Sport in the Spotlight: St Andrews Canoe Club

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The University’s Canoe Club tells The Saint about their first real taste of University competition this year.

By Patrick Jenner, STAUCC Competitions Captain

ON FRIDAY 26TH NOVEMBER, canoeists from the University of St Andrews Canoe Club headed down to Yorkshire for the club’s first major BUCS competition of the year. The venue for this white water race was the notoriously chilly River Washburn.

The conditions for the weekend were, unfortunately, far from ideal, especially for our camping. Daytime temperatures remained around zero degrees Celsius throughout the competition with the night-time temperature plummeting to minus twelve degrees. The thick layers of ice and snow made moving around the area somewhat treacherous at times.

Despite this, the event was well attended, with 31 Universities present and spirits remained very high amongst everyone. “The atmosphere between [universities] is great, everyone supports each other, helps each other out and there’s a great party on the Saturday night as well”, said one of the participants at the event.

The weekend was split into  two parts; the first day hosting all the classic events, featuring a 2.5 mile race down a section of white water. The following day contained all the sprint events over a distance of 800m. There were several different categories available to enter on both days, from individual kayak and canoe events to particular team events as well – Saints were not going to pass up the opportunity to give them a go.

It was St Andrews’ third appearance at this competition and this year was the best yet in terms of results. Overall Saints entered every category and produced a lot of top ten results, finishing in a very secure fifth place amongst all the universities – first in Scotland – and came away with sixteen BUCS points. This was a great improvement on the previous year wh St Andrews were placed in eighth overall and came away with just the two BUCS points.

Perhaps the best thing for the club is that everyone who went is still talking about the competition, as well as next year’s one and also setting themselves targets for what they want to achieve at it.

The next BUCS competition is the slalom and will take place in Nottingham in February 2011, where the club is aiming to improve on last year’s success there.

The club would still be delighted to accept new members; speak to a member of the committee or send an email to: canoe@saints-sport.com

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