Haverhill school student from Glemsford wins junior kayaking title

Harry Stiff on his way to success at the SAS Hurley Classic Freestyle Championships, where he won the junior novice championships ANL-150912-145919002
Harry Stiff on his way to success at the SAS Hurley Classic Freestyle Championships, where he won the junior novice championships ANL-150912-145919002

Kayaker Harry Stiff won the junior novice category when he competed in the SAS Hurley Classic Freestyle Championships.

The SAS Hurley Classic, held in Henley-on-Thames, is the longest running Freestyle Kayak competition and attracts competitors from all over the world, which this year included America, Canada, Russia and Europe, and is considered to be one of the best in the world.

This year there were about 260 competitors divided into juniors, seniors and masters, which are then classified as novice, intermediate and elite.

As well as winning the junior novice category Stiff, 16, came second overall out of all of the novices, finishing just two points off top place, and he was 48th overall.

Freestyle kayaking is the art of getting your boat to spin, tip and tumble gracefully, and depending on the moves carried out, they score different points and further bonuses are given for being able to make your boat jump clear of the water.

The sixth form student at Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill has paddled the full Olympic course and also the Welsh National White water centre.

He also recently qualified as a BCU level one coach and has passed his BCU three star canoe award.

Next year Stiff, who lives in Glemsford, is hoping to compete in the Young Guns Freestyle series, which take place around various locations in the UK, and would ultimately like to be selected for Team GB and compete in the World Series.