We run flatwater racing training throughout the year.

There are three main training groups covering Div 1-3 paddlers, Div 4-7 and Div 8-9 paddlers. If numbers allow, these can be broken down further or combined.

Upcoming Events

Banbury Hasler
Oct 27 all-day
A typical canal race situated on the Oxford Canal that can be winding andshallow in parts. Suitable for all abilities and ages. Div 1-3. 14 portages. Div 4-6. 6 portages. Div 7-10. 2 portages. Lightnings. No portages. We advise suitable footwear when portaging. Divisions 7 / 8, 9 and 10 portage. Assistance can be offered at the portage for the U13’s. The paddler must hold the front of the boat and the paddle unless it is in the boat. The assister must not put the boat into the water or offer any assistance that will be deemed to be unfair. Note that the water under the motorway bridge 200 yards north of the 1st portage can get a little choppy. Please ensure the rules of the road are followed here. Lower division paddlers please note this. The start will be ½ mile north of the car park starting just past the Hennef Way Bridge and finish at the bridge here at race HQ. Please note that it is important that divisons 1-6 get on the water first. Divisions 7, 8 and 9 must wait until all the higher divisions are on the water to avoid congestion at the pre-starts. There will be pre-start marshals that bring each race up to the start. Please pay attention to their instructions. Please ensure that you are around the start area in good time as it can get congested. Divisions 1-3. Turn 40 yards north of Bridge 147. This has a nice wide turning area. 14 portages in total. Divisions 4-6. Turn just south of Cropedy village. There will be a Canadian canoe or similar marshalling here. Divisions 7-10. Turn just south of Bourton Lock. There will be a marshal on the bank and it is important that the nose of your boat goes past the marshal. Note that this is a very tight turn and our apologies for this. Start list to be given on the day with some divisions split between odds and evens. Directions to race. Follow signs to Castle Quay Shopping Centre car parks and then for Canoe Race. Note: We have exclusive use of the car park area where we hold the event. Please do not park in the Coach Park behind the Garden Centre or on the road as this will incur a parking fine. There is plenty of parking available in the other car parks if the event area is full. We will try to accommodate trailers in the event area and if necessary double park.
10th Charles Hicks Challenge @ Canal Centre
Nov 3 @ 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
10th Charles Hicks Challenge @ Canal Centre

Take up your paddles…take up the challenge!

Put the date in your diary now! Back by popular demand – the same course this year.

Did you take the 9th Charles Hicks challenge? Whether you did or you didn’t, you need to take up the 10th challenge this time around!  Bring your friends and family too.  Lots of portaging.  Great early practice for the 2020 Devizes to Westminster race. Start and finish at the same place.  Really good paddlers food.

Please note that refunds will be available if the event is cancelled for any reason.

Course between 13 and 14 miles

Tons of portage practice

Open to canoes and kayaks, singles and doubles, juniors, seniors and veterans.

An experience very similar to the Kennet and Avon section of the Devises to Westminster race

See the draft route below.

Take up your paddles…take up the challenge!

Download all you need here:

Buy Tickets | Route Map | Directions to Event

B3C Hasler
May 17 all-day

The B3C Hasler marks the start of the Southern Regional Hasler season after the winter break.


Training Sessions

The regular training sessions take place on Tuesday, Thursday and on Saturday. On the water times for these training sessions are:

  • Tuesdays 6 PM
  • Thursdays 6 PM
  • Saturdays 9:30 AM

In addition, there are other less formal sessions for those who just want to enjoy a paddle on the Basingstoke Canal. One takes place at the Canal Centre on Tuesdays from 9.30am in touring kayaks and open canoes; the other takes place on Thursdays at 9.30am at Crookham Wharf.

Training Schedule. There is a detailed daily training schedule for the formal training sessions where the programme for each session can be found covering the winter or the summer months. The schedule covers the three main training groups with the highest volume for the Div 1-3 group, less volume for the Div 4-7 group and the least volume for the Div 8-9 group.

Introduction to Flat Water Racing Courses

We welcome new members with an interest in flat water racing. Three courses are held each year in May, June and July, each comprising of two hour sessions over four consecutive Saturday mornings. Sessions start after training at 11 AM at the Canal Centre, Mytchett. These courses are designed to teach you the skills and techniques applicable to flat water and to develop your confidence in a flat water racing kayak. We currently have no further courses scheduled.

They are open to both members and non-members. These courses are suited to those with no previous canoeing experience and to those who have experienced a Paddlepower Passport course and who would like to move on to flat water racing. (NB. Please pre-book for these courses as numbers are limited and they may be cancelled if there are no bookings.)

These courses are free to club members and £30 to non-members. The £30 includes the use of the club facilities, boats, paddles and buoyancy aids and Canoe England Third Party insurance. If non-members subsequently join the Club, the course fee is deducted from the initial membership fee.

What to wear
You will be too hot wearing a wet suit and arm movement could be restricted. For the majority of summer conditions, layers of light, fitted clothing that will dry quickly when wet are most suitable. Thermals or man-made fibres or running/cycling clothes are ideal. Clothing that gets heavy when wet, such as jeans and woollens, are unsuitable. No hoodies. Wear light aqua shoes (not heavy trainers or crocs) or neoprene socks/booties and wear a windproof cagoule and a hat if it is cool, wet or windy. You will need a change of clothes and footwear (you will get wet) and a towel. Do not bring valuables – there are no lockers available. Any cuts/wounds should be covered with a waterproof plaster whenever possible

The syllabus
Details for the four sessions on each course can be found here. There will be less talking and more paddling on the first session of each course if the Course Handout is read before the course starts.

Fitness requirements
You should be able to swim at least 50 metres in light clothing should you capsize (and most people do at some time). You will be required to demonstrate this ability in the canal during the course. We provide buoyancy aids, which we require you to wear when on the water during the course. Additionally, all club boats have enough buoyancy to support you.

A shower is available in the adjacent Canal Centre. We advise you to shower as soon as possible after each session and before you take any food or drink. Although generally “clean”, the canal has a muddy bottom and, especially after rain, the banks are often muddy. Although extremely rare there are waterborne bacteria (E.g. Leptospirosis) which again make showering after contact with the water or the muddy banks sensible – particularly before eating.

Minimum age
We accept children from age 10 on these courses but ideally those under 12 should be accompanied by a parent or an older sibling.

After the Course
You can apply to become a full member (if not already a member) and join a Saturday morning training session with paddlers of similar ability to improve your paddling skills.

For more information contact our training coaches. Alternatively, come to the Club on Saturday mornings between 10.30 and 11am and speak to them to discuss any queries you may have.

Find out more

If you want to find out more about the types of flatwater racing that we do, get in touch today.