Thursday night group paddle session - Sandy Bay
Thurs 12 July 2012
I collected my Grafton Time Bandit kayak from Pure Surf/Nick Stranger at midday. He had fixed up a few minor chips & a couple of cracks on the boat that I bought second hand from Ash Noble.
The session for the Thursday night Ben Maynard group was going to be a 60 minute time trial. At this time of year it is mostly in the dark so I decided to use my bandit kayak for the extra stability in the dark - rather than take my Chrono or Evolution Edge.
From our start point off the end of the DSS boat ramp the course headed to the Casino Point, 'Wrest Point' and around the corner to the big red pole. This turning mark was about 640m from the start. The course headed back to the start and into a sheltered area behind the Royal Yacht Club's breakwater & around 3 buoys and back to the start line. This was right on 1.5km. The conditions were calm with virtually no wind and a high tide.
At the start Scott Knighton (epic v12) got away well and I was next to Ben Maynard who was paddling a DR kayak.
At the first turning mark around the red pole Scott was just in front but his v12 couldn't turn very tightly so I got inside him and pulled level with Ben next to us. Andrew Buckley had turned up late and was putting his Chrono in the water as we were starting - so he had to catch up a bit and also had no warm up.
As I headed into the yacht club turn I managed to stay ahead of Ben & Scott partly due to my bandit's good turning circle. Into the second lap I tried to get in a good rhythm at 11.5km/h ish. About 2/3 of the way around the second lap Bucks came up on my left and I put in a spurt to get a ride and stayed on his side for a couple of hundred metres and stayed on his tail to the yacht club turn. This wash ride managed to open little gap on Ben & Scott. For the next 4 laps this gap stayed pretty constant of about 20m back to Ben & Scott with Bucks creeping away in front.
At the start of the 8th lap I saw that Ben had pulled ahead of Scott and was close behind me. I knew this would be the last lap as I started this lap at 56mins approx. I tried to lift on the way to the casino turn and heard Ben close on my tail just approaching the turn. I squeezed him out at the pole turn but he still cut his DR kayak inside and picked up the pace. I managed to stay on his right side as we headed back past the casino jetty when the 60 minutes was up. I had done 11.43km and pretty much paddled at race pace. The buoy turns at each end were 180° turns which slow the pace a bit - compared to a straight paddle.
The course provoked a bit of discussion about buoy turns and Ben mentioned that I squeezed him out on the turns. I will have to concede that I had my 'racing goggles' on - and took every turn as seriously as Lewis Hamilton trying to overtake to get the lead on the last lap of the last race of the season to win the F1 title. Maybe I took it a little too seriously - but I love a race - even if Ben was just cruising behind me. It was clear that he had effort to spare when he can still speak while he is paddling. If I said anything more than 2 words it was taking valuable energy away from paddling.