Norwich canoeists enjoy opening success in London

Norwich Canoe Club enjoyed a productive start to the year at their first meeting of 2011.

Early on Sunday morning, despite the cold weather, a handful of keen Norwich Canoe Club paddlers made their way to London to compete in the first marathon kayaking race of the year – the Frank Luzmore Race.

The event started at Elmbrige Canoe Club, on the River Thames in Surrey, and finished 12 miles away at Richmond Canoe Club.

Paddlers had to portage three times over the weirs on the river, which means they had to get out of the boat and run around the weir, quickly getting back in and continuing the racing.

Because of the heavy rain in recent weeks, the river was in full flow – leaving competitors extremely cautious when paddling around the weirs.

It was particularly important that Norwich's younger, less experienced paddlers took the correct route on the river to avoid any danger.

Outstanding result of the day undoubtedly came from Norwich's youngest crew of 14-year-old Ashley Nobbs from Thorpe St Andrew School, and Joe Rix, 13, from Framingham Earl.

Most Read

The boys were entered into the race the day before and had never been in a boat together.

Despite this, they raced in the under-16 category against boys three years their seniors and fought hard to come an excellent third.

Norwich's top boys – Tim Pendle, Oli Rix and Albert Hicks, who all competed at world class events this year – all placed top of their races.

Pendle raced with Ben Haynes from Leighton Buzzard and came second in the large senior men's A race, finishing one second behind the lead boat.

Rix and Hicks, both 17 came fourth in the under-18 boys' race.

In the under-16 girls', 15-year-old Amelia Rix finished fourth alongside Runcorn's Amy Wignal, while Harriet Hicks, 14, raced in the under-18 girls' with Stacey Terry, 16, and they finished fifth.