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International Canoe Week at Plymouth - Days 1, 2 & 3

by Chris Hampe 13 Jun 2019 07:01 BST 10-16 June 2019
International Canoe Week 2019 at Plymouth © Chris Hampe

Day One

It was no "Blue Monday" as the International Canoe fleet gathered in Plymouth for the start of Canoe week with torrential rain causing the First race to be delayed due to the wind going "Round & Round". Once the wind had resettled from the north the race officer Keith Kendal, decided it was a "Fine time" to get the fleet going in the light conditions. The fleet all seemed to have a "Sub-culture" to start on Port and with Robin Wood leading away the race was looking to become a "Procession". Phil Allen Rounded the first mark in second with Chris Hampe hot on his heels.

At the finish Robin Wood showed that he was "Here to Stay" taking the win by a large margin. Steve Clarke took advantage of other people errors to lead a trio of Morrison 3 designs ahead of Phil Allen and Chris Hampe. While John Ellis in fifth lost out on a podium with a "Brutal" capsize at the final windward mark.

Day Two

With gusts of 37 knots tearing across Plymouth Sound the Fleet were "Waiting for the Siren's Call" which was soon answered by the race office who made the early decision to Postpone all racing for the day.

Day Three

There was some "Shellshock" for the start of race 2 as Robin Wood found himself capsized on the start line just before the gun. At the windward mark it was Phil Robin who led the fleet with Chris Hampe just ahead of a large pack of boats with Tony Marston's Slurp in third. The pack of boats really bunched up on the 1st reach with John Ellis slipping into a lead ahead of the "Singularity" of the remaining pack behind.

After the gybe mark it was the "People on the High Line" who made gains against the incoming tide. Chris Hampe had gone so high he had to gybe back to the leeward mark, But in doing so he took a small lead rounding on the inside of Robin Wood. Robin would "Regret" his next decision as he saw breeze on the left of the course he missed the upwind gate as he went far left and broke away from the fleet, with that his result was "Ruined in a Day". For those who made it through the gate the race officer had signalled for a shorter beat and there was plenty of "Confusion" with the bulk of the fleet following Robin Wood towards where the previous windward mark had been laid.

This left Hampe "Touched by the Hand of God" to have a large lead to win from Rob Bell and Glen Truswell.

For race three the wind had swung slightly to the west and in a "Spooky" coincidence it was Phil Robin who once again led around the windward mark ahead of Robin Wood and Chris Hampe. With the Breeze getting lighter the fleet was again bunching up against the last of the incoming tide and it was shortly after the gybe mark when Hampe made his "krafty" move. Gybing 90 degrees away from the mark Chris had spotted a "Jetstream" of breeze filling in from the south west. Being first into the new wind saw him lead round the bottom mark and through the gate on a course that had just become inverted. Hampe managed to hold on to the lead around the penultimate mark But a bad tack induced capsize up the beat to the last mark saw him drop back to 5th, While "Everything's gone green" for Robin Wood, Rob Bell, Phil Robin and Glen Truswell. In the approach to the final mark Hampe managed to re-pass Phil Robin to take fourth place behind Glen Truswell third, Rob Bell second, and Robin Wood in first.

Tomorrow Canoe Week continues into day 4 as the proper "Ceremony" of the National Championships which runs Thursday to Sunday begins. Can a New Order be established in this highly competitive fleet?

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