The race format this time was a Long Handicap Race with paddlers starting at predetermined handicap start positions and racing up to the golf course bridge and around a buoy before coming back to the dog beach bridge. The handicaps are determined by previous performance, but with so many new paddlers and older paddlers updating to faster boats, this can be a bit of an educated guess at times.
The handicapping and up and back format made for interesting racing as many paddlers, apparently ignorant of the international “keep right” rule for boats, careered back down the shortlest line after the turn, almost crashing into masses of oncoming paddlers.
As the handicap back markers started catching the front runners the river was crowded, and wake surfing and crossing skills could make 4 or 5 places difference for a paddler.
The racing was close with all most of the 40 paddlers coming across the finsih line within a few minutes. Sometimes up to six paddlers crossed the line together.
The race was followed by a well attended social barbecue.
the next race is on 8th January, entries from 5.45 for a 6.15 to 6.30 start, depending upon how many turn up.