Avon Descent 2006
Written by Andy Oughton
This was the third year that the club has had paddlers taking part (it’s not a race) or competing in the Avon Descent, a journey of just over 10-miles including 6 weirs and some very attractive back gardens, open countryside and Shakespeare’s town, Stratford-upon-Avon.
Our biggest turn out yet of 18 members, plus a couple of associated paddlers congregated for the start. The club had by then, already won the prize for the most people in a single car shuttle, but the less said about that the better!
The weather was ideal, dry and sunny, although a head wind on several open stretches made paddling difficult. Lowish water levels made the rocky weirs interesting, but not impossible (depending on how close to an overhanging tree you got on the third one).
Our open boats had the most success, Lammy and Anton won their class followed by Karl and James in second (or last position depending on how cruel you want to be). Lammy’s comment on the win was that he didn’t mind where he came, as long as the other boat was behind him. Karl’s comments are best not repeated. That battle will be continued next weekend on the Exe Descent, with both crews taking part.
Likko and Stuart won their open touring class with some style, although I thought the outrageous headgear had been tamed down a little - something for next year.
Owen and Olly were the first Topo Duo over the line and Mike Putnam was the first of the club’s touring kayaks to make the distance, pushing myself into second place (I blame the tree, but actually Mike paddled really well and benefited for the longer boat).
All the club’s entries finished the Decent with some good personal times. Everyone was shattered but full of enthusiasm, although it might be different when they wake in the morning.
Roll on next year’s Descent. The race times will be posted when available - but remember it’s not a race!
---------------------Some of our ‘team’ might like to consider taking their paddling to the next level and signing up for the Placid Water course that Quorn are hosting on Wednesday evenings between January and March. Although this is a coaching award, it will cover efficient forward paddling and give excellent exposure and experience in different types of boats. It is flexible (requiring just 8 Wednesday sessions plus a Saturday) and not expensive at £55 for the course.
I have done this course and would recommend it, particularly in this flexible format. Ask me for more details or contact Quorn direct.