Golden Years of GB Quadrathlon

The BQA have very little recorded history before we started our website in 2011, so I have put together this Report from my early years in the sport, remembering some of our Very Worthy Champions from the past!

My very first Quad was in 2000, there were just 3 races a year in those days, Wadenhoe (a tough off road sprint), The Yorkshire Dales Quad, not for the faint hearted, a very very hilly bike, with a run up and down up Pen-y-Ghent, then there was an event in Pembroke, with a sea swim and kayak, which was usually very choppy! Very soon after those events ‘Ken Collier’ (Lincs) ran the Ancholme Challenge and the Bude Awesome Foursome started.

Peter Hart & Keith Longney

In the early years several of our Quadrathletes had been going to World Championships, ‘Keith Longney and Peter Hart’ took themselves of to Europe most years from around 2000. They were following in the footsteps of ‘Eric Hatliff’ the Quadfarther of British Quadrathlon continuing to fly the GB Flag!
By 2005 the participation in our small sport had increased so our Chairman ‘Padraig Herlihy’ decided it was about time the BQA showed the World of Quadrathlon just how good our multi sport athletes were … and so Team GB Began!

 

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS Sedlcany (CZE) 2005
In 2005 Padraig Herlihy Chairman of the BQA decided to put a team together and it was Team GB’s First World Championships ‘on mass’! The famous Miroslav Podborsky (CZE) had been unbeatable for several years, but Team GB came home with several Medals!

Team GB 2005

5th ELITE Andrew Byatt
GOLD Vet 40 Keith Longney
SILVER Vet 40 Jules Taylor
BRONZE Vet 40 Phil Wilkenson
GOLD Vet 50 Peter Hart

GOLD Vet 45 Jean Ashley
BRONZE Vet 40 Claire Longney

Mens TEAM GOLD (Byatt, Longney, Taylor)
Ladies TEAM BRONZE (Nichola Don 5th elite, Alison Bent 7th elite, Ashley)

Other GB athletes racing – Simon Lawrence, Nick Herlihy, Dan Bent, Andrew Grimwood, Ken Collier, Anita Buxton, Phil Barret.

Team GB 2006

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS Sedlcany (CZE) 2006
On the strength of the previous year Paul Newman joined the Squad, a good paddler with lots of experience at leading teams into Championship races. Once again Podborsky was unbeatable, but as a Team, GB started to show just how strong British quadrathlon had become. Andrew Byatt moved up to 4th Elite and Helen Parkinson took Women’s Elite Gold, the first Elite medal for the BQA. We had some excellent performances across the age groups and the GB Flag was held very high!

Andy Byatt

4th ELITE Andrew Byatt
6th ELITE Matt Thomas
SILVER Vet 40 Keith Longney
BRONZE Vet 40 Phil Wilkenson
SILVER U23 Nick Herlihy
GOLD Vet 50 Peter Hart
SILVER Vet 45 Ken Collier

WORLD CHAMPION ELITE Helen Parkinson
GOLD Vet 45 Jean Ashley

Mens TEAM SILVER (Byatt, Thomas 8th elite, Longney)

Other GB athletes racing – Simon Lawrence, Andrew Grimwood, Simon Derham, Martyn Pegg.

2006 Champions
Team Silver Keith, Andy & Matt
Helen’s interview CZ. TV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team GB & Support Crew 2007

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS Sedlcany (CZE) 2007
Once again our GB Team got bigger, racing Quadrathlons back in GB had got a lot more popular and Lincsquad Club had really started to take off. So for the 3rd year running ‘Padraig and Paul’ GB team Managers did a superb job of taking our kayaks over to Sedlcany. We had an even stronger squad and we were looking for the top 2 major titles! Dan Corner a superb all round athlete and the talented Andrew Byatt, went out to take on Podborsky and Thoralf Berg. It was a very close race but finally Dan out ran Podborsky to take the World Championship title! Helen again was on Top Form and she had a convincing win leaving the strong Katrin Burrow in her wake! 2 World Titles, with a Gold Men’s Team Medal and a Silver Ladies Team Medal, plus a huge hall of Age Group Medals … a Fantastic Achievement, well and truly celebrated at the Post Race Party!

Team 2007
World Champion Dan Corner
World Champion Helen Parkinson

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD CHAMPION ELITE Dan Corner
4th ELITE Andrew Byatt
8th ELITE Joe Andrews
9th ELITE Steve Clark
GOLD Vet 45 Keith Lings
SILVER Vet 40 Simon Lawrence
GOLD Vet 50 Peter Hart

WORLD CHAMPION ELITE Helen Parkinson
GOLD Vet 45 Jean Ashley

Mens TEAM GOLD (Corner, Byatt, Andrews)
Ladies TEAM SILVER (Parkinson, Ashley, Claire Batterham 6th elite)

Other GB athletes racing – Mark Pryor, Andrew Grimwood, Timothy Earl, Sarah Benjamin, Alison Deykin.

 

G.B. QUADRATHLON on TOUR 2008 – 3 Championship Races

Alison & Jean the swim start!

IBIZA SPRINT WORLD CUP 2008
The British Quadrathletes decided 2008 would be an Epic Year, especially Jean Ashley as she was moving into the Vet 50 Category. Andrew Byatt, Jean Ashley and Alison Deykin all decided to head out to Ibiza to the 1st World Cup race of the year. Andrew had a very strong race and was well on the way to a convincing win after a superb swim, out 6 minutes before anyone else, in very choppy conditions! Jean also had a great race she moved into 2nd during the kayak and didn’t quite have enough time to catch Silke Harenberg on the run, she came 2nd overall 1st Vet 50. Alison struggled in the very choppy swim and retired.

MENS OVERALL WINNER Andy Byatt and 2nd Overall GOLD VET 50 Jean Ashley

Winner Andy Byatt
1st Silke 2nd Jean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team GB 2008

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS Sedlcany (CZE) 2008
A huge GB Team headed out to CZ, with a boat trailer completely full, once again our athletes had had a great build up to the race and all were on top form! We had New British Team Kit, designed especially for the BQA which looked very impressive, which I’m sure helped to our fantastic medal total and performances! Podborsky was out to retain his title and had been training very hard, Andrew and Dan were both strong and it ended up being one of those Epic Races were the top 4 played cat and mouse! Finally Dan over took Podborsky on the run, and took the Championship Title, Andrew was still in 3rd but Thoralf Berg overtook him on the run, putting him in 4th overall again. Helen had a tough race, and was down in 4th position after the kayak, but she pushed hard on the bike and went into overdrive on the run to take the Championship title!

Dan Corner

An Amazing Result Top of the World – 2 OVERALL WORLD CHAMPIONS, 5 AGE GROUP WORLD CHAMPIONS and TEAM GOLD Men and WOMEN … and what a Party we had!

Joe Andrews

WORLD CHAMPION ELITE Dan Corner
3rd ELITE Andrew Byatt
5th ELITE Joe Andrews
6th ELITE Steve Clark
GOLD Vet 45 Keith Longney
SILVER Vet 40 Andrew Grimwood
GOLD Vet 60 Peter Hart
SILVER Vet 50 Philip Nye

 

Andy Byatt
Steve Clark
Keith Longney Gold Vet 45
Andy Grimwood Silver Vet 40
Peter Hart Gold Vet 60
Phil Nye Silver Vet 50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helen Parkinson

WORLD CHAMPION ELITE Helen Parkinson
3rd ELITE Naomi Hoogesteger
GOLD U23 Holly Hawkley
GOLD Vet 50 Jean Ashley
GOLD Vet 60 Ruth Fletcher

Mens TEAM GOLD (Corner, Byatt, Andrews)
Ladies TEAM GOLD (Parkinson, Hoogesteger, Otto)

 

Other GB athletes racing – Paul Jones, Phil Wilkinson, Paul Carvil, Lucy Otto, Tim Deykin, Alison Deykin.

 

 

Holly Hawkley Gold U23
Jean Ashley Gold Vet 50
Ruth Fletcher Gold Vet 60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also had 6 athletes competing in the Sprint Race.

Team Otto at World Champs!
Julie & Ryan Hunt

SPRINT RACE
SILVER U18 Tristan Grigalis
4th U18 Quentin Otto
GOLD U16 Ryan Hunt

GOLD U18 Kate Ashley
GOLD Vet 50 Gill Otto
GOLD Vet 45 Julie Hunt

 

 

Proud Mum with Kate Ashley
World Champion 2008
World Champion 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS Sprint RATSCHER (GER)
After this amazing performance half of the Team went onto Ratscher for a weeks rest, which turned into a pre-race training camp, leading up to the World Cup Sprint Championships! Superb weather, stunning location, plenty of BBQ’s and German cakes with lots of banter … it proved to be a fantastic holiday, and a great end to our 2 week Quadrathlon Tour!

A Memorable Prize Giving – singing the National Anthem!
Team Silver Molly Kate & Lucy

2nd ELITE Andy Byatt
GOLD Vet 45 Keith Longney
SILVER Vet 50 Philip Nye
BRONZE Vet 50 Tim Deykin

4th ELITE Helen Parkinson
GOLD Vet 50 Jean Ashley
GOLD U23 Holly Hawkley
SILVER Vet 40 Claire Longney
GOLD Junior Pipa Longney

Other GB athletes racing – Alison Deykin

TEAM EVENT
SILVER– Lucy Ashley(Swim), Molly Deykin (Kayak), Kate Ashley(Bike) Lucy Ashley(Run)

A Few more Quarathletes that contributed to that Golden Year 2008!

Paul Carvil
Phil Wilkenson
Alison Deykin
Claire Longney
Pipa Longney
Tim Deykin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS Sedlcany (CZE) 2009                                                                   

Dan Corner 2009 World Champion

After these epic years for ‘British Quadrathlon’ our Sport was here to stay. The BQA instigated more races, the first British Quadrathlon Club ‘Lincsquad’ became firmly established, and we put GB Quadrathlon well and truly on the World Map! As a GB Team we had quite year at World Cup Level in 2009. Though Dan Corner and Keith Longney did go back out to Sedlcany to defend their titles. Dan and Keith both won in top form, Dan taking the Overall World Championships again and Keith Gold in Vet 45.

 

MENS OVERALL WINNER Andy Byatt
GOLD VET 45 Keith Longney

Helen Dyke

Helen Dyke raced at Ibiza (ESP) and Won overall, then came 4th at Steinberg (GER) and went on to finish 6th in Sedlcany (CZE) despite not finishing in the top 3 she was still ranked 2nd in the 2009 WQF overall standings.

We only had 1 British Athlete at Sedlcany in 2010, Gail King a GB age group Triathlete had just one year in Quadrathlon, she did very well winning the World Championships Ladies Overall Title. The following year we sent another strong team, this time with a new GB Team manager Steve Hook.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS Sedlcany (CZE) 2011

Steve Clark Bronze & Phil Binch

Steve Hook, drove the kayaks over and took 6 athletes out to race at the Worlds,  they all had strong finishes, with Steve Clark taking the BRONZE and on the podium for the first time in 3rd place! Followed by Mat Stephenson 6th GOLD Vet 40, and Ian Smith 7th GOLD Vet 50. Phil Binch went out to have a good time and enjoy the race which he certainly did! Josh Hook, (Steve’s son) also raced and took the Junior GOLD. Alison Deykin represented the GB women and came 3rd overall, BRONZE Vet 40. So a good final race in Sedlcany and the start of a new World Cup Regime, which has continued from strength to strength!

3rd ELITE Steve Clark
6th Overall Gold Vet 40 Mat Stephenson
7th Overall Gold Vet 50 Ian Smith

Junior Gold Josh Hook
3rd Overall Bronze Vet 40 Ian Smith

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS Sedlcany (CZE) 2012

Top 5 in the World Mat Stephenson in 5th place

Just 5 Quadrathletes went out to Sedlcany, but once again we had podium places, Mat Stephenson came 5th followed by Ian Smith in 7th with Nick Gatland in 10th giving the GB mens team a Silver medal in the Team Event. Tony Runnegar came 24th overal.

Our only female this year was Alison Deykin who came 4th and 1st Vet 40. A small team but still coming home with a great stash of medals!

 

 

Team GB 2012

5th Overall Vet 40 Gold Mat Stephenson
7th Overall Vet 50 Gold Ian Smith
5th Overall Vet 40 Silver Nick Gatland
4th Overall Vet 40W Gold Alison Deykin
Mens Team Silver Mat Stephenson, Ian Smith, Nick Gatland.

This was to be the last World Championships in Sedlcany. From 2012 the WQF reformed and the World Championship Races would move to different venues across Europe.

Here in GB Race Organizers kept supporting us and the BQA continued to promote and encourage many new Quadrathletes to our Sport. Our BQA website became live in 2011 and all the World Championship Race Reports and news going back that far can been seen on this website.

Jean Forever Sharing her Passion
Jean Forever Sharing her Passion

In 2014 Lincsquad organized Great Britain’s very first World Championships, this was a huge success and certainly boosted BQA numbers, since then we have had many Quadrathletes racing at home and abroad.

Our sport, although still small has a great family; it has a huge heart and we love to share our passion …. Long may it continue to grow and inspire many others to take up the challenge!

‘when you know 3 disciplines just aren’t enough!                                                                                                                Jean Ashley

Roots of BQA

Although the roots of Quadrathlon go back many years, things really took off again in early 2000, with the announcement by the British Quadrathlon Association of a five race National Trophy series. The series included the British Championships and two other national Championships, along with a variety of other races in various formats. Some of the races were real tests of endurance, whilst others offered a manageable new challenge for multi-sport athletes looking for something a bit different.

The sport of Quadrathlon has been going for approximately 20 years and has recently undergone a significant upsurge in interest in the UK, with many more people finding the attraction of the four sporting disciplines, (swimming, kayaking, cycling, running), too much to resist! Race organisers have reported increased entries and interest in general. The British Quadrathlon Association (The BQA) is actively promoting and supporting these interests and details of where you can enter races and generally get more information can be found on these pages.

Races on the National calendar are of varying distances and a mixture of the four disciplines. Some are kayak triathlons (without the swim section) and some have off road bike sections. Some races are technically demanding, others are better for beginners. Everyone is catered for!

Quadrathletes on the whole are a very friendly bunch, who are happy to help and support each other, training events are occasionally run to help each other improve skills and camaraderie is a positive aspect of this small but ever growing sport. The team atmosphere at the World Championships in Europe is something not to be missed, and all are welcome to participate.

 

‘Our QuadMaster’ Eric Hatliff

Eric Hatliff, the founding father of Quadrathlon in Britain, known as the Quad Father, sadly died in April 2007 at the age of 75. Eric inspired many, many people young and old to participate in the sport of Quadrathlon. Amongst many of his great feats he was still competing in the World Long Distant Quadrathlon past the age of 65!

To commemorate his contribution to the sport ‘The Eric Hatliff Memorial Trophy’ is presented each year ‘For Endeavor’ given to an athlete showing his enthusiasm and commitment to the sport of Quadrathlon.