Two Henley paddlers (Cat Cassell and James Blake) were selected for Team Great Britain following the recent European Championships, to compete in the World Cup in Chongqing, China. The Chinese government invited 12 nations to compete, namely Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Hong Kong China, Iran, Switzerland, Thailand, Russia & Ukraine. Great Britain’s fastest 10 men and 10 women (5 left, 5 right) were chosen, in addition to a few reserves, drummers, helms and managers. Team GB were to compete in the 100m, 500m, 400m relay & 1,000m pursuit. Seeing the best paddlers in the world compete was quite a treat and awesome experience. The team were well looked after, almost treated like celebrities on what was an event televised on China’s CCTV channel. After being seeded from the initial 1,000m pursuit race for the subsequent races, Great Britain fought hard to achieve 9th place overall ahead of Hong Kong China, Czech Republic and Ukraine. Well done to the Henley paddlers who proudly represented not just Henley Dragons but Team Great Britain.
Henley now look forward to hosting the first Winter Series event which is an endurance 7km race from the Eyot Centre, up and around Temple Island, back under Henley bridge turning at the top island and finishing back at the Eyot Centre. In previous years Henley have welcomed in excess of 20 dragon boats countrywide and 6 outrigger canoes, so it’s quite a spectacle for the town. The race begins at 10am on Sunday 4th November.