designed to enable you to get started with local races for all standards starting with shorter distances for those new to the sport.
The National Hasler Series
The National Hasler series is designed to enable paddlers to compete individually and as a club right through from beginner to international standard. Paddlers race in division from 1 to 9 depending on speed with beginners racing over 4 miles the equivalent of the slip and back at the club (2km for under 12s about the distance to the waterworks and back).
Races are held regionally with clubs competing to be allowed to enter the interclub final at the end of the year. Performing well at a race can earn promotion and paddlers earn points starting with 20 points for a win going down to 1 point for all those finishing within a certain % of the winners time. Worcester is part of the West Midlands region and we get points as a club for our paddlers taking part.
At each race the club with the most points gets 10 points going down to 1 point for the 10th placed club. Beginners can score just as well for the club as our top paddlers, so it is a real club event.
After all the regions events the top 6 West Midlands clubs go through to the final. Worcester usually hopes to qualify for the final but only if all our paddlers play their part.
Jumping in an Open Canadian C2 and paddling a nice easy 4 miles in the sunshine can still earn the club good points for those who are not so keen on the more sporty racing boats.
How to get Involved
Paul Ilson, our Racing Captain will be able to tell you about events as they come up. The dates are shown here and although it is best to enter in advance it is often possible to enter on the day.
A notice will be put on the board in advance of each race but you will also find the information should be linked from our face book page or this website as well. Many members will be able to tell you about the races and which ones are good for getting started. If you haven’t raced before ask who else is racing and they should help you work out what you are doing.
You will need a white number board to show your race number. Paul has a stock and he will sell you one for a small fee or lend you one for your first race or two
Devises to Westminster (DW)
The DW is a 125 mile race which takes place every Easter. The club regularly has crews entered and typically has had everything from crews that just want the challenge of completing the race through to race winners. This link will take you to the DW event page and if you ask at the club you will find people more than happy to tell you about the event and / or help you prepare to take part.
In the lead up to the event there is a series of races that cover the same course these are the Watersides and Thameside races. They start at 13 miles and get progressively longer as you get closer to the DW race itself. Again we often field crews and the Races pages are found here.
A key part of every crews race is the support they get from the bank. A good support crew is critical and getting involved in supporting can be great fun and hard work.
Some of our recent DW paddlers include : Liam Grover, Gary Leeke, Dave Walsh, Dave Pedlar, John Parker and Ian Smith. They’ll all be happy to talk DW with you!
These races usually take place through the winter months and are generally for more experienced paddlers. They are A to B races down rivers sometimes with weir shoots or portages. Great fun but with some potential for breaking boats!!
Sprint Racing in the Midlands is largely based on the National Series at Nottingham. The standard is pretty high and you need to enter well in advance. The dates can be found at Sprint Races 2016.
A notice goes on the club notice board in advance and you will need to fill in what entries you want. Once entries have been sent off the entry fees are payable whether you race or not and all of the seats in crew boat entries need to be paid for (you may have to pay them and collect fees off other paddlers who are in the boat if they are from another club).
There is a team leaders meeting before racing on the Saturday of each event and crew boats are often made up at this meeting but you need to be sure who is going to the meeting to sort this out. Another option for finding crew boat partners especially for young paddlers is through the Racing Clubs Facebook page where crews are often made up.
Ryan Sneddon is our Sprint Captain and will help you find out what to do.
If you want to find out more about the different types of racing, follow the below links: