While waiting patiently for his start group to be called to the line Phil Watkins was mysteriously thrown from his ski into the murky depths of the notoriously dangerous Browns river. Lucky for Phil it was only knee deep. But why did he fall? A rogue wave from the crosswind combined with the wash from frantically paddling starters? Sabotage from another paddler? Browns river monster fish in a spawning frenzy? Or was Phil caught out having a pre-race powernap? Phil had a lame excuse that his paddle was just stuck in the mud. So in the interests of fair reporting we will just say that it was a rogue wave!
There was a strong cold Easterly sea breeze which gave a strong tail wind on the starting straight. Low water meant that it was highly technical going through the slalom course section with some paddlers running into the exposed mudbanks. There was a season high number of boats (42) and paddlers (44). Due to this high number of boats and low water the field was split into 2 separate divisions with a 2 minute delay for the faster division 1 boats to avoid over 40 boats trying to finish at the same time. Race sponsor Leigh Wighton was most disappointed to have to wait the extra 2 minutes as he felt that he was missing out on the thrill of overtaking the slower paddlers ahead.
Results have been adjusted to compensate for the 2 minute delay and the two divisions’ results have been combined.
Elsa Gales showed further improvement to win the Kayak4play $20 voucher for first over the lines. Well done Elsa!
Mel Curry was second over the line but was penalised 30secs for breaking. Paddlers are reminded that the start line is the sea side of the bridge and they should be stationary at the start. This put Grady Koolhof up to 2nd with Mel relegated to 3rd place.
Gerhard was fastest in 14min 17 secs which equalled the season fastest time set by Ben Oakley and Matt Dalziel. There were 5 paddlers under the magical 15 minute barrier!
In her last Browns race Hannah showed that she has become a true Brownwater champion with another victory in the Women’s division. There was a close head to head battle for 2nd place with fast improvers Jodi Templar only 3 seconds faster than Marjorie Morgan.
Most paddlers were just really pleased to be able to say that they outpaddled Matt Dalziel. That doesn’t happen very often!
Andrew Maver firstname.lastname@example.org