Ker­rera kayak­ers face test­ing con­di­tions

The Oban Times - - Sport -

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’.

Photos: Stephen Law­son

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

In­ver­ness

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