Cadets from Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge’s Sea Cadet Unit are celebrating after achieving success at a national competition.

The town’s cadets formed the backbone of the South West Area paddlesports team, competing both in flat-water race events over 500m and 2km, and also in a canoe slalom event all held outside the ExCel Centre in London.

13 year-old cadets Ella and Jessica raced in the 2km-long Junior Girls tandem kayak time trial. The Junior Boys crew, cadets Kale and Ollie, raced in the 500m tandem sprint race. Both crews achieved a creditable 4th place in each event against seven other Sea Cadet teams from around the UK.

Cadet Niall competed in his first National Combined Regatta in the Senior Boys 2km solo kayak time trial and achieved the bronze medal.

“I gave it my best shot,” he said, speaking after proudly collecting his medal. “I left everything on the water. I’m exhausted!”

Cadet William and his team-mate, Adriana from Bridgwater Sea Cadets, achieved Silver in the tandem canoe cross stream event. This is a timed run through a series of gates with time penalties added for the boat, paddle or paddler hitting the gate.

It’s a test of speed, skill and effective communication. Despite very limited training time, William and Adriana narrowly missed out on the gold medal in a closely-fought contest against the Northern Irish pair.

The Commanding Officer of Burnham-On-Sea & Highbridge Sea Cadets, Dom Gregory, told “This is the first time our Unit has sent a team of paddlers to compete at national level and to have achieved these results at this level of competition at their first attempt is absolutely amazing.”

“I’m really keen to continue the success of this year and come back to London stronger next year. The cadets’ success is down to their commitment to training and the hard work and effort they’ve put in, all with the unwavering support of their coach, Jo Sidwell.”

The march of success for the local cadets keeps on going with more medals at the latest District swimming competition.

The Junior Girls team won the District trophy for their effort and several swimmers going forward to the prestigious Area swimming competition in late October.