Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Conwy Ascent

The Conwy Ascent Race is run every year by Dyfryn Conwy Paddlers which is a club with a contingent of K1 racing paddlers, but also some sea kayakers. The Beacons car park near Conwy Marina was a hive of activity with kayaks being unloaded and carried to the steep shore. The theme running through all of this mayhem was one of camaraderie in the face of adversity. The south-westerly wind was building and threatened some choppy wind against tide conditions in some of the early stretches.

As soon as the briefing was over the staggered starts began. A few waves breaking on the shore made for a soggy start for some K1 and K2 paddlers. When they eventually got underway, it was the turn of the sea kayaks. I love the 'Le Mans' style start. A mad dash for the shore, drag the boat to the waters edge, jump in and paddle like mad! (The spraydeck can wait until later).

Upstream of the Conwy Castle and under the bridges, the waters began to get choppy. I was thriving on the conditions. I quite like battling into the wind (for short stretches). However, up ahead I noticed that one of the rescue boats was taking a K1 and its unseated occupant ashore. Then out of the spray I could a Double sea kayak helping a K2 crew. I stopped to help until another rescue boat arrived then, having lost several places resumed the 'race'.

The finish at Dolgarrog was followed by tea and sandwiches. Most paddlers dispersed by road but a few of elected to return to Conwy on the water to take in the late afternoon sunshine.

This is a great event and I'm sure to be back next year. I'm not sure what has kept me away for so long.

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