Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Pipped at the post

I'd suggested to the "Event Organiser" that a Menai Challenge meet on the 31st December might be a good idea, as it runs from 1/1 to 31/12 each year, and it would be the last chance to bag a good time, giving the rest of the world no time to respond. The idea was developed and it was stated that "fancy dress all round and no racing allowed!". In any event,  the Menai Challenge is not a "race", but a time trial.

I turned up in my Chicken Suit, to comply with the "rules" & participation criteria laid down by the "Event Organiser" and then discovered that a couple of paddlers were taking this seriously. Imagine my surprise, there I was finely tuned racing machine, who had led the field for months, having his longstanding record time threatened by the these interlopers from over the border (the Menai Challenge is not a local time trial for local people, I really should make this clear).

Still working!!
Photo Courtesy of the Willacy Collection

Unfortunately, I was in no condition to compete with these rapid, record-raiders after a two month work enforced lay off, 6 days of excess consumption and being trussed up in a chicken suit like the aformentioned avian.
Photo Courtesy of the Willacy Collection.
I could just paddle sociably (or unsociably if you saw my position relative to the rest of the group). The chicken feet were not particularly comfortable on those footpegs, and if I'm honest the boat I'd chosen was possibly a little small, so I struggled to maintain the high standards that I'd set for myself on previous occasions and bimbled along at the back of the group.

Anyway, suffice to say that the border raiders beat my time by three minutes and seven seconds. Congratulations to them, next year as my old school reports used to say "must try harder!!

Ian Tordoff
Pascale Eichenmuller
Ben Nelson
Jeff Parker

The full results for 2011 can be found here

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