Head of the Dart 40th Anniversary Race – 9 miles

Excellent event based down in Totnes Devon.

9 miles up the River Dart.

I was really excited about this race, the conditions were forecast to be good, pretty warm for that time of year, fairly light winds.

I arrived the night before, waited for a few of the other guys to arrive then turned in early to get a good nights rest.

There was plenty of time pre-race for everyone to hang about & catch up.  It was really nice to chill out in the sunshine & talk boards, fins, paddles & more!

The race started at lunchtime.  I got a good start, some didn’t!  The passing passenger ferry created a big wake that caught a few people offguard.  Everyone in the lead pack went off hard.  I kept the pace & settled into my stroke.  I’d spent the previous couple of days reading Dave kalama’s blog about paddle technique so started to practice what I’d read ‘The Tahitian Stroke’.  Fast, efficient, high cadence.

I had a bit of to-and-fro with Sean Powell, we swapped position a bit but I was determined to stay ahead of the big K15.  I kept my rate up & pulled away slightly.  Next battle was Dave Hackford.  We were side by side for a good mile or so but again, I dug deep & slipped past.  Finally at about 5 miles I caught Jan Sleigh.  He looked tired & I took advantage by upping my rate to push by.  I had Mike Merrick & Steve Carter in sight but I didn’t want to peak too early.  My GPS was reading about 6.5 miles so I thought I’d creep up & blast the last mile.

I was getting gradually closer then all of a sudden I realised we were at the finish line & I was a good 50m behind!  I checked my GPS & we were at jsut under 8miles… the race wasn’t 9 miles after all! ahhhh… still pretty pleased with the result but just short of the podium position!

Race number: 123

Time: 1.30.29

Position in class: 4

Position overall: 12 out of 46

Official website: http://hotdart.wordpress.com/