Having spent much of Saturday cycling around Kerrera and Oban on my trusty Brompton bicycle, in what can only be described as superb weather, I was feeling well rested and relaxed the night before the race. The contrast from gloomy Friday to sunny Saturday was incredible! One annoyance though; I realised I'd left my GPS at home still attached to my road bike. I have been using the GPS tracker to keep an eye on my paddle speed when training up and down my local canal. I have found it to be invaluable. Oh well, I would just have to compete without it.
Photos from Saturday (What a difference a day makes!):
Race Day: Sunny Sunday morning arrived. I decided to drive my van and boat down to the Puffin Dive Centre and paddle to the Race HQ at the Oban Sailing Club. I had already checked this was ok with the dive centre. This would give me an easy 1.6nm warm up before doing the race and it would also alleviate any parking problems at the Sailing Club, as parking would be limited. Taking up much needed parking space with my van didn't seem to be the right thing to do. In any case, the paddle to the Sailing club was really enjoyable.
At the Sailing Club scrutinising was soon taking place and the bacon rolls were well under way. There was the usual pre race nervous chatter. The weather was still good.
All too soon the race was started and the lap of Kerrera commenced. I made a good start and felt like I was going well. I had no idea of the speed I was paddling at though - that would have to wait for the post match analysis on Strava later. I could see Les Kirkpatrick in his Taran slowly stretching out a lead in front of me, with Stephen Whipp matching my pace, all the way down to the first turn point. I was also aware of a group of three touring kayaks not far behind me, as I could hear their chatter. At the first turn Stephen started pulling out a lead on me, but at least I was keeping the touring Kayaks at bay behind me.
Not long after the next turn, heading back up the island, I noticed a surf ski in a little difficulty. I asked the paddler if he needed any help. He'd picked up some sea weed on his rudder. So I stopped briefly and helped de-foul his rudder Unfortunately, this allowed the three Touring Kayaks to catch me up. Duncan Davey immediately latched onto my stern. I gather he had been doing this to the other two kayaks, to get a tow, much in the same way cyclists do with the slipstream. However, cyclists generally do take turns on the front to maximise their advantage. Try as I may, I was unable to shake him off, so I ended up towing him all the way to, but not quite the finish.
So there I am with Duncan sat on my tail, dragging him along, with him telling me how he was going to sit there and sprint passed me at the finish. Hmmm... Lovely! And perhaps, just maybe not the most sportsman like! Anyway, no matter what was going happen, he would not be passing me. And so it was. As the finish loomed closer, I was finally able to shake him off my tail and finish before him. In the end, Duncan Davey won the Touring Sea Kayak race, as the first "Touring" Sea Kayak home. Although I do rather question his tactics. I gather there was equal displeasure from the other two touring kayaks he had used, before latching on to me. I accept the race is not a time trial, but for me, Duncan winning the "Touring sea kayak" race in this fashion, was a somewhat hollow victory.
For me, I wanted to beat 2 hours and I did with a 1:58:50. Overall I was 21st. There were 18 surf skis and just two "race" sea kayaks ahead of me; I was third in my class - Senior Mens Race Sea Kayak and in fact, in terms of Sea Kayaks, the third sea kayak home regardless of class and/or category. I was rather pleased. I even beat some skis home. 🙂
All I had to do after the race was paddle the 1.6nm back to my van at the Puffin Dive Centre. Enjoyable paddle of the Day No. 3!
A top days paddling!
Sorry No pictures for this race - I was far too busy!
|1||Ron Benario||M||Surf Ski|
|2||James Mayers||M||Surf Ski|
|3||Robert Lang||M Senior||Surf Ski||01:34:22||Rothesay|
|M Senior||Surf Ski Double||01:34:29||Nairn|
|5||Calum Urquhart||M Senior||Surf Ski||01:35:27||Inverness|
|6||Lizelle Kemp||F Senior||Surf Ski||01:40:01||Dunbar|
|7||Micheal Surmon||M Senior||Surf Ski||01:40:10||Nairn|
|8||Philip Nye||M Senior||Surf Ski||01:48:28||Dorset|
|9||Kenny Fraser||M Senior||Surf Ski||01:42:32||Hawick|
|10||Tom Mason||M Senior||Surf Ski||01:43:30||Kent|
|11||Paul Hudson||M Senior||Surf Ski||01:48:43||Cumbria|
|12||Mickey MacDonald||M Senior||Surf Ski||01:48:47||Edinburgh|
|13||Duncan Blyth||M Senior||Surf Ski||01:49:09||Taynuilt|
|14||Lena Kruas||F||Surf Ski||01:49:10||North Berwick|
|15||Les Kirkpatrick||M Senior||Race||01:49:35||Castle Douglas|
|M Senior||Surfski Triple||01:52:03||Oban,
|17||Lukasz Ryba||M||Surf Ski||01:53:22||Glasgow|
|18||Simon Derham||M Senior||Surf Ski||01:54:36||Whitby|
|19||Stephen Whipp||M Senior||Race||01:55:56||Ware|
|20||Colin Calder||M Senior||Surf Ski||01:58:30||Alford|
|21||Simon Turnbull||M Senior||Race||01:58:50||Loughborough|
|22||Duncan Davey||M Senior||Tour||01:59:06||Perth|
|23||Craig Mattocks||M||Surf Ski||01:59:12||Peebles|
|24||Richard Clarke||M||Tour||01:59:54||Tyne and Wear|
|25||Colin Campbell||M Senior||Tour||01:59:59||Gourock|
|26||Tina Misselbrook||F Senior||Surf Ski||02:02:02||Bonnyrigg|
|27||Graham Butler||M Senior||Surf Ski||02:02:08||Blairgowrie|
|28||Andy Wilmshurst||M Senior||Tour||02:02:56||Kirriemuir|
|29||John Bunyan||M Senior||Race||02:05:40||Cheshire|
|30||Gerald Malone||M Senior||Tour||02:07:33||Gourock|
|31||Stuart Roberts||M Senior||Tour||02:08:43||Cardiff|
|32||Simon Jenkins||M Senior||Tour||02:09:47||Broughty Ferry|
|33||Lukasz Iwanow||M||Surf Ski||02:09:54||Glasgow|
|34||Robert Taylor||M Senior||Tour||02:09:58||Lincoln|
|36||Philippe Jumeau||M Senior||Tour||02:12:10||Lancs|
|37||Kag Gannon||F||Tour||02:12:12||Spean Bridge|
|38||Jane Geddes||F Senior||Surf Ski||02:14:36||Nairn|
|40||Joan Lamb||F Senior||Tour||02:18:56||Dundee|
|41||Alex Page||M Senior||Tour||02:21:32||Isle of Coll|
GPS track on OpenSeaMap