Sudbury retain two key national titles

CHAMPIONS: (From left): Danny Turner, Hugh Mandelstam, Kate Baker, Jennifer McGaley, Ollie Winstanley, Miriam Mandelstam, Sam Bragoli-Jones.
CHAMPIONS: (From left): Danny Turner, Hugh Mandelstam, Kate Baker, Jennifer McGaley, Ollie Winstanley, Miriam Mandelstam, Sam Bragoli-Jones.

SUDBURY Canoe Club confirmed their status as the best in the country after retaining their UK Youth Freestyle and UK Club Championship titles.

Freestyle kayaking is probably best described as gymnastics in kayaks and canoes in fast moving water and is a rapidly growing sport worldwide.

Team Sudbury are captained by 15-year-old Bury St Edmunds’ County Upper School student Jennifer McGaley, who has also represented Team GB at the European Freestyle Championships in Austria this year.

On Saturday, Suffolk Sport-funded McGaley and her team travelled to the National Whitewater Centre in Nottingham for the UK Series finals.

Each event begins with training sessions and culminates with each competitor performing as many moves as possible against the clock with each move being scored relative to its difficulty.

Team Sudbury performed well and were proud to retain their status as the premier Youth Freestyle team in the UK.

On Sunday, the youth team were joined by some of the club’s senior paddlers, including Bury’s Andy Brinkley, Emily Wall, Dominic Coverley, Rob Parrot and Sudbury’s Mark Winstanley, Halcyon Mandelstam, James Benns and coach Daniel McGaley to compete for the title of top UK Freestyle Club 2012.

This year’s trophy was a Jackson Rockstar kayak, donated by Aaron Dempsey of Squarerock.co.uk and Jackson USA, used at Lea Valley 
during the London 2012 Olympic events complete with Olympic 2012 insignia.

Jennifer McGaley once again led from the front, competing in the elite category and at the end of a very busy day of down river racing, ergo challenges and freestyle competition, each paddler’s results were compiled and the team with the most points would take the title.

Sudbury Canoe Club were to be victorious once again and will be returning a little bit of Olympic history to Suffolk.

The new boat will be used to promote freestyle for the club’s younger members and if anyone has been spurred on by the Olympics to try out a new sport whether it be the excitement of whitewater or the tranquil waters of the River Stour at Sudbury, visit the club’s website for more information: http://www.sudbury
canoeclub.org.uk