2012 Xmas Race

It was the month before Christmas….  and the MCC-SA holds their Annual Christmas Race from Blanchetown to Swan Reach, a “pleasant” 28km paddle down the river.

Well, it could have been a pleasant paddle, if it was not for the 35deg temperature and the headwind that blew up towards the end!

2012 Xmas Race Course

2012 Xmas Race Course

Even with the high temperature, there were still about a dozen paddlers doing the 28 km long course and another 6 doing the short 10km out and back course from Swan Reach.

Every single entrant had a good day – because everyone was in a different class, which meant everyone came first!

2012 Xmas Race Speed

2012 Xmas Race Speed

I started out quite well, but after only a couple of km, I literally hit the wall – the heat really affected me badly.  It took me the next 3-4 km to cool down and get back into paddling.

It was not until about the 18km mark that I copped the first bit of headwind which slowed me down a bit.  I guess it was  fortunate that I put on my spray deck, but had it opened because as I was about to round the last bend and head towards the finish, I could see huge waves and whitecaps in the River.  I took a moment to pause and pull my spraydeck up!

The last 2km was brutal – being at the end of a 5km long straight section of the river that the wind was blowing down, at over 40km/h, whipping up waves of around 0.5m it was a tough slog to the finish!

I crossed the line 3hrs 31m 41s after starting. breaking my own class record that I established the previous year by over 30 minutes.  The GPS showed 28km, and 8km/h as I crossed the line.

Finally, most paddlers decided to stay on and enjoy a meal at the Swan Reach Hotel to round out the day.