YOUNG canoeists from across the country descended on the North Tyne for the annual James Harrison Memorial Slalom.

The ranking event, which took place at Wark, brought success for promising youngsters at Hexham Canoe Club as they celebrated their biggest number of entries yet.

With around 90 competitors from host club Hexham, and from teams from as far afield as Aberdeen, London, Snowdonia and Southampton, the competition was held in memory of a passionate Hexham Canoe Club coach, who died five years ago.

Local canoeist Ryan Dodd, J16 (16 and under age group) finished third in Division Two, K1 (double ended paddle) men. He also took part in C2 with Chloe Glenndenning.

Cameron Daly (J16) who, based on last year’s success, is ranked in mid-table of the 150 national Division Two, achieved an impressive score for 19th place in division two K1 men on Sunday, March 31.

Eddie Mackintosh (J14) won the James Harrison Memorial Trophy, which was presented to him by James’ parents, Jim and Eleanor Harrison. Eddie finished first in the Division Two, C1 (kneeling with a singled ended paddle) on Sunday and second in this class on Saturday.

There was also success for Edward Dando (J14) who got a clear run without penalties in the open K1 Men on both days, and Henna Allan (J14) who took part in the event in the Open K1 women for the first time.

And keeping up with family tradition, two of James Harrison’s children, Lucas Harrison and Abbie Harrison, also took part in the event.

Hexham canoe Club’s vice-chairwoman, Lorraine Glendenning, said: “A huge thank you to all the volunteers, Northumbrian Water, the land owners and Wark Sports Club for helping to make the event happen. I would love to see us get to 100 entries next year.”

The canoe club now has its fingers crossed for local paddler, Anna Louise Glenndenning, who returned to the area to help with judging and running the event this weekend. She is representing England women in the Pan Celtic event at Grandtully in Scotland on April 13 and 14.

Hexham Canoe Club’s next event at Wark is the division two, three and four canoe slalom on September 8 and 9.