Over 50 Richmond boats turned up at Wey Canoe Club for the start of the Hare and Hounds season on 6 Nov, making up around a quarter of the field.
Twenty nine juniors rocked up for the first Dash Race – based on the Hare & Hounds but with a shorter course with no portages specifically aimed at U14s who are not quite up to the full Hare and Hounds course, yet. It was a dull, chilly morning with only a slight breeze but autumn had truly arrived. The water had lost its warmth but gained in places some golden leaves. Poor Jessica Williams, who capsized at the start, can testify that the water is indeed cold.
You knew it was going to be an interesting morning when you are waiting on the start line and you overhear a couple who had just returned from their training session warning of a fishing competition ahead. As the paddlers wound their way up the course it was a choice of going around the line or under the very long rods. Of course, the fishermen were all very good natured so all was fine!
The Dash Hound consisted of 17 Richmond juniors – it was almost a Ric versus Wey event. So, how did they do?
In the U10F Rosie Morton came a creditable 3rd with Jojo Gill working as hard and as cheerfully as ever finishing a little further down the field.
Ellie Tompkins and Alice Buckley battled it out for 1st and 2nd places in the U12F. Christian Olsen was the only Richmond boy in the U12M coming a very good second place.
It was all Richmond girls in the U14F – Mia Monahan, Milly Morgan and Elena Garitta – coming 1st, 2nd and 3rd. In the U14M there was some Wey competition, four on four with a real tussle for places. Max Meuhler came 1st with Kieran Young, Daniel Titherington and Archie Fegent coming 3rd, 4th and 5th. James Morris was the only U16M and thoroughly enjoyed his first marathon race.
In the C1 event Georgia Phillips came 2nd followed by some brave efforts from Tania Yusef (knee problems) and Jessica Williams (by the end very cold).
Lily Wong and Anoushka Freeman came 2nd in the K2 race, only a small distance behind the two Wey boys.
Of the 109 boats that competed in the Hare and Hounds 28 of them were from Richmond.
There were 11 juniors – the C1 team of Nick Plaut, James Plaut , Ben Phillips and Marko Csokasi; and the K1s of Sophie Khlaf, Kerry Lewis and Renee Myburgh, Harry Burdon, Jake Bedford, Oliver Khlaf , and Fred Scheske, Renee flew around the course and broke the course record for her age group. The rest of the juniors managed to navigate the fishermen, the portage and half a dozen rowing boats and complete the race in respectable times and less than 60 minutes (except Fred who collided with another boat on one of the tight corners, fell in, and then spent time in some nettles before getting going again)
Laura Antalffy turned up too late to take part in the Dash Hound so volunteered to pull Sue Middlehurst around the course (Karen Edmond thanks Sue/Laura for an excellent wash all the way from the portage to the finish)
Dylan was fastest in senior in 49:12 closely followed by the green K2 massive of Jorg/Geoff Reading, and the red K2 Regina of Jemima/Roger. Will Flanagan (50:07), Marko C1 (50.19), Mike Foster (52:26), Andrei (53:20) were all pleased with good times.
Miscellaneous K2s: Nic/Oliver beat Peter/Nicole (only because rudder wire flipped off at return portage resulting in lost time?). Euan/Ellie in their first race won the RAF (retd) trophy in 61:30
Further good K1 results were Maggie (under 60 mins), Geoff (just over 60 mins), Jeff, Karen, Thomas, and Tanya.
All in all, a very successful day. As usual, thanks to parents, to helpers, and especially to Tim for trailer towing.
Sue Middlehurst / Peter Barnes/ Richard Hendron.