Monday, 14 July 2014

Macclesfield Canal - 10th July 2014

Club Hare and Hounds race - 4 miles.
Came in third (again!), though in a personal best of 38 something.... exact time to be confirmed, but it looks as though I'm getting more used to the Tor and getting some benefit from it.

[No posts for the next couple of weeks.... hopefully the next one should be a bit more interesting!!!]

Macclesfield Canal - 7th July 2014

Short session (45 mins / 5km) on the canal trying out a different (wooden) seat for the Tor.... still didn't seem very comfortable and presses into the bottom of my spine like the supplied standard seat. Maybe some form of padding is the answer?... though this may restrict rotation.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Macclesfield Canal - 30th June 2014

80 minute session on the canal paddling with a number of K1s from the Macclesfield club. Practised wash hanging and a few sprint starts, but I was mainly trying to unwind from the Cheshire Ring Race that I had completed the day before. About 8km paddled.

Cheshire Ring Race - 28th-29th June 2014

The Cheshire Ring Race (CRR) has been held annually since 1977, and follows a 96 mile route around the Macclesfield, Peak Forest, Ashton and Rochdale, Bridgewater and Trent and Mersey canals. The scenery ranges from wonderful countryside through to the industrial suburbs of Manchester and the eclectic bar areas of central Manchester's Canal Street.

Teams complete the circuit in many formats - individuals can paddle all the way, or teams of different sizes paddle it as a relay, changing over at recognised points. I was invited to join a team of four K1s paddling as a relay.

The only parts of the route that I knew were my local stretch of the Macclesfield canal, plus the route from Preston Brook back into Manchester on the Bridgewater canal. So since as paddler 2, I had four compulsory tunnel portages to negotiate, I made a few trips to inspect these beforehand.

Our team started at about 10:45am, and paddled through the night finishing just after 5am, in a time of 18 hours 20 minutes and 40 seconds.

Alan Armstrong sets off on leg 4
I paddled five legs:
  • Leg 2 - Marple Top Lock to Apethorn Lane - 5 miles, 2 tunnels, 16 locks
  • Leg 6 - Marsland Road, Sale to Burford Lane Underbridge, Lymm - 6.75 miles
  • Leg 10 - Valley Farm, Little Leigh to Broken Cross - 7.25 miles, 2 tunnels
  • Leg 14 - Rhode Heath to Red Bull, Hardings Wood - 2.25 miles, 10 locks
  • Leg 18 - Bridge 44, Bullocks Lane to Bridge 29, Clarke Lane - 3.25 miles

Kayaks in Ducie Street, central Manchesre
Alan Armstrong finishing leg 4
Alan Tonge sprints for the finish at 5am Sunday
I wasn't concerned too much about the paddling, I knew I had the distance in me, but logistics of finding car parking spots, handing car keys over, and a sore seat made for a fun day (and night). With the start times staggered to try to get the teams to finish roughly at the same time meant that it was also a very sociable event as everyone was meeting up at the various changeover points.

The team - Alan Armstrong, myself, Andrew Millest and Alan Tonge

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Macclesfield Canal - 23rd June 2014

1 hour paddle, MADCC boathouse to Buxton Road (Puss in Boots pub).
Paddling the Tor again... don't think I'm getting any faster!
9km distance.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Macclesfield Canal - 16th June 2014

Quick jaunt in the Tor as a practice for the Cheshire Ring Race. 1 hour paddle, just over 9km distance.
Using the GPS I don't seem to be any faster in the Tor than my racing sea kayak (the Epic). Concentrating on keeping the Tor upright is cancelling any other benefit I think.

Ravenglass Seaquest - 15th June 2014

For once calm conditions greeted us as we turned up for registration on the Ravenglass harbour beach. Hazy sunshine and low winds made a nice change from the conditions of recent years. Once registered we retired to the cafe in the Ravenglass station for a second breakfast of a bacon butty and scrutinised our maps.


The Ravenglass Seaquest is a 3 hour "score" event where you are given 3 hours to collect as many orienteering controls as possible, getting points for each control but significant points penalty if you return late. High tide is in the middle of the 3 hours, so you have to plan a route that takes this into account because parts of the course are lacking water as the tide goes out.

Luckily for me, it seems the fast guys stayed away and I managed to get all the controls with a minute or two to spare and won the men's K1 prize.

Thanks to Karen and her helpers from Copeland Canoe Club for a fun and friendly event and I hope to be back again next year.