A sultry evening with gentle southerlies greeted the 30-odd paddlers who lined up for Race 1 of the 2015/16 Sandridge Bay Series, giving us all hope the biblical conditions of years past might give us a break!
There was a lot of "I'm so unfit, I can't do this..." talk at rego, but soon after the start flag went down, muscle memory kicked in and competitive juices flowed. The two-and-a-bit kilometre-lap course had a bit of everything, with some upwind, side-chop and downwind conditions testing skills.
First across the line with a commanding lead was mutliple Bay Series Champ, Mick Leverett, followed by Kiwi ring-in Sam Clark, who came about as close as anyone has in recent years to catching Mick. Sam is in town for the Augusta Adventure Fest next weekend, and looks to be in frightening form.
Third was local Williamstown veteran, Paul Patrick.
In the women's ski, it was the battle of the mums, with Maria Plyashechko and Kate Leverett neck-and-neck for much of the race. This was the first outing back for both after having baby boys–Kate just two weeks ago! Quite inspirational. In third was Chloe Hardman (also a mum of three boys) proving parenthood is no excuse for not being competitive.
In B Grade, OC1 paddler Katerina Epae blitzed all in the field, followed by ski paddler and relative newbie, Daria Kurtov (despite an early swim), and OC1 paddler and Bay Series regular, Eleri Kerr. Speaking of the OC contingent–where were youy guys? The ladies are putting you to shame
Finally, in C Grade, our lone, brave paddleboarder, Brad Cummins showed why he is a former Australian Champ. We hope some more paddleboard and SUP paddlers make the trip to Sandridge next month.
See results here.