Canoeing: Two Britons take a rapid ride to gold success in the canoe slalom on the River Dee

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The Independent Online
Let's forget about Formula One for a moment - canoe slalom is a sport where Britain wins gold medals. This year, Great Britain has swept the board worldwide, winning three out of four classes in the World Cup series. Both men's and women's individual kayak classes have Britons - Ian Raspin and Rachel Crosbee - as runners-up, but yesterday, at the British Open championships held on the River Dee at Llangollen in north Wales, these two silver medallists both won gold and the title of British Open Champion.

With mist shrouding the Welsh hills, the magnificent river Dee swept through the town like a strip of silver ribbon which was at times shredded by torrential rain causing spectacular spray over the waterfalls in the centre of the town. The 200 or so competitors mostly took this in their stride, picking their way down the falls and even managing to negotiate some extra obstacles in the form of slalom gates strung across the river at various points.

The championships also doubled as the final event in the year-long Premier series. Although two of the four classes had been finalised before the weekend, there was still all to play for in the women's kayak, won by Nottingham's Rachel Crosbee, and the men's Canadian singles, won by Mark Delaney from West Lothian.

(Photograph omitted)