The course was set and everything was ready early on Sunday, all that was missing were the competitors. We didn’t have to wait long as the carpark started to fill and the river got busy with people practising. In the end we had an impressive 106 races in all classes.
The big draw was the chance to race against Adam Burgess, regrettably he had a ache in his back and after a long warm up decided against racing. But he was around all day chatting with everyone, having selfies and handing out advice to those who asked for it.
Racing got underway and after the first run positions were close in several classes. 0.6sec split the overall winner and second place. Despite the mini not counting for ranking points this didn’t stop the competitors taking it very seriously. With both paddlers seeking advice from coaches and friends on how they could improve. Both managed to improve on their second runs but for Chris Bowers 0.1sec wasn’t enough to catch Finley Croome who improved by 3.3sec, but a touch reduced that lead to 0.8sec making for some nail biting racing. This close racing continued with fractions of a second splitting most of the field, proving the handicap system works well.
Adam was on hand at the end to give out this years very special Mini Slalom mug, celebrating his success getting on to Team GB. A lot of racers meant a lot of happy recipients of their mugs.
Full results can be found on our Results Page
Words – Adrian Croome
Pictures – Steve Pearce