While the slalom course at Teeside is under renovation the venue for BUCS canoe slalom has been the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont Nottingham. The course is fed by water from the River Trent and has the capacity to devastate even the heartiest constitution in ways that shouldn’t be mentioned here. Without doubt some competitors were going to succumb to the dreaded ‘Trent-Trotts’.

In traditional BUCS competition style, bad weather was to plague the weekend: this time it was be the rain. It was touch and go whether the competition would go ahead this year due to the high water levels but with two days left it was given the go-ahead. After a 1am arrival and a fight to free a van from the muddy swamp that was the campsite we decided to just sleep in the cars when Glasgow phoned to ask if we would we like to join them in a sports hall, where a kindly security guard had taken pity on them; we promptly did.

After an early rise on Saturday morning the Men’s K1 races got underway. Some excellent slaloming from all the men got Saints off to a cracking start with third year Jonny Hawkins claiming 19th place. After some mixed team races it was the end of the first day and all that remained was to find a suitable pub to spend the many hours ahead. Thankfully we were saved from the campsite again, this time by alumnus Cathy Marsden who offered us all floor space and even beds to a lucky few.

TROUBLED WATER: Calum Fisher braves the wild river conditions in the C1 Category, claiming 17th place for the St Andrews team in Nottingham

We arrived at the course the following morning to find the river even higher than the previous day. Unfortunately that also means that pollution levels were much higher and if it had been any other day the course would have had to be closed. This time it was the turn of the Women’s K1 races as well as the C1s and C2s. Impressively weaving her way down the course, first year Amy Kincaid got the edge to finish 13th in the K1W category. To round off the competition was the Men’s team races: three teams made the course to wrap up the weekend in style.

In 2010 Saints achieved an impressive 8th place but this year leaped upwards to finish 3rd in the UK behind the ever mighty Nottingham Trent and Loughborough and, as a result, managed to bag ten BUCS points for St Andrews.

The only thing left now for the club was to see who would succumb to the ‘Trent-Trotts’ first and who would then win the sweep stake we had riding on it.

Everyone made it back to St Andrews alright and so the decision was made to donate the stake to Sense Scotland, with whom the club is helping to run a trip for the visually impaired in March.

Patrick Jenner
STAUCC Competitions Captain

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