Early canoe contest puts Red Rose 8 points ahead

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Lancaster University Canoe Club fought to a sizable victory over York this weekend in the opening events of Roses 2009, claiming all of the eight available points for canoeing.

The day arrived with fine weather and high spirits. Not being able to book the usual canoeing venue in York, their canoe club headed over to the fairer side of the Pennines for a day of competition and banter. The first event of the day, the slalom, started well for the Lancaster team winning both the men’s and women’s events.

Charging into the lead for the Lancaster girls – over the ten gate, two weir course – was Katy Kemble, who clocked an impressive time of one minute 23 seconds; placing her joint first with York’s Rachael Spanton in the women’s category. Following her lead, the rest of the female paddlers took the competition in their stride, with the top three Lancaster girls – Katy Kemble, Sam Barry and Rosie Twambley – clocking a winning combined time of 4:21, crushing the combined time of York Ladies’ final top three, of 6:57.

In the men’s category, Lancaster were equally as impressive with Matt Carter and Rob Beaumont placed joint second overall with a time of 1:13. As the crowd of overexcited Lancaster supporters shouted and cheered from the bank, Matt Fear and Ollie Margett’s powered into joint third position with a time of 1:17. Once again York were beaten, with the Lancaster boys clocking a in at 3:43, leaving York wanting with a lamentable final time of 6:32.

Later, at five o’clock in the university sports centre, the poolside lined with excited fans, and the pool filled with psyched up kayakers. It was time for Canoe Polo – and Lancaster were thirsty for further victories.

The players lined up and the referees blew their whistles to start the game. Possession of the ball was immediately seized by Lancaster’s Matthew Carter who wasted no time in moving the ball up the pool and into the net. 57 seconds into the game and Lancaster were already 1–0 up. As the 10 minutes of the first half ticked by the goals kept coming. By the time the whistle was blown Lancaster had stormed into the lead and were 6-0 up, With Matt Fear and Alex Yare scoring once each, and Jim Cooper and Matt Carter both finding the back of the net twice.

After a two minute break the victory for Lancaster continued, with another goal from Matt Fear, two from Samantha Barry and one from Amy Fowler. Soon after, both Matt Carter and Jim Cooper added extra goals to their tallies to make hat tricks and a final score of 12-0 to Lancaster, who were ecstatic.

Claiming all eight Roses points is another victory for the Canoe Club to add to their recent run of successes that include finishing eighth and ninth at BUCS Polo and winning two categories at the National Student Rodeo. Their performance reflects the hard work and training they put into all aspects of their sport.