2011 Bridge to Beach

Sunday, 17-Apr-11 19:16:05 UTC
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Tim Jacobs reports:

Two weeks to go before the Euro Challenge and we have a short sprint race at home…10km.
Starting from under the Sydney Harbour Bridge the start was dramatic, with 450 competitors taking part, spread across, ocean ski’s, double ocean ski’s, outriggers, paddle boards, stand up paddle boards and plastic kayaks.
This race is the City to Surf of ski paddling, being the biggest in number of participants.
We were greeted with a 15-20 knot South Easterly wind blowing.
Positions on the start line were tight with some many paddlers, with everyone trying not to get pushed back off the front line by the mob coming forward.
There was no hot spot up for grabs but the pace was on from the start, with double ocean ski’s and former Olympic kayaker Danny Collins leading the charge pushing on each bump to get the early advantage out into the shipping lanes and pick up some boat wash.
The felid split down the middle after 800m with half going towards the middle of the Harbour with others and myself taking a more direct line for the first turning buoy.
With most of the other paddlers looking for a double ski wash I was able to break away early and give myself room to move and chase a large boat wash that came past.
I hit the first buoy in front with a double ski close behind and it was me and them for the next 2km leading out around Bradleys Head and into a more direct line for home with the wind coming across my right shoulder.
The conditions were tough as the wind chop was rebounding off the rocky shoreline and middle head of the harbour creating bumps and backwash that was only a couple of metres apart.
There were still runs and backwash to catch though, you just had to keep working your steering and manoeuvring your weight in the boat so that you could quickly change direction and go with any little bump that was on offer.
The closer we got to the finish line the better the conditions got and the more the wind came around behind us.
It was a fast race and a good hit out but I will have to add another 15km onto this race to get through the Euro Challenge…...can’t wait.
I hit the beach well clear of Michael Clues in second with former Olympic kayaker Danny Collins a close third.
It was a 150m soft sand run to finish which I got to do with my boys, Toby and Jai who ran faster than me across the line.
A great race and great to have so many people participating in a growing sport.

tim

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