Mersey Descent Canoe Race. 14 October 2012

The race was blessed by rain in the days beforehand and a frost and sun on the day. This meant it was good to paddle and good to watch. The river was running fast but not so high as to make Northenden Weir a portage, so we were expecting the 1 hour barrier to be broken.

The weather attracted 32 paddlers for the race and 40 paddlers for the accompanying mini tour, from as far as Lincoln and Worcester. The latter is significant. The race had previously attracted local heroes, but this time a stranger rode into town. Well, not a stranger. Stuart also came to Cheshire in midsummer and slashed the record for the solo Cheshire Ring Race.

Now he and Dave Pedlar were attacking the Descent K2 record. And they succeeded, knocking off over 6 minutes. Afterwards Stuart said “Great race, really enjoyed it and will be recommending it to friends. I’m now intrigued to see what it is like at more normal water levels, maybe next year.”

There were also records broken in the K1, WW Racer and Touring Canoe classes.

We will be running the race and tour again in 13th October 2013, visit for details nearer the time.

The 9.2 mile section of the river used for the race has one sloping weir and a dozen rubble weirs, this is part of the 18 mile Mersey Canoe Trail which is open every day. Details can be found in the web.

Thanks to the competitors and everyone who helped. The hospitality of Burnage Rugby Club at the start and Trafford Metrovick Rugby Club at the end was very welcome.

The detail results are as follows.

Club                Time

K2       Racing double Kayak          

1st        Stuart West & David Pedlar                             Worcester        53m26s New record

2nd      Maggie Dilai & Jenny Illidge                           Runcorn           59m06s

3rd       Richard Millar & Laurence Garton             Nottingham KC     59m15s

4th        Adrian Fisher & Ned Price                               Macclesfield    61m 42s

5th        Gary Carter & Steve Gardner                           Lincoln                        62m 11s


K1       Racing single kayak              

1st        Jamie Mayers                                                   Runcorn            58m 25s New record

2nd        Jonathan O’Grady                                           Runcorn           61m 19s

3rd        Rod Steele                                                       Macclesfield    61m 40s

4th        Alastair Randall                                                           Liverpool         66m 37s

5th        Archie Miles                                                    Lincoln                        68m 23s

6th       John Mc Carrol                                                                                    95m 03s

7th        Sam Woolley (J)                                              Manchester      114m 44s

8th        Nicholas Woolley                                            Manchester      115m 00s


WWR  White water racing kayak      

1st        Michael Fitzsimons                                          Mercia             62m 48s New record

2nd        Richard Moss                                                   Manchester      69m 04s

3rd        Simon Gelder                                                   Chester                        74m 14s

4th        Jane Millar                                                 Nottingham KC      84m 48s

5th        Colin James                                                     Liverpool         86m 10s


Touring open canoe

1st        Colin Smith                                                                              77m 03s New record

2nd        Stewart Stobbs                                                                         90m 59s

3rd        Sean, Robbie & Joseph Jesson                                    Manchester      91m 17s

4th        Simon Nixon & Peter Rushworth                     Runcorn           96m 19s

5th        Joanna Sweet & Matthew Hailwood                Bolton              106m 01s

6th        Gareth Smith                                                    Bolton              113m 58s