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The First AquaPaddle of 2022, The Paddle Boarding 5k

Tuesday 12 April 2022 | by Brett Scillitoe

After running the three AquaPaddles last year to test the concept, we spent the winter building the website and completing the documents and procedures. There was a lot to do and make sure that the bespoke AquaPaddle Timing system provided a simple system to understand and use. The Website is still very much in its infancy. We have a long list of improvements we would like to make, but these can only come with funds. As a charity who’s aim it is to bring the benefits of Paddle Boarding to those who need it (including Ukrainian Refugees) or can not afford it, money is an important factor in all that we do. So if you can give a little in these very difficult times, then please do.

The morning of the First AquaPaddle of 2022 started with bright warm sunshine after a chilly night. It was early April. As I turned up the Hurst Park, there were already AquaPaddlers preparing their boards. I greeted a number and started to set up the Team. Radios were checked and handed out. Duties given and The Crew (Volunteers) started to make their way onto the water and off to their allotted place on the water.

Our Patron, Emily King came along for the first AquaPaddle of the year. She spent some time mingling before I gave the safety briefing and we all headed onto the water to paddle over to the start at Bell Quay.

Anthony, the Timer of the AquaPaddle, got everyone lined up and started the Event, and off they went. Most were wearing the AquaPaddle Bibs and could be easily spotted as they are very bright green and the Marshals were in bright orange. There was a little radio chatter as the paddle fleet made it’s way up the route passed Platts Eyot and on the the turn point by Aquarius Sailing Club, informing the turn marshal of the AquaPaddlers approach.

Then it was back downstream pass the islands and keeping away from the rowing boats. Once Passed Taggs Island the paddlers turn upstream and head back the Bell Quay and the finish line. Emily was paddling with the main fleet encouraging all and as she came towards the finish, stopped to cheer on the back of fleet.

As you can see from the times, it is very manageable for most paddlers and even relatively inexperienced paddlers will be able to set a good time that would surprise themselves. If you want to come and have a go, please sign up for free. Remember the AquaPaddle event is a free timed social paddle for all.

Check out the Up Coming Paddles to see when the next one is.