Forty participants spilt over three categories on a dreech autumn day on the Dee, but the weather certainly didn’t dampen anyone’s spirit. The second round of the Scottish Home Town Throw Down came soon after the successful inaugural first round down at Grandtully. Each category had four quarter final heats, with the first two from each heat progressing through to the semi finals with the third and fourth placed going through to the consolation rounds.
The eleven paddlers in the Beginner category were soon whittled down to a final four after bombing down the Invercannie rapids with Roy winning, Bonnie second and Eloise third, special note to Wallis the youngest competitor coming first in the consolation final. Fourteen paddlers in the Intermediate category, after some very close paddling, catching a few eddies on the way down, we got down to a final four with Roy Brady first, Nick and Lucy in the duo second and Ali third. Consolation finalists, first Georgia (so not to be outdone by her little sister Wallis), Arron second and Harry third.
Expert category fifteen paddlers who had a pretty tough course with some very tight eddies to catch, miss them and it was difficult to get the right line for the next eddy. Also with a last minute added extra to the course, a white water roll across the main rapid! Expert final winner Nick, second Callum, third Ruari, consolation final, first Raf, second Lyle, third Rory Was it over? Nope still an issue with the Hand Paddle Bragging Rights Showdown, bit of a crazy start, but bragging rights go to GP with a clear run from start to finish, with Chris a close second.
With twenty nine heats to get through the event took longer than expected so it was soon on to the prize giving, big thanks to Jim Gibson, Aquaplay for vouchers and Big Dog Kayaks for tee-shirts for the winners and World Kayak for other gifts to the competitors. Mega big thanks for the competitors turning out on such a miserable day, especially for the group from Edinburgh University hope your all home okay. I appreciate it wasn’t ideal waiting for your heat, perhaps the next time we won’t hold it so late in the year and fire off the heats a bit quicker too.
Although the paddlers make the race you need the people in the background to make it happen. Special thanks to Russell and Arron for bringing along the gazebo, excellent call gents. Chris and Paul for safety support during the whole event. Carlynn for helping out with the admin I don’t know who tried whose patience the most, only kidding! Thank you to the paddlers who provided safety cover on the water, sometimes with just a shout from me, sorry but thank you, we did need it and there were quite a few swimmers, in all the categories and I think that shows how challenging the course was. Daz and GP for setting out the course in the morning. Nick for his help and advice getting the race of the ground.
Biggest thanks to Daz for kick starting the race, we spoke about it plenty, but he got the kayak rolling and I know he was getting a bit stressed out with river access rights, but it all turned out all right in the end lad.
A video of the day was put together by Malcom.
A huge thanks to Kevin for this write up and to both Kevin, Daryn and everyone who helped and competed !
Photo credit: Lucy Antrobus