Race planning 3: Trying the boat out for size

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Yesterday evening we headed out to the London Regatta Centre at Royal Albert Dock to get a final paddle in.

Some lovely people on Song of the Paddle had helped us get in contact with a Londoner who had a Jensen 18 – a boat very much like the one we’ll paddle in the race. We wanted to have a sit in it, to see how it paddled. And more importantly we wanted to see how fast we would go in it – to get confidence that the can hit the right times in the race.

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It’s an interesting piece of water – long and straight – which means the wind can get up. It’s also the location for London City Airport so communication was a bit a challenge as we tried out first run into the wind. First run was a short there and back. Ironing out the wobbles and getting the steering working. We took a longer second run. A  mile into the wind and a mile back with the wind behind us. How did we do?

upwind: 3.8 mph

downwind: 5 mph

This isn’t bad – and suggests that we can be hitting a speed of 3.3 on the lake, even with some wind. getting a paddling speed of 4 mph (plus 2 mph from the flow) down the river before the lake still could be a challenge, but that’s the point of a race, right? Loads of thanks to Peter from Stylo Sports for letting us borrow the boat.  Thanks to Lennart, and Greg for getting us in contact.

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