Competitive Canoeing – What’s on!

The information below can be downloaded by clicking here.

Now you have mastered how to get in and out of a boat and paddle in a straight line it might be time to consider something a bit more adventurous!

There are many different forms of competitive paddlesports to choose from.

  • Marathon
  • Slalom
  • Sprint
  • Polo
  • Wild Water Racing
  • Surf Kayak
  • Freestyle
  • White Water Rafting
  • Ocean Racing
  • Outrigger Canoeing
  • Lifeguards
  • International Canoe Sailing

Details of all of these can be found on the British Canoeing website but as a club we specialise in just a handful.


Marathon racing involves paddling on flat water over a fixed distance in a head to head race with paddlers of similar ability.  You can use any type of boat (either one person or two person) but to get the fastest times you will need to master either Marathon kayaks (long and thin) or Marathon canoe (long but not generally as thin).  Races are organised in Divisions 1 to 9 plus Div A, B and C for Junior paddlers.  Most paddlers start in Division 9 (4 miles) and aim to get promoted until they reach International standard in Div 1 (12/13 miles).  Our club is very active and runs two full marathons a year at which we are joined by other clubs from within Yorkshire and Humberside as well as clubs visiting from other regions.  All the local clubs compete for an annual regional trophy and the chance to compete at the national finals held late September.  There are also other “long distance races” such as the Devizes to Westminster (125 miles) plus some shorter events such as the Malton to Howsham Descent in our region.
All club members have a “British Canoeing Club Associate” membership which allows them to enter divisions 7, 8, 9 or the Junior races.  To enter Div 6 or above you must have personal British Canoeing “On the Water” membership.  We have a good range of club boats to cater for Juniors and beginners right through to serious competitors and are offering marathon training on Tuesday evenings when you can try the “pointy” boats & special paddles and learn some of the skills. Marathon training paddles also take place at intervals during the year.  Have a chat with either Graham or Susan Simpkin or Martin Heywood to learn more.

Upcoming events :-

Sep 12 Shropshire
Sep 25 (Saturday) Lincoln
Oct 3  Wolfreton
Oct 10 Malton to Howsham Descent (10 miles)
Oct 17 Tony and Shirley Pell (Brigg – Our own event)
Nov 14  Remembrance Day Race (15 miles) at Milton Keynes.
As a club we will definitely be going to Lincoln and Wolfreton. Some club members will probably do the Malton to Howsham Descent


Slalom involves navigating a course around a number of “gates” (pairs of poles slung just above the surface of the water.  The aim is to complete the course in as short a time as possible without hitting any of the gates and picking up penalty seconds.  This normally takes place on moving water but many of the necessary skills can be learnt on the Ancholme in Brigg.  We are running regular Slalom training/come and try sessions every Tuesday when you can try out slalom kayaks and practice some of the skills and strokes. You can even have a go in special slalom canoes.  Competitive slalom events take place around the country and are graded by divisions (Premier, 1, 2, 3 and 4). Divisions 3 and 4 are suitable for novices whilst higher division races are something to aim for!  This is an Olympic event.  Have a chat with Neil Marley if you want to learn more.

Upcoming events :-

Sep 4/5  Bradford and Bingley (Div 3 and 4) Cardington (Div 2,3 and 4)
Sep 11/12  Hatfield (Div 4)
Sep 18/19 Marple (Div 3 and 4) Washburn (Div 2, Open)
Sept 25/26 Outibridge Sheffield (Div 3 and 4)
Oct 2/3 Peterborough (Div 2 and 3)
Oct 23/24 Stone (Div 3 and 4)
Oct 30/31 Lee Valley (Legacy Div 2, Open)


This uses the same type of boats as marathon but involves very fast races over distances of 200, 500 and 1000m.  It is an Olympic and Paralympic event. We have our own miniseries of sprints during the year and, when paddlers reach a required minimum standard, they can enter the National Sprint Regattas which are held at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham five times a year.  See Graham for more details.


In the past the club has had Polo teams which have competed with other clubs but currently we don’t have enough interest to fill a team.  The skills can be learnt on the Ancholme or in a pool.  See Steve Burnett for more details.

Wild Water Racing

This involves travelling down a fast moving river as quickly as possible.  There will often be rapids and weirs to shoot.  Our club has a handful of boats (Wavehoppers) specially designed for this type of racing but we don’t often go to events.

If this has whetted your appetite for competition have a chat with one of the club coaches to learn more.