Monday 17 July 2023 | by Hannah Stockdale
One of the key concerns for all AquaPaddle Crews is how will the weather be on the day. After nervously watching the forecast winds speeds leading up to Sunday we arrived at our location to see that the ancient Fossdyke had come good again, the shelter of the embankment blocking most of the wind.
Crew member Karen was out on the water early to paddle the route for our pre event checks and happily reported it was mostly very calm, with just one section of headwind leading up to the turn point. We felt confident that all our participants would be safe taking part, knowing that the towpath means that paddlers are never more than a few metres from a safe get out point.
As our paddlers arrived for the safety briefing it was great to see almost half of the 28 were new to AquaPaddle. Everyone remembered their Aquapaddle bibs/numbers and buoyancy aids today! AquaPaddle now allow tandem crafts to take part and we had our first tandem on the water today with Craig and his son joining us in their kayak.
At 10am to the sound of the airhorn all paddlers set out on the outbound leg without incident. As usual there were a small number of boats travelling along the route during the event, the crew warn all boaters to the presence of paddlers and we are grateful for their cooperation in passing by slowly.
As paddlers came up to the 2km mark the canal bends slightly pushing them in to the toughest section, a headwind that slowed the pace of almost all paddlers as they pushed on to the turn point. I’m sure all were pleased to see Steve at the halfway point and great to be able to say everyone made it and earned the reward of the tailwind push after they had turned.
With Griff as Captain and myself as Time Lord we love to see the paddlers as they approach the finish line, tired but smiling for the camera and pleased with their achievements, or maybe just delighted it is over.
To anyone reading and perhaps a little nervous of entering one of these events this is Gabrielè after she finished who very nearly backed out of attending through nerves, look at that smile!
We love the community spirit of all of you who come along to the events and the support you give each other. With Griff and paddler Lee cheering people over the finish line we really don’t need any loud hailers here!!
As well as our usual thanks to all our volunteer crew who make the event possible we would like to thank Chris, Greg and Craig for attending on behalf of British Canoeing to see an AquaPaddle in action and see how their support of AquaPaddle benefits the paddling community.
AquaPaddle is run purely on Donations. If you would like to support the AquaPaddle BlueSpace Sessions, please help if you can by giving a donation.