Last weekend saw Durham University Canoe Club (DUCC) claim victory over 24 other universities in order to win the BUCS Wild Water Racing Championship. A feat not achieved for nearly 10 years.
The team fought hard to win 16 medals overall, had 21 top 10 finishes and were placed nearly 70 points clear of the main rivals Loughborough University.
Enduring what was to be another cold weekends paddling thirty DUCC members set off to battle it out at this years Championship held at the River Washburn, North Yorkshire. The Championship is an annual inter-university competition that sees canoeists, from Universities from all over Britain, racing for the fastest time down a section of white water.
The event is run by the Club’s alumni, Friends of Durham University Canoe Club, who work incredibly hard to organise a superb competition, and this year was no exception with around 300 competitors vying for the medals in individual and team races across both canoe and kayak disciplines.
The first day involved the classic race where competitors race down a 1 km series of rapids in as little as seven and a half minutes. The day finished with DUCC on top but the sprint races on the Sunday were set to be tough with Loughborough and Nottingham Universities traditionally performing well.
Another cold days racing later and a brilliant performance from the team saw Durham placed a brilliant first overall in the rankings. While the whole team performed incredibly well, Mark Ledger stole the show winning 3 golds, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.
While much of this success must be attributed to the hard work put in by individual athletes, the performance has built on a strengthening racing programme over the last few seasons that has seen Durham climb the tables in recent years. With the support of the Clubs Friends Group (FoDUCC) two new racing boats were purchased in the last year helping to give Durham the extra edge when it came to racing. In addition to the new boats a specific white water racing training day, which was kindly funded by Team Durham, helped to polish race technique in the lead up to the championship.
Thanks to the great dedication of Club athletes, the Club Committee and the tremendous support of FoDUCC, Team Durham and our sponsors PWC the Club has had a fantastic start to the year. Attention if now focused on training for the Slalom Championship next term and the clubs strongest event, Canoe Polo in Easter, where it is hoped a similar performance can be achieved.