What an eventful yet very successful day on Sunday. For our band of willing volunteers, the day commenced with a beautiful sunrise promising great weather.
The tinny, loaded with all the portage equipment, was off to the boat ramp to launch. This was where the problems began. Once the boat was in the water, it would not start, so had to be loaded back onto the trailer and driven back to the venue. This meant all the equipment had to then be carried down to the beach. Luckily the course had been set out on Saturday afternoon.
We wanted to get the portage set up early as we were expecting quite a lot of beachgoers. This was achieved. Meanwhile the start/finish tent and three other gazebos were being erected, coffee van positioned and everything else required to make the day successful was being done. Great, we’re ready. Time for the briefing. All we needed then were the two SES safety boats to arrive. 0900 “They’ll be here shortly”, 0920 no boats, frantic phone calls, managed to speak to the SES boss, who was on holidays and had no idea why the boats hadn’t turned up. He managed to arrange for one boat which had to come from Wilberforce. The paddlers were advised there would be some delay to the starts
Meanwhile, we had someone examining the tinny motor and it was discovered that the fresh tank of fuel was water contaminated. The tank was emptied, and another volunteer raced to get fresh fuel but tried at two service stations to get marine 2 stroke oil with no luck. Fortunately, he had some at home. While this was going on our race director got two sea kayaks onto the river and a start was affected with the SES boat at the boat ramp. Thanks to some marvellous work by all, the start was a mere twenty minutes late.
The tinny fuel tank and filter were flushed and she started. All problems were not quite sorted – yet. There was a wake board event between the boat ramp and the bridge so due to the river closure we couldn’t get the tinny from the ramp up to our venue. What to do? Take it off the trailer and with four guys it was pushed over the top of the bank, through the undergrowth over a couple of logs and into the water. Now we had another safety boat. Doesn’t the saying go ” If you have a solution then you haven’t got a problem”?
Onto the race. There was some very keen racing throughout the divisions with fast times being recorded and no, the course wasn’t short, the conditions were good with a nice run out tide.
The day warmed up considerably as the race went on, so a cool dip in the river was the order of the day with most paddlers enjoying a swim in the beautiful Hawkesbury after finishing their race.
There were some very nice comments made afterwards about the course, in particular the big wide flowing turns which I’m sure the doubles paddlers enjoyed. Many of the paddlers enjoyed lunch at the Macquarie Park Cafe which is in the grounds and renowned for great food at reasonable prices.
It was a great credit to all the volunteers from Windsor Paddlesports Club to overcome the adversities that arose through no fault of theirs and they put on a great event.
Results are available on Webscorer: 2023 Marathon #2 – Windsor | Race results | Webscorer
Hope to see everyone at Canberra in two weeks for The State Championships – the Burley Griffin Club always stage and event not to be missed. Enter via Webscorer here before 8 March: 2023 PaddleNSW Marathon State Championships | Event registration | Webscorer
National Championships are in Geelong 6-10 April, help NSW retain the Frank Whitebrook Trophy – enter via Webscorer here before 23 March: 2023 Oceania & PA Canoe Marathon & SUP Champs | Event registration | Webscorer
2023 Marathon Series Race 3 is at Lane Cove, Sunday 30 April – enter here via Webscorer: 2023 Marathon #3 – Lane Cove | Event registration | Webscorer
Thank you to Lyle Mead, Windsor Paddlesports Club for the report, Laura Lee for your assistance with this and Ian Wrenford for the fabulous images available here:2023-02 PNSW Marathon #2 Windsor | Flickr . Appreciated.