Around 50 paddlers made the long journey to Southampton at the weekend, and were rewarded with sun, sea-spray and an overall second place, which secures the club’s qualification for the Hasler Finals. Although there were a few hiccups along the way ….
Will M and Rob Jefferies dominated the Div 3 K1 race, along with a Wey paddler, with Will pulling away for the last bit to take the win from Rob in second. Dylan Levy is making the transition from racing surfskis in Australia to marathon racing in Britain and, once again following team orders, paddled to a comfortable win in Div 6 and promotion to Div 5. Debbie and Keith Anderson made a winning return to racing after a break of a few years, taking Div 9 K2.
Izzy B found herself in the unusual position of only managing 2nd place in what is probably her last Lightning race, and also took 2nd with Will L in the U12 Hody K2. Toby H just missed out on promotion to Div 6 despite coming 2nd in Div 7, followed by home by Derek Silby, whilst Jerry Goater got his priorities right – leaving his broken-down car on the side of the road so he could race, and was rewarded with 2nd in Div 8 and another promotion – to Div 7. Tom Howarth had the most expensive day, and will be very careful where he leaves the car keys next time. His 2nd place in Div 4 with Seamus Cummings was hopefully some compensation.
The battle of the day came at the end of Div 8 K2, which saw a father and daughter fighting it out in different boats. Family honours went to Penny H who, with Edith L, just managed to keep their nose ahead of her father Stephen, paddling with Debbie Hunt. Penny was also rewarded with a promotion to Div 8.
Hard-luck story of the day was Robyn Webb – who despite her wildwater background, found a rogue wave on the estuary which damaged her shoulder, so she and Lorna Da Costa were forced to retire.
Focus on the domestic side now turns to the National Marathon Championships at the end of the month.