John and I decided to use the Thameside race series to add a little spice to our DW training and we took part in Thameside 1 on Sunday 26 th February. This was a 12 mile paddle with 13 portages, from Aldermaston Wharf to Reading Canoe Club.
The weather was dry, about 10 degrees with a moderate tail wind to Reading.
We started with a couple of K2s who sprinted off to the first portage. We overtook one before we put-in and overhauled the second before the next one. We squeezed under a very low bridge and were grateful that we were not wearing buoyancy aids.
The pattern of the race meant that we held our own or gradually overtook the K2s on the water, but it was at the portages that we overtook so many boats. The open cockpit of the canoe meant we were out and back in so quickly.
It was fun going through Reading town centre, but very bumpy due to the refracted washes. I was glad not to be in a K1.
There was a bit of a queue at Blakes and as we turned left to join the Thames for the upstream section to the finish, the combination of the current and the head wind made progress very laborious.
We were still overtaking boats as we approached the finish.
We achieved a respectable time of 1:58:26 finishing in 5 th place out of 8 boats. Only 4 minutes covered the first 5 crews.
Next up is Thameside 2, Reading Canoe Club to Longridge, 18 miles and 8 portages on Sunday 12th March.