Paddled the Elmbridge Hasler today, a well organised and popular event.
I joined 28 kayaks on the Div 7 start line for the 4 mile, no portage “marathon”. Unfortunately I let myself get squeezed out on the start by a couple of kids!
That was the last I saw of 95% of the field.
I lost out on the turns to the other 5% and finished dead last, except one, so I didn’t even get demoted!
A brighter aspect of the day was seeing Lucy Perry from Falcon Canoe Club paddle The Darkness in the Div 9 race. She was the only canoe in a field of 32 boats. It was her first C1 Hasler and she was understandably, a bit nervous. However she looked comfortable, stayed upright and managed to beat 7 kayaks home.
I mounted the GoPro on the back of the boat again and posted a short summary video on YouTube.
I do enjoy being on the start line of a Hasler race, but I’m clearly not competitive in a canoe. I would prefer a much longer race and also some portaging, but that doesn’t start to happen until Div 6 and I can’t see that happening any time soon. I’ve won the Waterside Series twice in C1 and got to Teddington in the DW in C1. The best I can get from Hasler is a 4 mile “sprint”, some bumpy water and I have to wear a buoyancy aid.
There has got to be something better than this.