A student kayaker from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), made a splash as he paddled his way to glory at the British University and College Sport (BUCS) Wild Water Racing Championships.
Ricky Millar, retained his gold medal in the K1 Classic, by a narrow 0.2s margin at the championships held in Washburn, Blubberhouses in the North Yorkshire valleys.
The European K1 Junior Team Sprint gold medallist, who studies MSc Mechatronics at DMU, also claimed silver in the championships K1 sprint with a time of 01:12.7.
The 22 year-old said: “I’m delighted to keep the gold medal in the classic, I only held on to it by 0.2s, but it’s good to have the competition.
“I am never as strong in the sprint, as I have twiglets for arms. There is also less room for error in the sprint as it’s over a shorter distance, so I’m chuffed I was able to claim silver in that.”
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Claiming gold and silver means that Ricky maintains his 100% record of BUCS podium finishes with DMU’s Canoe Club.
Racing in the same discipline at Team GB’s Joe Clarke, who won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Ricky and the other competitors had to deal with some very difficult conditions across the event weekend.
He said: “There was snow and a lot of it on the Saturday. The ill equipped suffered from the freezing temperatures.
“Thankfully we had prepared with 1000’s of layers and a nice hot car. The Sunday it was snowing, but you could see the effects of the Saturday on people’s faces, specifically from people without a spare set of kit, getting into cold wet stuff from the day before.”
The course was set at the bottom of a small valley, with the river fed by a large dam that has taps turned on in the morning, filling the river to create rapids for racing. Where the water comes out at the bottom of the dam, a huge foamy pile is created which flows into the main river.
Now that the Wild Water Championships is out of the way, Ricky is focusing on his winter training.
He said: “Winter training consists of long, hard endurance sessions and more time in the gym to try and get my sprint better.
“This training is intense, but it is well worth it for the awesome summers you get in exchange.
“There are some good national races scattered through the winter also as the water levels get higher and the rivers get better. I’m looking forward to going on some good trips around the UK.”
Posted on Monday 5th December 2016