Friday, 25 June 2021

Runners-up spot for Dragons

HOST boat Henley Dragons finished second in round three of the Henley Winter Series last Sunday.

Seventeen crews started the race at 45 second intervals, with Henley in 12th place behind Hurricanes, a Thames/Kingston composite crew and Typhoon but ahead of Wraysbury and Rafters.

On the downstream leg Henley caught and passed both Typhoon and Thames before Temple Island.

Serial winners Rafters, who started 90 seconds after Henley, caught them at Fawley on the upstream return leg. An epic duel resulted as Henley battled to avoid being passed and side by side racing with blades clashing ensued over the next mile.

The north-easterly breeze blowing against the river’s flow was causing quite a bit of choppiness so that the bow wave from Rafters’ boat was washing over the gunwales and into Henley’s boat. Paddlers and helm remained focused but eventually Rafters’ superiority saw them pass under Henley bridge a boat length ahead. Both boats had passed Hurricanes in this phase of the race.

The final section of the course up to and around Rod Eyot returning to the Eyot Centre was completed without drama but Henley lost a further 30 seconds to Rafters.

Henley finished in second place, 90 seconds ahead of Secklow in third place who were just three seconds ahead of Wraysbury.

The outrigger section was won by Paddlesports Racing Canoe Club with Milton Keynes second and Royal Canoe Club third.

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