Tom beat the raging river to become the U16 National Wavehopper Champion

Congratulations to Tom, a Y10 pupil from Manor house, for winning the National Wavehopper Championships, in the U16 age group, which was battled out on the River Lune in Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria in October.

Tom, along with his father and none other than the British Olympian sprint canoeist Rachel Cawthorn, raced as a team of three in the finals on a two-minute time trial down a set of rapids on the River Lune. The wild water time trial is perhaps the purest form of white water racing, with the athlete alone against the river and the clock. Tom and team had their medals presented by the British double Olympic medallist sprint kayaker, Jon Schofield.

Earlier in the season, Tom also came second in his age group in the Wild Water Racing National Championships 500 metres sprint on the River Washburn in Yorkshire, and finishing eighth overall.

Tom started kayaking at the age of eleven, and has also competed in canoe polo and marathon canoe races, which are two miles long. A member of the Poole Harbour Canoe Club, Tom trains in Wimborne, and currently races Wavehopper kayaks, which are plastic boats with one canoeist paddling as fast as they can downstream. It’s part of canoe racing known as wild water or white water racing, where performance is the result of physical conditioning, skill and harmony with the water.

Well, our Tom has truly demonstrated those qualities this year and is certainly one to watch in wild water canoeing.