It was a fine night for a BBQ with a record turnout and a flyer of a paddle from Blake, showing that training works (who knew?).
With the promise of a early end of season BBQ drawing the paddlers to the start we got off to a quick start, some too quick and others about right. We sent newcomer Yann Barratt off as soon as he was in the water, it quickly dawned on us that he would be finished 10 minutes before everyone else, so we sent his old man off chasing him on the bank for the recall. When he headed off the second time he proceeded to have an interesting paddle, a couple of where do I go moments and perhaps a swim. All was well in the end though with a first up race win and better idea of where he will sit in the pack. After a week guiding punters down the King River and in the middle of a training push to paddle the Franklin River in a day, Blake was looking for a quick time; with a couple of rabbits to chase in front he put in the big ones and paddled a 30:15 to fall one second short of the course record. Coming over the line third was Paul Walker who, after showing newcomer Roz Barber around the course, couldn’t contain himself when the Miller Express flew past and jumped on the back for a tow. Jack got in another good time knocking a further 20 seconds off his PB. Over the line next were the new paddlers, James Down (20 seconds faster than predicted) and Roz (8 seconds faster than predicted).
There was then a slew of paddlers who were within 30 seconds of their season bests, Ryan (4s), Peter (5s), Phil Barratt (8s), Phil Nelson (19s), April (25s) and Mark (30s). Claye had a fair crack, look out when he returns from the Albatross Island trip. Amanda had an off night, maybe the dry top wasn’t the best idea (apparently they can be like saunas), James’ return from a long stint of bushwalking trips was good to see. I decided that my kayak didn’t have enough mud in it; so while trying to get around the turn I tipped myself out, filled it with water, emptied the water, stood in mud halfway up my calves and then transferred the mud into the boat. Richard made it onto the water a bit late but still managed a reasonable time.
Sadly we will be farewelling one of the welcome faces from the race/club, with Larcs moving down south to pursue some opportunities. Apparently he will be overlooking the beach in his new place so will have no excuses when it comes to getting on the water (paintjob excluded); no doubt he will be seen around the traps dipping a paddle in the water. Good luck and hope to see you out paddling.
Welcome to James, Roz and Yann to the Hadspen races.
Thanks to Paul Kelly and Larcs for timekeeping and the BBQ, race times are below.
Full series information and series results here.