The first Division A events of 2012 took place on the River Dart over the last weekendin January. These races were sharing the Dart with the “The Rivers Source a white watersymposium” lots of paddling themed workshops & coaching for recreational paddlers.
This years Dart Races were also designated as the English Open events which were wonby Hannah Brown & Alec Baker, well done to both of them.
On arrival on Saturday morning the Dart looked a bit on the low side and variations tothe Newbridge Sprint course were discussed. We settled on a section that started higherup into the “Upper” Dart section which included two good features that presented morechallenges than are normally faced on the Dart Sprint events. With more water this wouldbe a very challenging course.
With some new faces to WWR on the Start list & loads ofencouragement from boaters completing the Upper Dart and people lining the finish pointjust above Newbridge the races started, Open Mk1 LK1 and 3 C2 crews, The C2 race brought together some unlikely crews but all entered into the spirit determined to makeit down relatively dry. Some managed this and the new pairing of Scott & Matt worked well enough that they decided to race the Classic race on the Dart Loop in a C2 as well as MK1.
Sunday morning again was cold & no extra rain had fallen overnight & we were metwith the same frozen car park that greeted us on Saturday. The river had dropped somemore but it was high enough to race on the loop. Some people encountered pieces of rock on the way down that are not normally seen but all the paddlers made it safelydown some wetter & colder than others. This gave way to the Div B race which was heldfrom Waterworks Bridge down To Buckfast Abbey Weir. At this level it was still a verychallenging Div B course.
Well done to all that took part in any of the races over the weekend congratulations toGrant for his promotion into Div A. It was a shame that more junior & senior paddlersdid not make the trip to Dartmoor and enjoy what was a very quiet undisturbed weekendon the River Dart .