First, a big thanks to all the supporters and sponsors, with your help. this year we contributed $390 to the overall fund-raising efforts.
The trip over set the tone for the whole event and well, it wasn’t great! We got around 400km from home and had to turn around and come back and swap cars – yep, 900+km and a lost day driving was not a good start.
Onto Saturday, as per usual, I didn’t sleep too well and only managed about 6 hours the night before, so it was going to be a long event! Saturday, saw a high temperature with around 33deg at the start and a prediction for about 14 overnight – which is quite hot for paddling. Knowing full well how the heat can affect me, I decided to not put on my wetsuit pants (or even my spray deck for that matter) for the first leg.
This year, due to the tides, I decided to do the BorB and had a 4pm start. As we were on the water waiting for the start Brad pulled out his phone and snapped this picture.
Taking it quite easy for the first 10-15 minutes was something that I knew I needed to do so that I didn’t suffer from the heat. I held back and kept my speed down and once I had settled down and got into it. Once I started moving, my avg speed just kept creeping higher and higher – this was attributed to the tide. As usual, I had an APRS tracker on the boat, but this time, it was just not being heard and only reported a couple of times near the start and once about 40 minutes later.
About an hour after the start, there was someone coming up behind me and making a lot of noise. When I turned and looked, it was Rod Clarke on his Outrigger just flying past, way faster than me. Not long after that a C4 with a LRec double went past, I managed to climb on behind them for about 500M – but they were just too fast for me!.
Just before Catti (checkpoint A), I had someone climb on behind me and stay there until just before Sackville – yep, they got a free ride for about 20km!
It was about 1km from Sackville when I hit the change in the tide – I noticed a lot of very large whirlpools everywhere across the river and that is all it could have been – the in and out flows meeting.
Arriving at Sackville at 19:13, I noted that my avg speed hit 8.8km/h as I pulled in. I was well and truly in front of my planned arrival time of 19:37! I did a quick prep – eat and drink, pulled on my wetsuit pants, put on my spray deck as it was just starting to get a bit cooler.
I jumped back in the boat to get going just as Dad and Sandra were arriving, organized myself and was getting set when disaster struck. I pushed against my foot pegs and snap! the left one gave way. So, pulled back into the shore, tied up the rudder as I would not have any steering, and got set again. I took a couple of strokes and almost went out – there was just no way I could paddle with only 1 foot to push and drive with – I simply had no power or balance, so the race was over for me.
I knew that I had been pushing along at a decent pace with the tidal assistance, but it was not until I pulled the plot that I could see how well I was going!
With a broken boat I had no choice but to withdraw, my race was over almost before it begun. It was about this time that I wished that I had brought the other boat, but them’s the breaks, and this time it was my boat. Now what was I saying about retro-fitting a full foot-plate in this boat – well, now it is something that I have to do before I can get it back on the water!
You can see that the right footrest is intact, and the left one that broke off is sitting just above the rail.
Yeah, it was a bit disappointing to not be able to complete the whole 111km, but there is always next year!
Yea, almost forgot, Congrats to Dad, finishing his 3rd HCC a few minutes faster than his last time, and to Sandra, who paddled with Dad completing her very first Marathon event.