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Thread: Canoe Racing - 13th May 2006

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    Default Canoe Racing - 13th May 2006

    This takes place once a year on the Harbourne, which at this point is a tidal creek off the Dart, just downstream of Ashprington point. Maybe 800mtrs or so upstream this creek kinda just becomes a pretty little Devonshire stream weaving itís way through the countryside.

    Geisha and I been to this event once before, but not actually raced. On this occasion were lucky enough to be invited to join a crew for the day. The race leaves from alongside the pub quay, and turns about 400mtrs downstream, to cross the start line again as the finish.


    Itís a Ďfuní event and the proceeds go towards the RNLI and the Chernobyl Children's Charity.

    The details of the boats are here.



    Most of the other crews were 10 men, plus a helmsman, and the boats are quoted as being Europeís largest canoes, and I can see why.

    We battled our way through the heats to reach the final, which we then won in the quickest time on the day. We were all concentrating hard on the paddling so I didnít really have a feel for how close the racing was, but a look at the scoreboard revealed all. It did feel very competitive, and the entire crew gave everything on the day, Iíd have no doubt that this was just as true for every other crew as well, so fair play to everyone that raced, irrespective of the outcomes.

    It came down to two things in the end, a smooth and co-ordinated paddling technique, and the turn at the half-way point: being this large these boats donít really turn especially quickly of course, but a bit of care taken going into the turn, along with an experienced helmsman, and we had this in hand.

    Off we go - no pictures of the first heat, as the camera crew were still out shopping ...

    This is the semi-final ...


    [Video capture: This is not long after the start, we are over in the yellow boat, not making as many splashes]



    [Video capture: At the turn]


    [Video capture: Powering back upstream, reasonably well co-ordninated]


    [Video capture: The effort paid off tho', as we crossed the line a boat length or more ahead]

    To make the best use of the tide, the racing started at ~1630 and ended just before 2000. The final took place at the stand of the tide, which on this river is the best time to paddle, and given the time of day, the earlier wind had almost completely died down too, making for perfect conditions to run the final in. (Although Mrs M_P was completely freezing by now).


    [Video capture: The final, we are now in the red boat, which had a completely different feel to it]


    [Video capture: We've made the turn and are now pushing the boat back towards the finish line]


    [Video capture: Tight racing with about 130mtrs to the finish]


    [Video capture: ...but again the effort pays off, and we cross the line a length clear of the yellow coloured boat - note that wake of an indication of speed !]

    To coin a phrase, when the flag drops the bull stops ...


    [The name was a bit of fun to see if anyone slipped up on the commenatry - which they did, but we improved our times considerably during the day, 3.45, 3.29, winning in 3.16. Doable in less than 3.00 - we think so, so that's next years challenge]

    All in, it was a great afternoons messing about, and I canít say Iíd like to go very far in one solo, but it was an interesting boat to paddle, and for a worthy cause too.

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    Default Canoe race

    Hi MP.

    Great Blogg & Photos. Alan and I would like to know if the yellow canoe is flying the Scottish Lion Rampant flag.


    "Norfolk Chance"

    MM
    Maggie.

    ''One is always wiser after the event''

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    Looks like a great fun day MP. A friend of mine was talking of enterring a team in a similar event near here, but somehow nothing came of it. Kind of sorry now, after seeing your pictures.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


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    MM, I'd say it was indeed the Lion Rampant. All of these boats had different flags on them - Looking through the other pictures from the day, I see we have the Cross of St George, a Red Ensign, the newly created Devon flag, and the Lion Rampant. There are other boats that didn't get used for this event, and I'm sure that they fly other flags flown too.

    Matto,
    Maybe next year then eh?
    I'm really pleased we paddled on the day, as it was a totally different experience to what I am used to, and to what I was expecting - what surprised me is that even loaded, these boats still responded to 'normal' canoe strokes, I found that I could move and hold it quite well on my own.

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    Default Canoe races

    Cheers MP,

    I did recognise the St Georges Cross and when I looked at your first photo in your post the Lion Rampant is quite clear.

    Excuse my ignorance but is the Green/Turquoise flag with the white cross the Devon flag?

    Maggie
    Maggie.

    ''One is always wiser after the event''

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mutineering Maggie
    Cheers MP,

    I did recognise the St Georges Cross and when I looked at your first photo in your post the Lion Rampant is quite clear.

    Excuse my ignorance but is the Green/Turquoise flag with the white cross the Devon flag?

    Maggie
    No worries, I was only just wondering what the significance of the Lion Rampant was (but having just googled it I now know ).

    The Devon flag is indeed the white (& black) cross on a green background. It's only been around for the three or four years, and this page on BBC Devon has more. These colours have been long associated with Devon anyway, but the flag colours are to be read as: green is for the Devon countryside, black for the moorland, and white for the sea ...

    I actually like the idea, but I know it's received a mixed reception.

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    Looks like everyone had a fun time.Looking at the pic's both canoes appear to be going at quite a pace and I got to thinking we've had canoes as toboggans what about canoes as ski boats?.I'll take a lunging whip just in case the Missus and kids aren't up for it. Mike B...

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    Thanks for the info MP.

    We are lucky in Scotland as there is the choice of 'The Saltire' or 'Lion Rampant' flags. ( better not get into politics ).

    In your link it mentions about a flag giving a sense of place couldn't agree more.Even though we live in the same country areas have their own local customs and dialect all over the world.(Enough said don't want to ramble on ).

    Maggie
    Maggie.

    ''One is always wiser after the event''

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