Monday, 4 April 2011

Ravenglass Seaquest - 3rd April 2011

My original plan for this event was thwarted by the weather... or at least the weather forecast!

I had intended to enter with my son, Allen, paddling an Aleut double sea kayak. However Annette had to postpone the event 24 hours due to a poor weather forecast which meant the event clashed with an important football match for Allen. So in the end I paddled the Epic again as a single kayak.

The format of the event was as usual - collect as many orienteering control point "punches" as possible within 3 hours. Each control was worth 10, 20 or 30 points. Severe time penalties in the form of deducted points are incurred for coming in late. Unfortunately a couple of the planned controls couldn't be placed, so this shortened the course slightly on both the Irt and the Mite rivers. With high tide about 2/3rds of the way into the 3 hours this led to the plan of trying to get all the controls in the Irt and Mite first, then heading up the Esk hopefully around slack water, then returning with outgoing flow to finish.

The plan was executed pretty much as planned, apart from the fact that I was still suffering from a cold. Kate Duffus also had the same tactics and we were frequently punching controls at the same time. The only difference would be when I reached the bank near the control I would crawl out of my boat, cough a few times and stagger to the punch. Kate on the other hand was a lot more energetic!

In the end I got all the controls in a time of 2:46, with Kate just a minute behind me. Considering Kate was in a traditional style sea kayak (Cetus) compared to my racing kayak, this was an excellent result for her. She beat all the male paddlers in traditional boats...

I was 3rd single male, beaten by miles again by John Willacy and Chris McSweeney on a surf ski. John was feeling pretty full of energy still and volunteered to go around most of the course again to collect in the controls!

According to Kate we did 21km.

Thanks to Annette and Phil for putting this event on again, especially because Annette no longer lives in the area and came down from Scotland to organise it.

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