Prizegiving Lunch 25 April 2015

The last Saturday in April saw the annual luncheon and prizefest of the Hampton Canoe Club in the ‘Magpie’ public house at Sunbury. A pleasant repast was taken by over twenty club members and pre-booked meals insured that this year everyone was able to eat together at the same time.

Belated individual Silver badge awards were handed out before the start of proceedings to members who had achieved over 250 miles in the Strand inter-club competition last year. Unfortunately Silver badges had not been available when the competition closed in January this year, leaving the BCU to play catchup. The Strand Trophy was won again by HCC.

Prizes were presented by our new Chairwoman and Queen of the Klondike, Emily, in the middle of a rather full diary of events for the day, between inducting new members and training one-star prospects.

Our two DW crews who represented the club this year in the Senior Adult non-stop event, were also recognised with certificates for their admirable efforts on the 125 mile course. Adam Findlay and Tony Leworthy in a K2 with Barnet Heeley and Daniel Bownds, (doing it the hard way) in a C2. Adam, whose consistently high mileage has accrued to formidable proportions was also recognised for his ‘Long Distance’ accumulation of miles over the last three years.

The ‘Mileage Cup’ presented to any club member with the highest annual mileage paddled, was presented by Emily, to herself. Not surprisingly, having covered at least a hundred miles of the river Wye, and a hundred and twenty five miles of DW on the Kennet, Avon and Thames, they were but a warm up to a thousand miles of the Yukon river. Together with husband Aiden, she also received an award for the fastest non-stop, HCC crew through the 2014 DW. The remainder of us lesser mortals can only sit back in awe and wonder.

Club President Jeff, whose 90th birthday coincided with the event, was awarded a cake, a certificate and a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ for being the oldest club member, and he duly reciprocated by awarding a slice of the cake to each of the members present to compliment the meal.

Norma Morris is the year’s ‘Most Adventurous’ paddler. Taking on, as she does, many of the club’s outings and the more challenging paddles including the tideway up to Westminster and rescue drill sessions involving swimming in mid Thames.

Thoroughly good chap Houram Haki explored the envelope of the club’s ethos and was awarded ‘Best New Member’ for his efforts.

The ‘Most Miles Paddled by a New Member’ award went to Anne-Lise Christmas who topped 178 miles. But, she also jointly shared the ‘Worst Injury’ award with Jenny John Chuan which is only awarded for physical damage more serious than a broken finger nail.

Tony Kirby repeated his triumph from last year and won the ‘Happiest Paddler’ award for the second year running. No doubt if he wins again in 2016 he’ll get to keep the award in perpetuity.

Stuart Smith came to the fore in the winter months showing his heroic abilities as the leading club ‘Ice-Breaker’ ploughing channels ahead of the club pack through the frozen wastes of the Wey and Grand Union North-West passage.

Meanwhile Peter McBride and Richard Fisher showed admirable teamwork throughout 2014 getting canoe, Grand Union canal and themselves together, staying sunny side up and providing interesting write-ups of their voyages, to be voted the ‘Best Couple’ of the year.

The J Cloth pennant goes to Peter Loy for ‘Dirtiest Boat’. Although this may only be due to above average use while he racks up the miles.

On a final note: Apparently the awards committee have found the club membership somewhat remiss this year, in that members have not provided sufficiently spectacular examples of unscheduled Extra Vehicular Activities to justify awarding the much coveted ‘Dipstick’ award.

Members really must try harder!

Dave Kew

Pictures to be added soon.