April Regatta in a Nutshell

April regatta sees the first outing for British paddlers to spread their wings, blow the cobwebs away and show what they are made of.

It is always good to see who has been training hard over the winter, who has come through and always disappointing to see some paddlers not racing to their potential or that have disappeared from the scene altogether. Canoeing (especially at the top level) isn't a sport that you have a go at for a year or so and then move on to something else, it is in many people a lifelong sport! A sport that by the time you have reached Mens A, you have spent 10 years or so in serious training to achieve.

Why is this regatta so important?

Well, with selection policies the way that they are, this event is usually the first selection event of the year, giving the winners an opportunity to race internationally! In 2003 the main selection regattas were April and June, which meant paddlers were specifically focused on their main event for these regattas. Those who were lucky enough to get on trips often missed the inter-mixed regattas, or if they were able to race, the pressure was not so great as they were not being assessed. The non-selection regattas were often a chance for those that had not been selected to come out and prove that maybe there last race was due to illness or was not representative of their true form.

At this time the 2004 selection policy and selection regattas is not yet available, but being Olympic Year and with Britain only having a Mens K1 qualified so far, it is certain to be a very interesting season! Who will come out to have a go at Tim Brabants for his K1 spot? Who will be peaking and going great guns for the last qualifying round for the Olympics?

For 200m racing it will be a very different season altogether, no Olympics and no World Championships!