Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Charles Evans: forgotten biography of a late ‘60s Marathon paddler

In collaboration with Sportscene

Nick Harding | London - From time to time a legend may be unintentionally forgotten if they lead a humble existence out of the lime-light post-paddling career or if their successes were not documented.
Charles Evans at the Liffey Descent (IRL), in the mid '60s
SPORTSCENE would like to pay tribute to such a hallmark name of '60s paddling resulting from a request from his family to celebrate a decade of incredible achievement.
Dr Charles Evans was a World Champion long-distance paddler and member of the Royal Canoe Club. A modest Briton, he currently lives in Cornwall and has no idea about this article! His illustrious career spanned 7 years, 1963-1970, representing Britain. Highlights, below, included winning 8 National Championships.

1965 – * National Champion: Spain
1966 – * National Champion: Spain
1968 – * National Champion: Britain, Spain * Captain: British team
1969 – * National Champion: Britain, Spain * Captain: British team
1970 – * National Champion: Britain, Denmark * Captain: British team

His reputation took off in Spain, his dominance came from winning one race the most, the Sella, where he took three K1 victories. Below is the featured piece of news at the ABC Newspaper at that time.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Devizes to Westminster race, out of the IFC World Series for 2013

A few days ago, talking about the results of the 2012 World Series Marathon, we made a first approach to what, from our point of view, it's maybe not the best organization by the ICF. Introduced in the 2010 season, the world series formed by 10 long distance classic races is not taking off among the international elite.
Then, some days ago, the ICF wrote to the Royal Canoe Club of London's about their decision of not to include by fourth consecutive year the Devizes to Westminster race in the series. According to the letter, signed by Tim Cornish, a permanent member of the ICF Marathon, the race is "too hard", which makes few international paddlers be attracted by it.
The Royal Canoe Club, organizer of the event and world's oldest
canoeing club, has communicated its strong disagreement with the decision, despite being willing to pay the fee of 600 euros payable to the ICF. This was one of the points that we discussed in the previous article and, frankly, does not seem excessive royalties and an not a big amount to attract international paddlers if that money was used to finance their trips, as proposed. Still, the fact that the Royal Canoe Club had no trouble to pay the fee indicates that the decision does respond properly to a change of course (or at least a "rethought") to these international series.
But are they taking steps in the right direction? Certainly it won't be me the one who puts into question the reasons of a committee with so experienced members as Jørn Cronberg, Alan Laws, Ruud Hejselaar or Tim Cornish himself (winner in his youth of many of these important races) . But it is also true that many decisions have been controversial over the years. This time, the fact of rejecting a race for being too hard (200 km. in 4 stages for the K1s) can be seen in two ways:

Monday, 12 November 2012

Tim Jacobs retain title at the Steelcase Dragon Run of surfski in Hong Kong

Tim Jacobs (AUS) entering the finish line to retain title. Photo: Nora Tam
The Australian Tim Jacobs won last Saturday the Steelcase Dragon Run, surfski race in Hong Kong, part of the World Series of this discipline. The amount of the prizes and the fact that the end of the series is close (in December in Cape Town), participation was really prominent, with the best specialists in the field. 
As it was presumed, Australians and South Africans ruled the race and only Walter Bouzán and Portuguese Andre Santos got into top positions among the contestants from down under. The number of figures in search of the $ 5,000 winner prize made nerves to be present from the beginning, including a false start. Once given the good one, a dozen paddlers stood out significantly from the rest of the competitors, with a very quick first third of the race. In the words of Dawid Mocke "is always like that lately, eight kilometers at a very fast pace and then let's see see who can stand it". In a race of 23 miles and the light wind conditions and heat present in this edition, only the most skilled could retain the strength until the finish line.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Tomas Slovak and Manuela Stöberl are the new ICF Classic Marathon World Series 2012 winners

Tomas Slovak winning the Adige Marathon, in Italy
The ICF Marathon Classic World Series are completed this year with the dispute in a tight October of Cesky Krumlov (CZE) and Adige Marathon (ITA), whose winners have become the winners of the series, replacing Spaniard Kiko Vega and South African Hilary Pitchford, 2011 title holders.  Slovakian Tomas Slovak and German Manuela Stöberl, both specialists in white water descent, got enough points to be the new champions in 2012. Anyway, Tomas Slovak got two victories on a surfski from his sponsor Vajda. With the ICF Marathon Series still in their childhood, they may need some review of the criteria. In South Africa, many years ago, surfskis were banned at river descents, since being longer and watertight, buoyancy in waves and the speed they were getting was an unfairness against the traditional K1. 
The series started in early April with the Devizes to Westminster, terrific English race of 125 miles (about 180 km.) and 77 portages, raced in a single day by K2s, while K1s do it in four stages.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Marathon des Gorges de L'Ardèche, to be held today, cancelled due to flood

An hour and a half ago has officially being cancelled the 2012 edition of the Marathon des Gorges de L'Ardèche due to flood conditions. Yesterday afternoon, the concern was the low water level, as measure under the bridge of Salavas was only about 50 cm. (when considered optimum conditions are between 60 and 80). However, a night of heavy rain has caused a dramatic increase in the water level, which marks the passage by Salavas now in 160 cm., much over the maximum level to make it safe for participants.

This year was expected a good competition with the current winners, Hybois and Jouve, which would deal with renowned previous winners of the race, as Cirylle Carré and Boulanger or Germans Max Hoff and Stiefenhofer (with Hoff coming back to his origins on descent after the Olympic medal achieved three months in London) and consecrated, but newcomers to the Ardèche, South Africans Anthony Stott and Cameron Schoeman, who were training in the river from last Tuesday. Spaniards Pedro Gutierrez and Luis Amado wanted to get between the favorite poker and try the assault on the podium. Also present were members of the French Olympic Slalom team along with Togolese Boukpeti, who were planning to race on a K7.