With the Thames and its tributaries still flowing strongly following the recent heavy rainfall, training conditions at the club have remained difficult this month.
Thanks to Tim Middlehurst’s superb organisation our junior and senior crews have been able to train at nearby Littleton Lake on Saturdays, but with Waterside A and now Thameside 1 cancelled, we have also had to start considering some alternatives for these races too.
So today in place of Waterside A, and with the help of Hemel Hempstead CC, Mick Fegent was able to organise an 11 mile paddle on the Grand Union Canal from Harefield to Hemel Hempstead.
There was a good turnout of paddlers from both the junior and the senior groups, and in total 14 doubles and 7 single crews completed the 10.8 miles and 15 portages course. The fastest time was recorded by Ben Powell and Guy Willoughby, who took 1:34:34.
A tail wind helped to push us all along, but there was a definite counter-flow still on the canal – although the flooding of two weeks ago had subsided there was a reasonable flow from several weir streams along the way and a few of the lock gates were topped out with water flowing over them. But overall the course was straightforward and a great preparation for the later Waterside races, which we hope will be able run as normal.
So a massive thanks to Mick for organising and to HH CC for the use of their clubhouse facilities at the finish and arranging parking at the start, not to mention the many helpers and drivers without whose assistance we would not have been able to put on the event.