Sunday 26 February 2023 | by Brett Scillitoe
So the day had finally come that I would take part in my First AquaPaddle. Having Officiated or been a Crew member on lots last year, I had never actually taken part in an AquaPaddle. The next challenge was what to wear on a chilly late February day and which board. My old faithful Red Sport 11’3 or borrow a club board from Dittons Paddle Boarding, the club I belong to. In the end, it was old faithful. It might be a bit battered and scraped, but by pumping it up to 23psi I knew it would do me well.
Judy Scillitoe, my Sister was in charge, along with my Niece, Becky, in the Crew. I’ve always said AquaPaddle is a Big Family, and I wasn’t joking. It’s good to get your family involved and to share the mental and physical benefits of being out on the water. Especially on a Sunny Sunday Morning in late Winter.
Once the Safety Briefing was complete, it was off to the Start Line. It was odd being part of the Fleet and not being in the Crew. There were 16 Paddlers, a good mix of Kayaks (K1’s and Inflatable) and Paddleboards. Once started, I soon got into my rhythm. I had Gareth, who was on his new Kona Hard board and taking it easy just ahead of me, plus a lot of the fleet.
We had a tail wind on the way up the the Top Turn mark, so once round, it was straight into a breeze that had picked up since the start. Time to concentrate on “Style and Technique”. It didn’t help that I had chosen to wear my drysuit, which can be like a sail at times 🙄😂
With Molesey Boat Club in sight, I had finally made it to the Bottom turn point and finally had the wind behind me. This is were Gareth, now used to the Hard Board, picked up speed and left me as he headed for the line. I finished with a respectable time of 47:30. However, the K1’s completed the route in just over 30 minutes. It is fun being part of a mixed fleet and the K1’s certainly give all the paddlers something to chase. Click here for the full results.
Thank you to all the Crew, Judy, Becky, Helen, Paula, Will, Darren, Leigh and Time Lord, Anthony. AquaPaddle doesn’t happen without dedicated Volunteers. If you would like to help, get in touch with AquaPaddle HQ via the Contact page.
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