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26th Jun, 2022

PADDLEBOARDING - Russell tops the podium at British SUP Series Race

Aaron Sutcliffe 21st Jun, 2022 Updated: 22nd Jun, 2022

EVESHAM’s Helen Russell claimed victory in just her second ever Stand Up Paddloeboard (SUP) race at the Battle of the Thames.

In the second race in the GB SUP Series, Russell crossed the line first in a time of 1 hour 28 minutes and 12 seconds to win by 36 secs in Kingston, London.

And Russell, who is supported by Rivers Fitness Gifted and Talented Scheme, has now secured a national SUP ranking having placed second in the first race in Cardiff last month.

Russell said: “I am over the moon to have won in only my second ever SUP race.

“The distance and high temperatures made for a challenging race and Gemma really made me fight all the way to secure the win.

“I am excited to see what my end of season national ranking will be.”

The six-mile race started at Thames Sailing Club and consisted of three laps on the river as Gemma Cone, racing for Northern SUP Race Team, took a slight lead followed by team mate Julia Welsh with Russell in third.

Approaching the first turn at Kingston Road Bridge, the three were still all together but Cone and Russell pulled away on the approach to the end of the first lap and Russell narrowly edged ahead.

And Cone settled in behind Russell, in a neck and neck race, up until the final turn at Kingston Road Bridge where the Evesham athlete exited the turn ahead of former and started to create a gap.

Russell pushed hard and extended her lead to come home in first place with Cone in second and Welsh third with latter some five minutes further back.

Racing for Fladbury Paddle Club, Russell competes in the N1sco1/Naish category in which competitors all race on the same make of inflatable board.

The series brings together the country’s best SUP racers in a battle over three races for a final GB SUP Series ranking, which comes from athletes best two race results.

Russell’s national GB SUP ranking will be confirmed after the final race in the series later this month despite not taking in the event with athletes only requiring two results to secure a ranking.

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