Race 1. Ascot Buoys Race
The first race of the Wild Water season was held at ‘Ascot Kayak Club’ in beautiful flat water summery conditions. Alan Morbey set up a challenging obstacle course along the banks of the river to test the skills of the racers. The beginning of the course was the most challenging section as paddlers crossed through the slalom poles before they fired up to Sandy Beach before they turned back and headed around Ron Courtney island and finally finishing in front of the kayak club to the cheers of the spectators and fellow paddlers. It was great to see so many people enjoying the social atmosphere.
There were some close battles among the paddlers with the men WWK1 top three decided over 20 seconds. Dave Worthy stepped up to take the podium finish in 9m 18s over last years champion Ben Pope 9m 24s and Wayne Martin in 9m 37s closing the gap for third place. These three had a clear gap from the rest of the field and it should remain a great battle through out the season.
Bonnie Metzke took out the women WWK1in a time of 11m 33s, showing some great paddling technique and boat control around the course that will put most of us to shame. Demi Obrien finished second on 11m 42.1s and Georgina Collin 3rd with 11m 42.8s I did noticed that Georgina may have had a swim and attempted a roll without her spray deck. She still managed a great time.
The experienced Ken Miller was the quickest paddler of the wave hoppers with a time of 11m 46s, a clear winner from the rest of the field. The battle for second place was very tight between Michael Liddle 12m 21s, Jason Gardner 12m 24.1s and Chris Hollier 12m 24.2s. This is Michael Liddle’s first season paddling WWR and is someone to look out for, in the Wave hopper class as the season progresses.
One of the most outstanding achievements of the day was Baillie Liddle who was the clear winner of the women Wave Hopper class in 12m 04s. Not only did she beat her mum by a minute (no mothers day gift here) she also beat 7 of the 8 boys in the mens class and just 15 seconds behind Ken Miller.
The sundries category was a fast slog fest. Glen Stewart 10m 32s was the winner (shortened Spirit Ski) from his arch rival Warren Southwell 10m 36.1s (Finn Mol.) Warren missed a posted and was penalised 30 seconds and gave up his lead.
It was a great start to the season and it looks like we will see some good battles and rivalries. A big thank you to Alan Morbey and his band of helpers for setting up a challenging course and the WWR committee for registrations and timing. Everything ran smoothly on the day and we can’t do it without your help.
Results can be found here