Every summer the town of Amble is host to a friendly sea kayak race. This years was a little different in that waves the size of small houses were breaking over the harbour breakwater, clearly visible from the start line in the river Coquet. It was no surprise then, that the organiser had a more sheltered route planned; up the river for a mile, turn around a bridge pillar, back past the start and down to the harbour mouth, round a buoy and back to the start. It was about 4 miles long compared to the usual 5.5 mile round the island route.
The mass start kicked up lots of waves as we were all jostling for position on the more sheltered side of the river. We were soon settled into some formation wash-hanging. The turn, around a bridge pillar caused one participant to go and take a look at the fishes while the rest of us carved a neat turn and got into our rhythm again for the dash past the start/finish line on the way to the harbour. The water got a little choppier as we approached the turn but not enough to give the rescue boats any work . All this way I had been wash-hanging an Aleut II, but gained about 50 m on them at the turn. I was unable to maintain this gap and was soon overtaken. Just shows how much assistance you can get from a wash. Tried to sprint past them at the line but had nothing left and crossed the finish line fourth overall. Got the prize for fastest lady. There were probably about forty competitors in total.