2022-08-28 Oban Sea Kayak Race 2022

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!

The Results

1Ron BenarioMSurf Ski
2James MayersMSurf Ski
3Robert LangM SeniorSurf Ski01:34:22Rothesay
4Kevin Ramsey
Douglas Wilby
M SeniorSurf Ski Double01:34:29Nairn
5Calum UrquhartM SeniorSurf Ski01:35:27Inverness
6Lizelle KempF SeniorSurf Ski01:40:01Dunbar
7Micheal Surmon M SeniorSurf Ski01:40:10Nairn
8Philip NyeM SeniorSurf Ski01:48:28Dorset
9Kenny FraserM SeniorSurf Ski01:42:32Hawick
10Tom Mason M SeniorSurf Ski01:43:30Kent
11Paul HudsonM SeniorSurf Ski01:48:43Cumbria
12Mickey MacDonaldM SeniorSurf Ski01:48:47Edinburgh
13Duncan BlythM SeniorSurf Ski01:49:09Taynuilt
14Lena Kruas FSurf Ski01:49:10North Berwick
15Les KirkpatrickM SeniorRace01:49:35Castle Douglas
16Adam Richards,
Alan Hunter,
Gus Brydon
M SeniorSurfski Triple01:52:03Oban,
North Berwick,
17Lukasz RybaMSurf Ski01:53:22Glasgow
18Simon Derham M SeniorSurf Ski01:54:36Whitby
19Stephen Whipp M SeniorRace01:55:56Ware
20Colin Calder M SeniorSurf Ski01:58:30Alford
21Simon TurnbullM SeniorRace01:58:50Loughborough
22Duncan DaveyM SeniorTour01:59:06Perth
23Craig MattocksMSurf Ski01:59:12Peebles
24Richard Clarke MTour01:59:54Tyne and Wear
25Colin CampbellM SeniorTour01:59:59Gourock
26Tina MisselbrookF SeniorSurf Ski02:02:02Bonnyrigg
27Graham Butler M SeniorSurf Ski02:02:08Blairgowrie
28Andy WilmshurstM SeniorTour 02:02:56Kirriemuir
29John BunyanM SeniorRace02:05:40Cheshire
30Gerald Malone M SeniorTour02:07:33Gourock
31Stuart RobertsM SeniorTour02:08:43Cardiff
32Simon Jenkins M SeniorTour02:09:47Broughty Ferry
33Lukasz IwanowMSurf Ski02:09:54Glasgow
34Robert TaylorM SeniorTour02:09:58Lincoln
35Shane RodwellMTour02:11:52Oban
36Philippe JumeauM SeniorTour02:12:10Lancs
37Kag GannonFTour02:12:12Spean Bridge
38Jane GeddesF Senior Surf Ski02:14:36Nairn
39Mattias ScholerMTour02:17:29Comrie
40Joan LambF Senior Tour02:18:56Dundee
41Alex PageM SeniorTour02:21:32Isle of Coll
42Chris DowdMTour02:22:32Oban

GPS track

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