The International Canoe fleet emerged from their winter slumber and bolt holes, and the fleet’s athletes descended on Grafham Water for their first open of the season. There was a good buzz around the fleet with the emerging Development Canoe bringing in new faces to sail all variants of the boat.
The weather forecast was, unfortunately, accurate with a strong wind from the North giving a wind chill of what felt like -12… oh, if only Steve could transpose this value to his driving license points!
As the warriors advanced to the start of the first day’s battle, it became a case of ‘last man standing’ as a steady stream of boats succumbed to the conditions – both the cold and the wind strength.
Fortified overnight with true carbohydrate loading ‘stake and ale’ pie provided by GWSC, and fluid replacement provided by The Wheatsheaf, the somewhat depleted fleet crawled out of a variety of ‘couchettes’ on Sunday morning to be welcomed by a layer of snow and a bitter wind.
Resplendent in his new ‘cold cheating’ wetsuit, to go with a newly acquired marathon toned physique, Richard Hudson dramatically improved on his overnight results to secure a well deserved top three place in the AC fleet.
Colin and Charlie battled head to head for first place in the IC fleet but Colin, without being able to wear his Australian ‘lucky’ Bermudas, had to settle for the bridesmaid’s birth.
Alistair managed, in between answering everyone’s questions regarding future canoe development, put his World’s experience to positive affect in the DC fleet.
Many thanks to the GWSC race committee who did an excellent job of minimizing the waiting in the cold between races, and setting excellent courses – appreciated in that order by all the fleet! International Canoe - Overall Results:
1st G Caldwell, GBR 294 (BCU)
2nd R Wood, GBR 309 (Llandegford)
1st C Chandler, GBR 20 (Tewkesbury)
2nd C Newman, GBR 295 (Draycote)
1st A Warren, GBR 308 (Grafham)
2nd J Champ, GBR 257 (Island Barn)