Exciting Times at the South Lakes Marathon
Conditions were calm and the water flat when racing started on Lake Coniston on Sunday. Roger Williams and Bob Scholey were paddling division 6 K2 in a combined division 6,7 and 9 K2 race over a four mile course involving 3 laps. Roger and Bob lead from the start and were comfortably ahead after 2 laps when the weather decided to make things a bit more interesting. A brisk breeze picked up from the south, blowing the full length of the lake and quickly starting to build up waves. Fortunately the Chester pair raced home to an easy win before conditions got too bad.
However paddlers still out on the course were not so lucky. Over the next hour conditions deteriorated markedly with ranks of significant waves being blown up the lake with quite a few white horses amongst them. Competitors tackling the 8 and 12 mile courses found themselves in some difficulty. Five out of eight div 6 K1 starters retired, most having capsized and several div 4 paddlers also took a ducking but continued to race. Shortly after the 8 mile racers had struggled in the organisers took the decision to abandon the 12 mile race before the full complement of laps. No-one was sorry, conditions were just too difficult but it was exciting for the spectators.