CANOE and kayak races will be staged beside Malling Rec, and this year the competition is going to be slick but intense.
Anyone at last year’s regatta will remember the extraordinary moment when blind soldier Paul Jacobs and his “eyes” Malcolm Tompsett (pictured) glided past in their kayak, paddles raised as David Bowie’s Heroes blasted out from the PA. As one, the crowd stood and applauded this young hero who has become a national treasure because of the way he has fought back after being blinded by a bomb in Afghanistan seven years ago. Paul, George Medal, has run marathons, climbed mountains, and appeared on the BBC show The Choir before going on to sing at the opening of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games in Florida last year.
This year Paul and his friend Malcolm have begun an 18-month training schedule for the world’s toughest kayak race, but they are hoping to find time to join our opening parade once again, and even show the way for contestants in our three canoe and kayak races. For the first time we have a professional kayak coach in charge, Dougal Fleming.
Dougal runs canoe courses on the Ouse and cycle excursions on the Downs. He says: “I am thrilled to be managing this year’s races for the canoes and kayakers. I know how much fun this sport is, and what a wonderful river we have in the Ouse. The regatta is a great opportunity for us to show how great this activity is.”
And with any luck, someone, somewhere will finally topple our unbeaten champ Mike Ellicock in the top race for the unique Canouse Trophy. Last year Mike was run a close race but still managed to cross the finish line first, standing on his paddle board. Please – if you are out there, Superman, we need your help to beat Mike this year.
Dougal will be posting more details on the races nearer the time. Anyone wanting to take part or find out more – novice, intermediate or pro – please contact Dougal by sending email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out more about Dougal’s coaching and excursions one his website: Re-wild Adventure
Enter raft race
When: Sunday 9th July 2017 – Starts approx 14:15 (subject to tide)
Where: Raft race starts from Malling Rec in Lewes (by Tesco’s) and finishes at Newhaven Marina
How: Build and decorate a raft that floats and fits under bridges.
Why: To have fun and raise money for a good cause of your choice
Theme: Brittania Rules the waves?
Application Entry deadline: Monday 1st May 2017