LAST year’s winners Peter Maycock and Tristram Turner made a tentative start in their bid to retain the Devises to Westminster Marathon trophy.
The opening race in Newbury Canoe Club’s Waterside Series, the preparatory events for the big event, saw them finish 10th in the K2 senior class in the first and shortest race of the series from Great Bedwyn to Newbury.
The 13.5 mile route was covered in 1 hour 33 minutes by Chelmsford and Norwich pairing Keith Moule and Tim Pendle while Maycock and Turner clocked 1:54.22.
Nearly 500 pairs and single paddling entrants took part in the first of the four races, the next of which is on Sunday, March 5 from Newbury to Aldermaston Wharf and return.
That is followed by the Pewsey to Newbury run on March 19 and the Devizes to Newbury route on April 2 with the marathon itself over the Easter weekend.
Sunday’s class winners: K2 senior – Keith Moule and Tim Pendle (Chelmsford/Norwich) 1:33.00; K2 junior – Matthew Callow and Kieran Hayward (Norwich) 1:51.26; K2 ladies – Lizzie Broughton and AN Other (Richmond) 1:45.32; K2 junior ladies – Alice Bray and Zoe Hurrell (Foway) 2:06.46; K2 veteran – Steve Baker and Brett Irvine (Richmond) 1:43.20; K2 mixed – James New and Katherine Wilson (Reading) 1:52.05; Junjor/veteran – Rob Stainsby and Maia Wallace Loizou (Richmond) 1:57.13.
K1 senior – Sam Plummer (Leighton Buzzard ) 1:41.46; K1 junior – Charlie Smith (Leighton Buzzard) 1:52.30; K1 ladies – Emma Russell (Chelmsford) 2:01.52; K1 veteran – Brett Sirrell (RLS) 1:53.24; 2 James Treadgold (Reading/Newbury) 1:57.55; Canadian doubles – Tom Fryer and James Prowse (Hemel Hempstead) 2:05.41; Canadian singles – Sharion Wilkins (PRA) 2:40.49.