This years 2015 Oban Sea Kayak Race was a bit of a classic, with very rough conditions. For the first 10km, it was into the wind and ever increasing swell. At the south end of Kerrera, conditions became very poor. Nine people abandoned here and a couple ended up on the rocks!
Personally, I made a mistake at the start, deciding to head straight for Kerrera, hoping to get out of the wind. Everyone else, kept well east in the channel until after the Kilbowie centre, where they then made the crossing to Kerrera. I lost a great deal of time here and I also overheated. In previous years I have always worn a shortie cag, but this year with the strong wind went for my PeakUK long sleeved cag. It was a difficult choice as I really think I would have become too cold at times in the shortie. As it was I slowly boiled in the bag…
Having rounded the south end of Kerrera, I had hoped the wind and swell would push us along. It didn’t. I also had to wait a few minutes for the ferry, arriving into Oban Harbour. After this I kind of gave up and cruised home. Looking at the results later, if I had kept going, I might, just might, have got third in the Senior Mens Touring class. As it was I ended up with a time of 2:51:17 (my slowest ever), but with the satisfaction of having made it home!
All proceeds from Oban Sea Kayak Race are in aid of the Oban Lifeboat. This year’s event saw an amazing £2,500 being raised.
What will next years race bring? I cannot wait to find out!