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Parents Paddle & Club Annual Fun Relay

Friday 10th June 2011 saw a large group of parents forfeit their normal Friday evening for their first paddle session. As a parent we tend to watch from the side, never realising the basic difficulties that our kids go through in their pursuit of canoeing. Fortunately the weather did a “U” turn to what had been predicted and everyone had a super time, with no swimmers. Afterwards a BBQ was held, although by then the weather returned, and the heavy downpour that had been forecast arrived, meaning we all ended up inside the club house. The success of the evening can be measured by the fact that everyone was enjoying themselves so much that they didn’t seem to want to go home … eventually, we had to switch off the lights and call time.

On Saturday we had the Clubs fun relay race, held after the normal training session. Four teams of (almost) equal ability were formed from the wide range of those who wanted to take part. We had a varied age range from 11- 50 ish and handicaps scaled from 1-40. The “legs” were a lap of Desborough Island and each team fielded 3 K1s and 2K2s. Team baton exchangers were recruited .These were Club members and friends from the GB Squads who had been training that morning. Ben Farrell, Ed Rutherford, Ben Brown, and Tom Hide were each assigned to a team. Their task was to grab the number plate from the incoming boats, run round the three big trees on the towpath and back to the landing stage to put the number on the outgoing boat. The first lap was led by Glen, racing for team 2, who were then overtaken by team 3 which was Dwayne and Sean, but the lead was not held, as by lap 3, Elise and Stefanio, for team 2, regained control. Lap 4 was by far the most difficult, as Shepperton Village raft race had just started their parade on the river.The floating rafts began their journey around the back of Desborough Island, along with their spectator’s boats. This meant the river was teeming with boats, floating rafts of all sizes and all not moving very fast. So it was with great trepidation that we watched for the first paddler to appear, Derek, meandering his way though the minefield. From then on it was clear team 2 were going to win, but the other teams paddlers were not giving up without a fight and all set out determined to try and reduce the gap to the finish.

Again the weather was in our favour and the BBQ, manned by Bud, was a success. Many thanks go to the coaches, extra regular paddlers that assisted the adults on Friday night, and the parents that helped clear up, making it all go off without a hitch.