On Saturday we were introduced to the drama of kayak sprinting when Boo was on the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts stall at the Warwick Sprint event organised by the Royal Leamington Spa Canoe Club. The racing kayaks seemed to be longer than the sea kayak Boo used on the Three Lakes and light enough to be easy for even the youngest racers to carry. We were in an excellent position to observe the speed of the racers as the 2nd Warwick stall was opposite the podium with a view of the start and finish of the sprint races. We were asked to oversee the Kayak Ergo machine and record the fastest times for adults and children. Boo was delighted to set the fastest time for the Under-12’s and to be the fastest female, until the Olympic sprint kayakers had a go.
Whenever the scout stall was quiet Boo could be found cheering on the racers on the river bank until she was offered the chance to paddle in a racing K4 kayak with Ed McKeever. Ed was not wearing his 200m sprint gold medal from London 2012 as Boo got into the front of the four-seater kayak.
As this was Boo’s first time in a racing kayak she was not particularly adept at steering with her feet, so Ed’s paddle to the Scout Hut and back to the racing may have wiggled across the river a little more than he had expected. Boo really enjoyed her brief introduction to the K4 kayak and is now keen to find out more about kayak sprinting.
Once all the heats were over there was time for photo opportunities with the five Olympians for the 2nd Warwick representatives of all ages.
As a 200m and 500m sprinter Lani was rather surprised by the distances involved, especially on Loch Awe.
Whilst the Olympic kayak sprinters set excellent times on the Kayak Ergo machine Boo asked them to sign her necker. She had a lovely time meeting them and was really impressed with how easy they were to talk to. There may now be a few cyclists making room for photos of kayakers amongst her favourite athletes.
She is understandably proud of her autographed necker, and we are happy to acquire a new necker for her to wear as part of her uniform.
It was a lovely day and hard to believe that just two weeks earlier Boo and Mark and their friends were facing high winds and rain as they paddled to the island that was such a highlight of their challenge.
Boo is still hoping to reach her fundraising target for the much needed new scout hut. Thank you for your support.