CANOEING: Kimberley tops the rankings

Kimberley Woods

Kimberley Woods

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UK number one senior and Under 23

Canoe Slalom British Open & Premier Race at the Lea Valley Olympic Slalom Course

Lee Valley White Water centre is set within 1 mile of Junction 25 of the M25, this iconic venue that hosted the 2012 Olympic Games. The venue hosted the last National Premier Division race of the 2014 season combined with the British Open. The premier race was a standard format race with the best of 2 runs deciding the winner, where as the British Open used the first day’s race as the qualification, the first run of the race on Sunday as the semi-final and the last run as the final. As the 2015 canoe slalom World Championships are being held at the site in September there was a large international contingent as well as GB paddlers on the start list.

The course designers presented athletes with two challenging courses over the weekend, designed with fast racing in mind which produced very competitive racing across all classes and each age category. Due to the large entry the racing started at 0900 in the morning and finished under flood lights after 1800 in the eventing making it a very long day, especially for officials in the timing and judging teams

Kimberley Woods from Rugby Canoe Club was taking part in the events that included the GB Senior, U23 and Junior team members. The British Open had guests from several European countries including German, France, Sweden, Spain, Italy USA and the Czech Republic.

On the Saturday Kimberley in the C1W Class was in first place in the premier division and 2nd overall. It confirmed her position of 1st in the C1W Nation Senior and U23 rankings, one position up on 2013. She followed this on the Sunday in the British Open with a solid performance in the semi-finals coming in second place, in the finals Kimberley was some 10 seconds up 2 gates from home when she went off line, tried to correct and the boat flipped over. By the time she rolled up she had dropped over a stopped and was unable to get back to the last gate and incurred a 50 second time penalty placing her in 9th place overall.

Racing in her K1 Kimberley came 2nd in the Premier race placing her in 2nd overall in the National Senior Rankings and first U23. On the Sunday Kimberley’s time was good enough for a medal position but she incurred a 50 second penalty for half heading a downstream gate pole, taking her out of contention. Her coach’s video showed her in the gate but independent video evidence is not acceptable in canoe slalom.