EXETER Canoe Club’s kayak racing team, winners of the South West Region Racing League in 2016, have a strong contingent of Crediton canoeists and coaches contributing to their success.

In the first race of the 2017 season at Calstock on Sunday, May 21 Crediton’s Freddie Heard convincingly won the Under 10 K1 race over two miles on the River Tamar, gaining 20 league points for the club.

Freddie is coached at Exeter Canoe Club by his father, Colin, and retired international competitor and coach Richard Ward of Sandford.

Colin Heard who also raced at Calstock was second in the elite K1 race over 12 miles. Colin is also a veteran of the incredible 125-mile race form Devizes to Westminster as well as a qualified racing coach.

Exeter not only boasts the youngest winner in the South West but also the oldest. Dave Green and Ernie Lloyd, both from Crediton, who first competed against each other in the 1960’s, still train and race together.

Last Sunday Ernie was 10th in the Division 7 K1 Race.

The Kayak Racing League, known as the Haslar Series, named after Lt Colonel Blondie Haslar who led the World War Two Cockleshell heroes canoe raid, is a regional competition of eight races, the league winner qualifying for the National Final in Richmond in September.

Already this year Exeter is lying second in the league and hope to repeat their triumph of last year. With Freddie in this form anything is possible.