As part of the National Trust’s Derwentwater Regatta on July 11th 2015, Penrith Canoe Club organised a Canoe Polo Tournament in the Isthmus bay on Derwentwater, near Keswick in the Lake District. It was aimed at Cumbrian Canoe Clubs, with 2 leagues. Youth & Ladies teams played in a tournament in the morning, with the emphasis on developing these teams and encouraging canoeists in the region to take up the sport, while in the afternoon an ‘open’ league tournament was held, aimed at NW Regional Div 3 standard.
The British Canoeing Canoe Polo Committee had kindly provided a grant for the floating goals and pitch, but with various delivery delays, they only arrived a week before the event, so it was a bit frantic getting it all set up. Platty+ Canoes kindly loaned us 2 pontoons for the referees, again requiring a lesson in setting anchors. However, the wind was kind to us and the pitch stayed intact. Players & spectators commented that it was probably the most picturesque canoe polo tournament in the country, and at least the wind meant there were no midges!
In the morning event, there were some closely fought games, which is promising for the future of the sport in our region. Four teams entered, Penrith Ladies, Penrith Youth/Dad’s Army, Lakeland Canoe club from Kendal & Red Rose Ladies from Lancaster. The final between Penrith Ladies & Lakeland was a close and entertaining match, with Penrith Ladies just clinching it.
In the afternoon, the wind started to pick up, making the goals bob up and down a bit, but that didn’t affect the focus and commitment of the players. The four teams entered in the afternoon were Penrith, Lakeland youth, Lakeland Old Fellas and Red Rose. In the final between the 2 Lakeland teams, experience prevailed over speed and the Old Fellas won.
The organisation seemed to go well, so Penrith are looking to run another outdoor tournament at their new venue in the Ullswater valley, later in the year.