Kerrera kayakers face testing conditions
THE SIXTH Oban Sea Kayak Race, the biggest in the UK, took place last Saturday and it turned out to be one of the most testing conditions ever for its 60 entries.
The mass start, sent off by Oban lifeboat, was a big success and looked very impressive as the racers headed down the sound of Kerrera.
A head- on wind blowing force five-six made progress very difficult.
Nearing the south east point of the island, it became clear that the safety plan the organisers had put in place at the pre-race briefing was working, whereby anyone who became intimidated by the big conditions would turn round and head back to Kilbowie
The safety boats were prepared for this and had to rescue a few swimmers around the point.
Once round the critical south east point, the 2-metre cresting waves were beam on, but did not cause any further problems for the racers.
The organisers would like to thank everyone who entered this year’s race and made it such an incredible event. It just gets better and better.
A special thanks went to the support boats manned by Struan and Cameron Smith of Coastal Connection, DM Matheson, Dr Erik Jespersen, Drhue Forbes, David Crisp, Derek and Andrew Pretswell and Adrian Stark for their safety cover during the race, without which the organisers could never attempt to have such an event.
A big thanks went to the many competitors who travelled from every corner of the UK and also from Australia and Canada to take part in the race and also to the many businesses around Oban which sponsor the event every year.
All proceeds from the Oban Sea Kayak Race are in aid of the Oban lifeboat.
The winner of the Champions Trophy was Mark Ressel, Devon in a time of 1:39:47, who smashed the course record set by Ivan Lawler, London, in 2013 by two minutes.
Second was Simon Garbett, Cambourne, 1:45:40, with third place going to Luke Horder, Bondi, Australia, 1:50:58. Patrick Winterton, Oban, came in fourth in a very good time of 1:51:52.
The ladies’ champion was Lizelle Kemp with a time of 2:29:00, who is originally from South Africa, but now lives in Dunbar’.
ON THE ROCKS: Peter Mackman from Nairn required to be rescued after being thrown on to the rocks by the waves
UNDER ORDERS: Oban lifeboat starts the 2015 Oban Sea Kayak race
TOP BOY: The fastest junior prize went to Ross Urquhart from