After the triumphant last event at Nottingham, hopes were high for our event at Preston. Those who won last time wanted a repeat performance and those who weren’t at Nottingham wanted a taste of glory.
Our journey started by heading to Debbie’s, who kindly offered to drive us in her impressive car. Of course we had to have the top down experience. Cue big, knotty and dog hair.
After a pretty uneventful journey we arrived in Haydock just before the Orgills and Dave arrived. The Wellavises, Pam and Kev D were already there to greet us. Gradually the rest of the Hurricanes arrived and we began to take over the lobby. Unfortunately our plan of watching the football from those seats was short lived due to a rather miserable looking bride asking us to move. This lead to the Hotel staff trying to set up a screen. They shouldn’t have wasted their time. At least Kev and Pam were in the spirit, wigged up. During this time Amy cemented her place in the team on the casting couch with Dave. This was just the start of a very entertaining evening involving discussions of a Hurricanes calendar and a small group of people carrying on the youngsters game from Wales of ‘Would you rather?’ This lead to things being said and acted from people you just wouldn’t expect….
The next morning, some of us feeling slightly worse for wear, we all headed of to the race. We arrived to a nice site which some said wasn’t as impressive as last year. The Portaloos I think set it off. We dumped our stuff but the boat and manager still hadn’t arrived. Eventually they both turned up and then we started to prepare ourself for the first race.
• 200 Mtrs Heat 3
Notts Anaconda 58.54
Although we won the race, it wasn’t the best we could have done, the effects of last night were obviously clear. We hoped to be better in the next race. But alas we weren’t, in fact we were slower.
• 200 Mtrs Semi 2
Secklow 100 1.01.00
Raging Dragons 56.06
However, we did manage to get into the minor finals. Despite having a faster time we were still third.
• 200 Mtrs Minor Final
Spirits were down and we hoped we would pull it back during the 500m. During this time the rain began. We tried to cheer ourselves up by planning the calendar and there were discussion of pearl necklaces and bracelets. Several of the ladies also signed up to join 2 ladies teams who were competing later that afternoon.
Eventually we were called up for our first race. After a pep talk hopes were high. There was only 2teams competing Excalibre and Hurricanes. We did not want to lose.
• 500 Mtrs Heat 1
We won! The mood in the team suddenly lifted. We were back! Would we win the next race? We didn’t have long to find out. The continuing rain didn’t dampen our spirits. The next race was back up to three teams.
• 500 Mtrs Semi 1
Second this time but 4 seconds quicker than our previous race. This was enough to take us to the Minor final. Would we be able to win a final race today?
• 500 Mtrs Minor Final
Raging Dragons 2.15.20
After some fantastic pacing, great encouragement from Nigel and some brilliant paddling we only went and won the Minor final beating our previous time and the Raging Dragons! Hurricanes were back doing what they do best. Although it wasn’t a major final it was still nice to win a final of some description.
The ladies still high from their win were straight in to compete against each other in the ladies race. Unfortunately the boat which most of us entered was made up of newbies who hadn’t paddled all the day so Cheryl, Debbie, Lin and I lost to Amy and Elaines boat but we didn’t care. It’s certainly different being in a ladies boat. The men came to cheer us on then packed up the boats while we got changed. After the packing came the prize ceremony and then it was time for us all to make the long journey home after a weekend of highs and lows. Maybe next time we will win all our races.