Combine a beautiful sunny day without a breath of wind, plus just enough water to sneak through Black Rock, and you have the recipe for Saturday’s Novice race. An absolute joll!
CCCC was well represented with novices and a few not quite novices and a few definitely not novices. At a quick team talk before the race we ascertained that the serious novices, Tim Fey and John Joshua, wanted to have full go at the race, while Mike Rapson and Guy Pike, the not quite novices also wanted to have a go. Mandy, one of our very rusty, but experienced definitely not novices decided she would paddle at the back as she didn’t want to slow us down. She immediately started sweet talking Edgar Bohme who nearly swooned in his boat, so that she wouldn’t be lonely on the river.
At the start a very determined bunch rushed off with Tim sticking to his Berg partner, Peter van de Merwe, chased by Guy and John. As we started, definitely not novice, Mike Monson was still on the bank fixing his boat, proving that river racing has no respect for age or experience. (Something fell off his rudder mechanism on the way to the race.) That left poor old Manfred with me bending his ear. He was a quick learner so he was soon reading the river and getting his lines right like a champ.
About half way to Black Rock there was a bit of a weed blockage where Peter took Tim and Guy on a bit of a detour on land costing them a bit of time. I fooled around on the opposite bank looking for a better portage. (There wasn’t!) While we were all jumping and clambering, Ian Glass arrived and just paddled through, making us all look a little silly! When Manfred and I arrived at Black Rock everyone was through. I was expecting chaos, but no one got stuck! (Except us at the very bottom)
At the Sneak, we over took the water. I think it was still filling the long pools between BR and the Sneak. So…. The game changed and it became a little more challenging. It was basically paddle to the end of the deep water, get out and drag. Repeat. Tim relished the conditions and pushed ahead with John following. Guy struggled with the dragging over the rocks. Mike Rapson was always in the mix while Manfred and I struggled and muttered at the back. That was the finishing order. I’m not sure if Mike Rapson finished ahead of Guy, sorry about that, but Mike Monson managed to fix his boat and get to the finish, as did a beaming Mandy Simpson.
So all in all the day was tons of fun and CCCC is again ahead in the novice category!
|11||PETER||VAN DER MERWE||TYG||2:15:39.37||M11||(SM)2||152.91|