Claire is the most successful female freestyle paddler of all time, having won a combined 10 World Championship gold medals in the whitewater disciplines of freestyle kayak and squirt boat.
'One True Champion - Claire is the most successful female freestyle paddler of all time.'
Lance Mitchell, Proprietor & Founder - Mitchell Blades
Claire is the only female athlete ever to 'win the double' securing two world titles in the same day at the 2011 ICF World Freestyle Kayak Championships. Then in 2013 she made history again, as she 'doubled the double' winning both world titles once more. In 2017 she did it again this time winning her 'third - double'. Now with her World Championship gold medal count at ten and with countless World Cup, European Cup, European Championship and British Championship title wins she is by far Britain's most decorated freestyle kayaker. Claire also holds the World Records in both disciplines for the highest rides scores in ICF competitions and is a 2x Guinness World Record holder. Her Guinness World Record attempts were part of a production for the BBC's Officially Amazing TV show which was aired in 2018.
In December 2018 Claire gave birth to her gorgeous daughter 'Sky' and less than a month later she was awarded an MBE by the Queen in the Queens New Years Honours List. The MBE, Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, is a British order of chivalry, awarded for outstanding achievement and impact in an area of work. Claire was rewarded it for her exceptional 'services to canoeing'.
Claire began her kayaking career at the Leeds Canoe Club in 1996 and in over two decades of whitewater kayaking, paddling rivers all over the globe. she has developed expertise in almost every discipline of paddle sports. In 2001 she started competing competitively in freestyle kayaking and in 2006 she qualified for a place on the British team. She won her first World Championship gold medal in 2009 as been a professional kayaker ever since. Now, residing in Sydney Australia, Claire still represents Great Britain at major events around the world.
Over the years Claire's many accomplishments have earned her numerous honours, nominations and awards as well as substantial media coverage around the world. In 2012 Claire was selected by the International Olympic Committee and the International Canoe Federation, to be one of only six freestyle kayak athletes ever invited, to showcase the sport of freestyle kayaking at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Since then she has been named as the Leeds Sports Woman of the Year four times, won a World Paddle Award and been presented with five British Canoeing Athlete Recognition Awards. In 2016 Claire was named as the Yorkshire Sports Women of the Year and invited to become a member of the World Paddle Awards Academy, an exclusive body of sporting legends and figureheads within paddle sport, a prestigious achievement and recognition of her contributions to the sport. In 2017 she was appointed to the ICF Athlete Committee. In 2019 she received her MBE.
'Claire's sporting dominance is mind-blowing but it is her broader look on life, sport and people that makes her a true champion.'
Rob van Bommel, President - Sportscene
In addition to being a full time athlete and mum Claire is a passionate sports professional, ambassador, instructor and coach. She holds a degree in sports development and is a highly experienced and qualified outdoor instructor, first aid instructor, inspirational speaker, judge, sports presenter, announcer, event organiser and coach. In between training and competitions Claire makes time to help run and organise events, develop educational resources and coaching tools and coach paddlers of all ages and abilities around the world.
Claire is an inspiration to many people across the globe because of her attitude, image, success and lifestyle. Her talent, character and passion for paddlesports is second to none. She is generous with her time for others, always ready with a smile, modest about her achievements and ever grateful to live the life she leads. She is one of the most respected paddlers in the world because of all of these traits and is a pioneering athlete in the sport of whitewater kayaking.