By Peter Faherty
Last weekend saw our paddlers heading north of Sydney to Tacoma for Round 3 of the PNSW marathon series, hosted by Central Coast Paddlers. After hosting our own race at Woronora the previous weekend and missing a few key regulars, it was great to see so many of the SSCC paddlers back that success up and hit the road again to compete, and we fielded 15 paddlers across 7 divisions.
As we unloaded our boats and listened to the race briefing the sun was out but the wind was up and there was a definite chill in the air… or that might have just been me! You see, paddling my tippy K1 last round I won the dubious honour of the Nemo award with an impressive 7 swims. Now I was looking at the wide, exposed, deep water of the Wyong river rippling along nicely in the gusty wind, wondering how warm the water was.
However this time as I lined up on the start line of Div 12, I was on board a secret weapon, having borrowed the club’s K1 a (not as tippy as mine, but still pretty tippy) – Vajda Accelero, named for former SSCC member Alan Voges, who is sadly missed.
The racing was tough off the line, straight into the wind and against the current. The top turn was tricky as you negotiated the flowing water and gusts on side, but then once straight it was a magic carpet ride down the course towards Tuggerah Lake. With the wind and the current behind you, the river occasionally kept you on your toes, pushing you towards the middle or bubbling up in spots to create some bumpy pockets of water. After another turn into the wind at the widest part of the river, it was time to get your head down and push back up to the start finish line to complete a 5K loop.
Loving the extra stability of the Accelero, I had a great race, able to leg drive once more and focus on my technique. I quickly left the rest of Div 12 behind and as I rounded my first lap I had already caught Div 11. I kept pushing, getting more comfortable with the K1 as I went, and gamely attempting a bit of a wash ride as the Div 1’s flew past! As I rounded the final turn there was only one boat remaining in Div 11 to beat but that was the double canoe of Jenny and Kim and they weren’t going to let me catch them, holding me off to the line as we worked our way through the tail of division 10.
Other stories from the day… After giving up the club K1 to me, Gareth had loaner boat for the race and all looked good off the line as he blasted his way clear to lead Division 3 before a steering malfunction forced him to back off. After limping around for a couple of laps, he withdrew. Ian & Sue in Division 6 stopped their race to perform a rescue but still managed to cross the line in second. After checking the grateful paddler’s GPS data, the timekeepers adjusted their time to give them the win!
Some great results and some great club points this week. We’ve had a great start to the season so far and are currently sitting in 4th place, so well done to all that made the trip. The next round at Lane Cove is a big one for SSCC as it’s doubles round – double boats earn double points! We did really well last year thanks to the boats we managed to get on the water, this year we want to do even better. We are looking for more paddlers to come along, jump in a double and take part in this fun event at either 5, 10, 15 or 20K, so if you don’t normally come along put your hand up, chat to one of us, or let John Denyer know and we’ll match you up!
Div 3 – 20K
Jeff and Deb Buchan, 12th Place in 01:50:06
Gareth Stokes, DNF
Div 5 – 20K
Andrew Giardini, 2nd place in 01:58:18
Div 6 – 20K
Sue & Ian Mcguinness, 1st place in 02:01:00
Ken Collins, 7th place in 02:07:40
Div 10 – 10K
Lachlan Stokes, 7th place in 01:02:24
Bruce Sherlock, 10th Place in 01:02:35
Div 11 – 10K
Jennifer Tjoe & Kim Navera, 1st place in 01:02:27
Elisabeth Woodhart O’Farrell, 7th place in 01:06:44
Div 12 – 10K
Peter Faherty, 1st place in 01:01:07
Div 13 – 5K
Albert Laurendet, 3th place in 35:32Dianne Langan, 4th place in 38:16