Monday 3 April 2023 | by Jane Burren
There was a real buzz around the lake this morning as preparations were made for the 2nd AquaPaddle event at Manvers, Rotherham. The model boaters were setting up by the jetty and the Newfoundland dogs were on the beach. The open water swimmers were completing their last laps of the lake before the start of the AquaPaddle. Spring has finally arrived and the lake is awakening to what will be a busy season of events. The crew sprung into to action; registering paddlers, replacing forgotten kit and allaying nerves of first time AquaPaddlers. After radio checks and safety briefing they set off to get into position before the paddlers entered the water.
After a safety briefing and checks of equipment paddlers made their way to the lake. There were 22 paddlers today with a good mixture of crafts to add variety for spectators. After a final check of paddlers; 3, 2, 1 they were off! As they made their way to the first buoy my nerves settled, the clouds parted and some welcome rays of sunshine joined us. The course involved 3 loops of the lake with gentle bends and some more lively turns. We have one swimmer today at the head of the pack who quickly rejoined their board after a refreshing dip, the water is currently 10 degrees. There was a steady stream of paddlers passing the Time Lords, it didn’t seem long before we had our first finishers. All had a smile on their face and were greeted with a chocolate treat, well it is nearly Easter!
Once all paddlers had completed the course it was time for a group photo including the crew. There was lots of positive feedback from paddlers who were keen to return for the next event on the 7th May. Once the hustle and bustle had passed and a well earned cuppa consumed there was chance for reflection on progress made for Manvers, AquaPaddle-Rotherham. In a short space of time we have established an enthusiastic crew who have loved welcoming new paddlers to their home waters. We have grown from having 11 paddlers on our pilot event, to 22 paddlers on our 2nd live event. I have seen a community grow which is welcoming and nurturing to its members.
One stand out achievement is from a Manvers paddler, John, who after completing the pilot event in 1 hour 17 has progressed to completing the 1st live event in 1 hour 1 and today completing in just 46 min. They have practised in between events and have tried new craft to aid their progression, it is great to see such achievements, I look forward to seeing even more over the coming months. We would love to see you at our next AquaPaddle on 7th May, come and meet our friendly crew!
Thanks also to British Canoeing for providing the radios and other safety equipment for this location.
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