The Under 14s of Bishop’s Stortford Canoe Club scooped gold medals at the Bedford Hasler Canoe Marathon.
Five youngsters from Stortford competed on a 2.5km course on the River Ouse in Bedford town centre, ranked in three divisions by age and performance.
Libby Gaulton (A Division, 29min 31sec), Jasper Kirtland (B Div, 23.13) and Rupert Kirtland (C Div, 22.30) won their respective classes with the latter’s excellent time earning him promotion to Division B His teammates Zuzanna Madeja (Div A, 33.08) and Emilie Klumpler (Div C, 27.05) won bronze medals.
In the afternoon, Gaulton and Jasper Kirtland boarded a double boat in the Under-14 K2 race on the same course and won two more gold medals with a time of 18.55 .
Fellow under-14s Oliver Klumpler and Finlay Sandal chose to paddle in Hasler’s main event and competed in the Division 9 7k race, being rewarded with silver medals for their time in 1 hr 2 min 32 sec.
The accomplishments of the young paddlers were all the more impressive considering the strong breeze which created windy conditions on the very wide river and the high artificial banks which caused very choppy water in places.
The rest of the Stortford team also won many medals, especially in the doubles races.
Among the medalists were Jacqueline and Dave Cayford, who competed in the Division 8 doubles on the two-lap 7km course. After getting off to a good start and taking an early lead, they were passed by a Norwich boat as they approached the first corner, but they rose to the challenge and regained their position to win in 43.51.49 seconds ahead of their rivals.
Stortford’s highest-ranked singles paddler was Eilidh White, who took silver in Division 9 for her time of 47.39 over the 7km course.
Stortford came fourth out of the nine Eastern Region clubs represented with a tally of 583 points, very close to third-placed Chelmsfords’ tally of 588.
Leighton Buzzard and Norwich were co-winners with 595 and Stortford now sit fourth in the Eastern Region League.
BSCC results: 13km course (two portages) – Div 4: 4th Joe Fitzpatrick 1:12.43; Div 5 doubles: 2 Mark Adams & Kerstin Queeney 1:08.45, 3 Chris Sze & Eddie Kirtland 1:09.19. 7km course – Div 7: 7 Tom Barton 43.38, 10 Jack Gaulton 45.31; Div 8: 3 Jaroslav Klumpler 44.10, 6 Ben Tubby 45.40; Div 9: 2 Eilidh White 47.39, 4 Arthur Catmur 48.24, 7 Karen Bradley 52.32; Div 8 doubles: 1 David Cayford & Jacqueline Cayford 44.51; Div 9 doubles: 2 Oliver Klumpler & Finlay Sandal 1:02.32. Course 2.5km – U14 A: 1 Libby Gaulton 29.31, 3 Zuzanna Madeja 33.08; U14 B: 1 Jasper Kirtland 23.13; U14 C: 1 Rupert Kirtland 22.30, 3 Emilie Klumpler 27.05; U14 doubles: 1 Libby Gaulton & Jasper Kirtland 18.55.