Over the bank holiday weekend the Army Kayak Freestyle Team entered the Welsh Open Freestyle and Boatercross competition. The national level competition is the first of three GB Freestyle competitions that make up the Tri-nation Cup and also served as the as the Army Individual Freestyle championship. In a repeat performance of the Inter-Services, Maj Tony Hellier RGR took the Army 2017 Freestyle Champion title narrowly beating fierce competition from WO2 Stephen Robinson AAC. In a reverse of fortune Maj Chris Hellier RIFLES won the Army Boatercross making it into the Welsh Open Boatercross final, beating his twin brother who was last year’s Army Boatercross Champion.
Overall the Army Team were very well represented on the Welsh Open Freestyle podium with Maj Tony Hellier taking 1st place in the Masters Intermediate Freestyle and WO2 Stephen Robinson taking silver. Gunner Greg Pitt, a British Olympic C2 Slalom paddler, made his debut in a kayak and in Freestyle to win Bronze in the Senior Intermediate Freestyle. In the Welsh Open Freestyle Novice category the Army Team were equally successful with a clean sweep in the men’s Masters: Sgt Gary Cue RA taking gold, WO2 Jamie Founds RAMC winning silver and Maj Chris Hellier securing Bronze. In the Ladies Novice Seniors’ Sgt Sulette Klopper RA won gold and in the Men’s Seniors LCpl Simon Bent CAMUS took silver. Army Canoeing would like to thank Team Army whose financial support facilitated the Army Freestyle Team training and competition fees, and thanks to the Canoe and Kayak Store and all the competition sponsors who made the event possible.
The next Army Freestyle event is the Inter-Unit competition in June and the next GB Freestyle Tri-Nation competition is in Glasgow in August where the Army Team will be hoping for a repeat performance.
Article and Images from Maj Tony Hellier, Army Canoe Union
Army Individual Freestyle. Maj Tony Hellier RGR won the Army Individual Kayak Freestyle with WO2 Stephen Robinson AAC a very close second. Maj Chris Hellier RIFLES won the Army Boatercross.
Welsh Open Results. The Welsh Open is the first of three national level competitions that make up the GB Freestyle Tri-nations Cup. The Army Freestyle Team did exceptionally well with significant representation on the podium:
- Men’s Intermediate Freestyle Masters: Gold – Maj Tony Hellier RGR, Silver – WO2 Stephen Robinson AAC.
- Men’s Intermediate Freestyle Seniors: Bronze – Gnr Greg Pitt RA (Res).
- Men’s Boatercross: Maj Chris Hellier RIFLES made it to the final, 4th overall.
- Men’s Novice Freestyle Masters: Gold – Sgt Gary Cue RA (Res), Silver – WO2 Jamie Founds RAMC and Bronze – Maj Chris Hellier RIFLES. (Army clean sweep on the podium).
- Men’s Novice Freestyle Seniors: Silver – LCpl Simon Bent CAMUS.
- Ladies’ Novice Freestyle Seniors: Gold – Sgt Sulette Klopper RA.