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Cambridge Canoe Club's Rupert Tideswell earns Canoe National Marathon Championships title

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Rupert Tideswell at Cambridge Canoe Club. Picture: Keith Heppell
Rupert Tideswell at Cambridge Canoe Club. Picture: Keith Heppell

Rupert Tideswell has successfully defended his Canoe National Marathon Championships title.

And the Cambridge Canoe Club member also earned a bronze medal, the same hue taken by clubmate Imogen Hunter.

The event was hosted at Norwich Canoe Club, but the windy conditions meant that extra safety precautions were put in place and the longer races on the Saturday held in extremely challenging conditions.

In the under-12 boys’ K1 race, Tideswell retained his crown with 20 points in an elapsed time of 31min 50sec, with Gruff Thomas taking the runners-up position in 35.50.

“It was a really windy day which made the racing much harder, especially the race start which was very busy,” said Tideswell.

“I had a good start without any problems, I think this is always the hardest part of any race.

“I had paddled on the course, which was four miles long, earlier in July on a junior development squad training day so I knew all the twists and turns well.

“Coming back from the turn, which was at halfway, there was a strong headwind so I was glad I hadn’t burnt off at the start and saved some energy.

“The wind was a problem for everyone in my race and I managed to get back first.”

Tideswell followed that up with Norwich Canoe Club’s Mitchell Tamblin, who was second in the under-14s K1, in the under-14 boys’ K2 category on the Sunday.

They earned the bronze medal in 27.44, with Sam Cribbett and Dylan O’Connor winning in 27.42 and Toby Betts and Harry Freeland second in 27.43.

“Again the start was difficult but we managed to keep up with the second group,” said Tideswell.

“A mile in, we decided to leave the boats that were in fourth, fifth and sixth and catch up to the boat in second by halfway and cut inside them on the turn.

“We worked together with the other boat to catch the first boat by wash-hanging (taking turns to slipstream the other boat).

“By the sprint finish we were two seconds behind the first boat, one second behind second and came third overall.”

Cambridge Canoe Club’s Hunter also claimed a bronze medal.

She partnered Elmbridge Canoe Club’s Zara Bowers in the K2 under-14 girls’ category and they were third in 30.53 as Mollie Ball and Matilda Enoch won in 30.12 and Madison and Molly Cooke were second.

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