By Adrian Di Cesare
Hi all, SSCC is all about inclusion so after my fourth marathon I’ve been invited into the reporting ranks.
Round 7 of the marathon series at Penrith began with a chilly morning but body temps soon warmed up when the action got underway. Luckily the forecasted rain and high winds held off until SSCC’s 18 paddlers were back home. It was a breezy start though conditions were expected to be still and calm as we entered the Nepean Gorge, or at least that’s what we hoped for as we approached the narrows. Annoyingly though the uncomfortable head wind persisted all the way up to the 10km turn. Conditions were tricky enough to cause more “swims” than expected despite the apparent shelter of the Gorge. Luckily no SSCC paddlers went in but it did mean there was a bit more safety boat activity for some to contend with.
A total of seven SSCC paddlers featured in the placings for their Division with Rafferty Sheather our sole division winner, winning Division 11 in a time of 1:01. Well done to Raff who earned a promotion to Division 10 for his efforts!
Division 3 was a 16-strong field and Matt Sheather paddled to 8th place in a time of 1:46:58 with Gareth two minutes behind, coming in 10th. Gareth was a bit unsure if a rigorous tennis session the day before was ideal prep.
Mark Moro placed 3rd in Division 4 with a time of 1:51:07, only 12 seconds off the winning time. It must have been tight racing with less than 20 seconds covering the top 5 places at the finish. John Denyer finished in 1:57 in another strong field.
Andrew Giardini remained at the front of Division 5, placing second in a time of 1:56:47 and only 15 seconds from the win. He earned himself a promotion to Division 4 to join John and Mark. Sue and Ian Mcguinness recorded a time of 2:02 but that included a rescue or two and pausing to insist on a response from a fellow paddler in the chilly water before they were happy to paddle on. Pete Faherty battled the man flu and a rather uncomfortable stomach bug though toughed out the full 20kms.
Ian Purves entered the Division 5 ranking class and finished in 1:56:07, earning himself a Division 4 start next time out.
I (Adrian D) managed 3rd in Division 6 with a time of 2:04 but was ashamedly caught asleep at the wheel in cruise mode with 300 meters to go and was pipped from second – lesson learned! I was too scared to look back after my Tuesday morning swim – LOL.
Jennie and Kim paddled their double canoe in the 15km Division 8 and recorded a 1:43.
Lachie Stokes and Julia Ong pushed each other through the 10km course in Division 10 finishing 8th and 9th respectively and only 5 seconds apart in 1:03:42 and 1:03:47.
Lis and Bruce teamed up in Division 10 ranking and achieved a great time of 59:30, earning themselves a promotion to Division 9.
Kevin Nettle rounded out our place winners with 3rd in Division 12 with a time of 1:08:07.
The event organisation from Penrith Valley Canoe Club looked to be on point and numbers were well up from their 2018 event, I think I heard over 180 paddlers were in attendance.
Thanks to Janet for the team support and assistance whilst she sat this one out.
Full race results from Webscorer: https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=185847