Saturday, 19 September 2009

Fleetwood Seaquest - 19th September 2009

Another week, another race!... no more for a while now I think.

The Fleetwood Seaquest is a kayak orienteering event that starts on Fleetwood's main beach, then turns and goes up the Wyre Estuary. Total distance for the longer "seaquest" is 22kms, while the shorter "seatour" is 15kms.

About 50 paddlers lined up for the "Le Mans" style start and after a brief holdup when another kayak put in beside me and sunk my paddle, I was off. Fairly quickly Glen Parry in his surf ski, Ned (Nick Price) from Macclesfield CC and I were jostling for the lead as we crossed the mouth of the estuary to go to the first checkpoint. Glen made the shortest work of it (no spraydeck!) and took a lead that he maintained through the next few checkpoints as we headed to the turning point at Shard Bridge. I was second with Ned not far behind. At the bridge I clipped the control quickly and left the control ahead of Glen and then managed to keep the lead on the return leg to finish just ahead of Glen with Ned a little behind us. My time was 2hr 14min.

It was nice to win a race outright, but shows the difference in standard between the races down south (see Eddystone and Poole race articles). Glen and I were also in the best boats - if Ned was in my Epic he would have been well ahead.

I won a £30 Brookbank gift voucher, a small shield to keep, plus I get my name engraved on the perpetual trophy shield that stays with the club. So not a bad day out. Thanks to the Outdoor Adventure Group for organising the event. Next year's race is on September 11th 2010.

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