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Dash Hounds / Hare & Hounds – Race 4

A New Year and another race in the Dash Hound / Hare & Hound series – Race 4 and, as usual, a good laugh. The water was glassy calm which provided some stunning images of boats and their reflection – hope someone was taking photos. One or two paddlers were maybe lacking a little in fitness after the Christmas break but it was another very good turnout.

The conditions were perfect (but that might depend on your point of view). We were treated to a cloudless sky, bright sunshine and no wind. Older members of the club continue to be bemused by young people who turn up in t-shirts and take little notice of the cold, at least at first. First thing the temperature was minus three degrees but it soon crept up to about plus three – positively balmy.

Some younger paddlers set about scraping the frost from their boats, one crew even bought some de-icer – their primary concern being whether they could tape a duck to the front of their boat.

In the shorter Dash Hound event there were some excellent performances with many kayakers putting in a personal best time (PB) and a few others only a whisker outside.

In the U10F Rosie put in a great performance 45:44 (PB – 4 minutes under her previous time!). in the U12F Richmond took the top three places – Ellie (joint first overall with a time of 33:59 – 11 minutes below her previous PB, what did she have for breakfast?), Alice (36:58 PB)and Anoushka. Rhiannon (43:59 PB) came in fifth and Jojo (50:10 PB) put in a huge effort to beat one of the boys in the last few minutes of the race. In the U12M Mario (a newcomer to the club) came first with Freddy (39:27 PB) a little way behind in fourth place.

In the U14 classes Richmond took first three places in both boys and girls – Archie (39:12 more than seven minutes inside his previous PB), Kieran (40:41 PB), Daniel (41:43 PB) with Max in fifth (43:27 PB); for the girls – Mia (37:23 PB), Alia (38:45) and Milly (41:06 only a few seconds outside her PB). Annabelle & Scarlett put in another good performance (minus duck) with a time of 40:37. Caroline & Becky continued their dominance over the Doug & Hannah pairing.

Some superb performances – well done.

So, on to the Hare & Hound results. For the juniors Sophie came second in the U16F with her first sub-60 minute time (59:34). Emily (JF) whizzed round in 51:24 as did Renee (U12F) in 52:41 (just three seconds outside her PB). Isaac and Fred were 2nd and 5th in the U16M and Alex and Jake 1st and 4th in U14M. In the C1 trials Nick and James were 3rd and 4th in the JM class and Ben putting in a steady performance in the U14M group – a sole contender.

Among the adults was Susie, in her first race, clearly delivering some oomph behind Euan since their time of 57:49 was 2 minutes faster than Euan in his previous solo run. Harvey & Matt did well to get round in their Stiletto given that the waves found their way to the unplugged pump hole on the deck. Klaudia & Martin were pleased with their times of 52:26 notwithstanding on course contretemps with Geoff & Rob, and, knocking Mike in at the portage.

Peter & Jorg had secret ambitions to beat the Coralie & Ian time of H&H 3. But it was not to be – not having been a boat together since early last summer we failed to find any synergy until the tight bends near the top turn. But having found the X factor we did motor past lots of boats (including Jemima & Roger!) on the return. Nick & Nick improved again to do 53:32, Jeff & Warren did well in 55:47.

Ian Sepion survived the rough conditions in a Tor; Sue Middlehurst did not have the dream run of her previous outing. Karen got through determinedly, possibly still suffering post traumatic stress disorder following last week’s capsize?

As usual superb support from Tim and Sue – thanks, as usual, to parents and helpers for their support.

Peter Barnes & Jeff Lindsay

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