The First North Esk River Race

On Saturday the 27th of April, 2013, we held the inaugural North Esk River Race, and against all Scottish pessimism and predictions of water levels and weather, we managed to get the perfect day for it. Beautiful sunshine and absolutely perfect river levels, with Triple Step, the main event of the Advanced race, being at its most exciting and meatiest! Registration began bright and early, competitors were handed out their bibs and we all began to prepare ourselves for the challenge ahead.

After a brief safety and race briefing we got the race underway with the Intermediate class. Running for just above Rock Garden and finishing in the pool above Triple Step, we had a cracking course. While this year the numbers were low, the paddling was top form, with 14 year old Jamie Peden putting in an impressive time for the mens, and Jessi Thornton throwing down a great run for the womens.

Next off was the main event, the Advanced category. The course started in the same place as the intermediate, just above Rock Garden, but carried on down through the more challenging Triple Step and Presidents Corner. Here we saw some epic runs being put down across the board, with a decent measure of carnage as the hole at the bottom of triple step claimed its victims! The course was tough as Rock Garden, Witches Cauldron and Triple and the many rapid in between all proved to be more challenging when you’re charging your hardest than the ordinary more relaxed approach we take! After many boofs, rolls, sketchy lines and the occasional popped deck, we had our Advanced Champions. The race was close, but Leslie Simpson managed to pull ahead of the pack and take the title for the mens. Amy Kincaid put in some seriously impressive paddling, nailing her lines to be crowned Ladies Advanced Champion.

After a bit of shuttling around and rearranging of start and finish lines, the final challenge came next. This gruelling run started at the very top eddy of the river, down through every rapid, including Fishladder, a technical drop, and taking out at Ganochy Bridge. The race, however, was not over, as competitors had to run back up the road 3km to the very top car park, a hefty task considering everyone had already raced in the Advanced. 13 brave souls stepped up to the challenge. Racing was fierce and the course was gruelling, with times ranging from 44 minutes to just over and hour.

However, at the end a winner emerged and Calum Peden took the mens title by only 17 seconds from Advanced champion Leslie Simpson. Once again, we saw Amy Kincaid putting in an impressive time, taking home the double crown, as ladies Ironman Champion! This was a brutal test for every competitor, and everyone did exceptionally!

This race was a pleasure to be part of, and hopefully will be the first of many. As it was in its first year the race was not without hiccups and we have learned a huge amount which we can carry forward to next years race, hopefully making the race, bigger, better, smoother and more fun for everyone! Most importantly, this was a test to see if running a Nesk Race was possible and it definitely looks that way!

The race couldn’t have happened without World Kayak’s valuable help in organisation, providing prizes and bibs, so a huge thank you to Nick and WK! I’d also like to thank Mark from Go Kayak Scotland, who came along with some lovely demo boats and provided some more fantastic prizes! Greatly appreciated!
The race couldn’t have happened without our tireless volunteers who sat on the cold rocks taking times and being safety. Absolute troopers, thank you!

Callum Hogg

 

Here are the race times:

All times in minutes and seconds.

 

Intermediate

Mens:

1 – # 03 Jamie Peden – 5:00

 

Ladies:

1- #50 Jessi Thornton – 6:37

 

Advanced 

Mens:

1 – #33 Leslie Simpson – 5.27

2 – #28 Calum Peden – 5:40

3 – #07 Joe Kirk – 5:44

4 – #08 Bruce Jolliffe – 5:45

5 – #02 Calum Hogg – 5:49

6 – #10 Seori Ormiston – 5:53

7 – #52 Scott Robinson – 6.02

8 – #27 John Scott – 6:04

8 – #49 Luke Devall – 6.04

10 – #51 Gregor Gray – 6:05

11 – #~~ Matt Bowen – 6:07

11 – #46 Daniel Still – 6:07

13 – #30 Murray Philp – 6:12

14 – #05 Roddy Sandeman – 6:15

15 – #01 Daryn Hubbucks – 6:16

16 – #26 Sandy Niven – 6:17

17 – #25 John Rothwell – 6.21

18 – #44 Murray Gauld – 6.22

19 – #21 Guillaune Boyer – 6:25

20 – #55 Mark Mulrain – 6:59

21 – #20 Hugo Fairclough – 7:03

22 – #60 Fergal Hainey – 7:11

22 – #16 Jonathon Bell – 7.11

24 – #41 Jonny Hogg – 7:29

25 – #18 Ciaran Burgess – 8:20

26 – #23 Rory Munro – 8:46

27 – #29 Jack Brickell – 9:44

28 – #40 Byron Truscott – 10.43

 

Ladies:

1 – #43 Amy Kincaid – 6:27

2 – #39 Katie Annan – 6:36

3 – #11 Christine Rolin – 6:58

4 – #42 Texa Sim – 9:04

 

Ironman

1 – #28 Calum Peden – 44:05

2 – #33 Leslie Simpson – 44:23

3 – #08 Bruce Jolliffe – 48:15

4 – #25 John Rothwell – 48:35

5 – #46 Daniel Still – 49:47

6 – #43 Amy Kincaid – 50:36

7 – #68 Calum Hogg – 51:09

8 – #20 Hugo Fairclough – 51:11

9 – #39 Katie Annan – 51:53

10 – #10 Seori Ormiston – 52:54

11 – #60 Fergal Hainey – 54:06

12 – #41 Jonny Hogg – 58:14

13 – #55 Mark Mulrain – 61:34

 

 

 

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