So the last race of the season for DSKC kicked off on a warm flat afternoon in Dubai with the course selected as a triangular option taking the paddlers round the inside of the Burj Al Arab, out to our familiar TW28 buoy and then back to shore. Total race distance was around 14.5km and only one course option was offered.
A healthy turn out of around 20 paddlers lined up with a mix of ages and abilities. And I’m pleased to report that we had our first junior paddler for many years (Possibly ever with the exception of Ryan Campbell?) Stephen Knight on the start line.
The starts of these races are usually frantic for the first 1k before settling into a rhythm and people then finding their separate little groups to resume battle with old adversaries and today was no exception, from where I was sitting (The front seat of the double) the Nicholson/Mehew double got a blistering start and found themselves as the lead boat, hotly pursued by Standly, Bitcon, Murray and the pack.
The lead 4 stayed together for the first 2-3 km before Bitcon turned the screw, the first casualty being the Nicholson/Mehew double, and then at around the 6km point Kenlea Murray was clearly starting to feel the strain and was separated from group.
This left the Westfield old boys to scrap it out between themselves for top honours, Bitcon taking it from Standly and with Murray flagging, Miss Mehew getting stronger with every stroke it was the double pairing that took third spot leaving the rest of the DSKC squad to debate who gets the not so coveted “pink pantie” award.
Further down the field as well as the amazing performance of young Stephen Knight in completing a 14.5 km marathon paddle. It surely won’t be long before he’s contesting the podium places I would venture.
We also had another solid paddle from the ever improving Tim Style, a first appearance from Benji the Hungarian chap for whom this was apparently his longest ever ski paddle.
It was also great to see Barbara and Rick out on the water and racing as competitively as ever.
1. Doug Bitcon 1.13:17
2. John Standley 1.14:17
3. Andy and Becky 1.16:25
4. Mark Rogers 1.17:27
5. Kenlea Murray 1.18:21
6. Rob and Neal 1.18:55
7. Ben brough 1.20.17
8. Tim Style 1.26:15
9. Benji 1.27:35
10. Paul 1.28:41
11. Mariano 1.28:59
12. Chris Bartlett 1:31:25
13. Brian rowlings 1:31:29
14. Stephen knight 1:35:03 (junior)
15. Paul pimblett 1:36:15
16. Rich savill 1:37:33
17. Rick hatfield 1:48:21
18. Barbara hatfield 1:48:21
Thanks to everyone for turning up and making it a great fun event, quick shout to Dave Shennan and Harlequin Marquees for the sun shade.
Before I close we have a couple of dates for your diaries
Friday 26th April – Mirfa Ski race (Prize money for top 4 Male and Female paddlers)
Saturday 27th April – Ski race at Nasimi beach
Friday (TBD May) – Runners got Sole (Paddlers v Runners handicap race + Breakfast at DOSC)