The second in the Dash Hound / Hare & Hound series took place on Sunday 27th November. The weather forecast the night before seemed quite promising – a grey start but sun to follow. First thing, the skies were steely grey and heavy showers were also part of the mix. But the forecasters were spot on and by about 8.30 the sun began to emerge. By the time the Dash Hound was due to start at 10.15 the sky was clear and brilliant blue. There was some wind to contend with but the river was clear of leaves (always a pain) and fisherman (!).
There were nineteen Richmond entrants in total for the Dash – another Richmond vs Wey tussle was on the cards and, well, RIC came out on top!
In C1, Adrian Miekle-Briggs came first a long way ahead of the rest of the field. Georgia Phillips came in second. Jessica Williams did very well following a capsize at a point where there were walls either side but, with a little help, clambered back in and carried on to the end.
In the K1 event RIC took the first five places. Excellent performances from Ellie Tompkins and Alice Buckley (both in U12F) taking 1st and 2nd places, and Lily Wong coming in 4th overall (and 3rd in the U12F class). Also, in U12F were Rhiannon O’Connor, Jojo Gill, and, in her first event, Isabella Bowles (don’t think she has ever paddled continuously for almost an hour – well done!).
In U14F Mia Monahan came 1st (3rd overall) while in U12M Christian Olsen came 1st (5th overall) – strong and confident performances from both of them. Also in the U12M Matteo Garrita put in a very good effort.
In U14M there were spirited efforts from Kieran Young, Daniel Titherington (particularly lively – not sure what he had for breakfast) and Archie Fegent coming 1st, 2nd and 3rd in their class.
In U10F Rosie Morton was 2nd out of a field of six with Isobel Harrison 3rd , another first timer who paddled herself cheerfully around the course.
The Pembles were out in force in the K2 Dash – Becky & Caroline coming in 3rd with Hannah & Doug in 6th – really good effort from all four.
There were also seven juniors in the longer Hare & Hounds event. Alex Khlaf came 10th overall and in a very fast time – superb. Renee Myburgh was also quick around the course. Fred Schesk knocked over four minutes of his previous time, very impressive. Jake Bedford, Sophie Khlaf (overcoming new boat nerves), Oliver Khlaf and Kerry Lewis (portage problems) all put on a good show. A very impressive performance from all of the juniors.
And from the adults, Neil/Jemima were fastest (just) in 50:07 and not far behind was Andrei, making a comeback after a 25 year absence from paddling (in the Ukraine). Mike Foster, coming in at 51:45 improved his time by over a minute.
The K2 massive of Rob Hall/Geoff Duniam impressed with a time of 52:23, followed by Nic Cotton / Nick (NOT police Nick) Morton in 53:57, the same time as Marcus/Ben in a C2.
The Novice class of 2011 did well. Matt/Robin muscled their way around in 56:37, and, arguably even more impressive, were the laances of Euan and Nicole (both doing a faster time than Karen in the first race!)
Two junior coaches, Sue Middlehurst and Jeff Lindsay, showed that organising need not get in the way of racing, great. Thanks to Tim Middlehurst for transporting the majority of the boats, to Mick Fegent for co- managing the junior team and as usual, thanks to parents and helpers on the day. Third race in series Sunday 4th December.
Jeff Lindsay/ Peter Barnes