Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Ravenglass Seaquest - 6th May 2012

Good turnout for the 6th running of this popular event - 68 boats on the water, with 90 paddlers. The weather was fairly kind with sunshine and a light (but cool) wind. This was the last time that the event was to be organised by Annette Morris since she has relocated to the Ayrshire coast in Scotland. Next year's event will be organised by Copeland Canoe Club who were present helping Annette with the course setting, race admin and course clearing, so hopefully everything should go as smoothly as it has under Annette's reign.

The event was the usual format - a 3 hour score event over a course of about 15 controls that could be visited in any order and were worth 10, 20 or 30 points with time penalties for late finishing beyond the 3 hours.

A feature of the event this year was the very high tides. This made navigation interesting since the high tide flooded fields and the bends in the rivers that are useful navigation aids were washed out. So you took risks cutting across corners in only a few inches of water, and in a couple of points it was quicker to jump out of your boat and portage over a bank or run through some shallow water to get the best lines.

I went up the Irt first, then the Mite and finally the Esk. This proved a popular route and the top 3 male kayaks all took the same route and jossled for position over the first controls. The lead swapped from me (only for the first control!)... then Alastair Hornsby and then Rob Jones. Alastair and Rob then changed the lead a few times - Rob getting confused at the top of the Irt, Alastair over shooting control 4 at the top of the Mite and also a quick ducking half way up the Esk. Finally Alastair's boat speed in the K1 paid off and he finished a couple of minutes ahead of Rob in a time of 2hrs 14min. I came in a couple of minutes behind Rob in third.

Interestingly, the K2 pair of Ned Price and John Kavanagh from Macclesfield finished in a time of 2hrs 12min. Normally they are further ahead of the K1 singles, but they went up the Esk first and this may not have been the optimum route.

Rob Jones with his 2nd prize bottle of wine

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