Wednesday 22 March 2023 | by Hannah Stockdale
This Sunday was not only Mothers’ Day it was also apparently Pretzel Sunday in the US but far more exciting for us it was AquaPaddle Lincoln’s April Event.
After a week of varied weather forecasts for the day, when dawn broke on Sunday the sun dutifully appeared over Lincoln.
Paddlers prepared themselves for the water and then headed to the Introduction and Safety Briefing (just a little reminder for next time the safety briefing starts at 9.15).
Lots of new AquaPaddlers joined us as well as returning paddlers. We had a great turnout of 32 paddlers on the day, out of 38 who registered. If you find you cannot attend an event please do cancel your registration online.
Briefing complete the volunteer crew saw everyone safely on the water and then made their way to their positions ready for the start. As well as paddleboarders the event is open to all paddle craft with Paul E joining us on his self-made packraft.
For several paddlers the event was their first time back on the board this year and there were a few nervous smiles evident at the start.
The volunteer crew communicate with each other on the day via radios so we all know how paddlers are doing and where they are. Luckily there were no incidents to report during the event.
The event gained a lot of interest from many onlookers who were using the towpath for walking and other sports.
For those of us waiting on the start line about 30mins after the start we see the paddlers on their return leg approaching us, as we make out Shane and Chris in the distance.
Despite a small headwind there were some great times achieved and a number of returning paddlers were able to achieve new PBs at this month’s paddle. Paul on his packraft achieved a very impressive 51m17s.
Plenty of new AquaPaddlers were shocked at their time Karen W was delighted with her 59m57s time just sneaking her under the 1hour mark. Karen has only been paddling since late Summer last year and this was only her second time on the board she paddled on the day.
As has now become a tradition once finished the paddlers line their boards up on the bank, and gather on the bankside to cheer on the rest of the participants. We suspect that Justin made AquaPaddle history when he fell from his board about 3metres from the finish line, and so the usual chants of “push push push” turned to “swim swim swim” as he made it to the line.
Group photos followed and then the short paddle back to the car park. Post paddle sugar fix lollipops followed along with daffodils for Mothers/Ladies who joined us on the day. Those who didn’t have to rush off then enjoyed a post event drink in the beer garden. A couple of paddlers even decided to head back out on the water for a longer paddle.
Thank you to everyone who came and enjoyed the day and a big thank you to our wonderful volunteer crew on the day of Jason, Karen, Colin, Steve, Emily and Carol.
With special thanks to British Canoeing for their support of AquaPaddle donating safety equipment and the new AquaPaddle flags.
Our next event is on April 16th and we hope even more of you can join in the fun. Come see us in Sunny Lincoln. We look forward to sharing our AquaPaddle with you.
by Hannah Stockdale and Mick Griffin
AquaPaddle is run purely on Donations. If AquaPaddle is of value to you with your health and wellbeing, please help if you can by giving a donation.