The race had been talked about for weeks. The highlight of every self respecting racers year was going to be a tough one. Decathlon had been emptied of cheap plastic kid's dinghys. It was time to go balls deep and get amongst it.
About 30 eager and honed paddlers arrived at the banks of the river Derwent in Grindleford to attempt the long voyage (3km!) to Calver.
I began to question my partner's choice of racing machine (Inflatable ducks) when I realised that other people were pulling out proper two man inflatable canoes.
Some people were obviously taking this seriously. I quickly organized a dinghy and got ready. Not wanting the ducks to miss out we elected to tow them.
The race started with a 100m sprint through water to the boats. A gap soon opened up and aided by the strong drag effect of the ducks we were soon out of sight at the back of the field.
After a long Float/swim/paddle/wade downriver (during which time we punctured the dinghy and had to rely on the ducks) we arrived within sight of the banks. Due to a bit of cheating and a fast sprint along the bank we were able to take part in a sprint finish for last place. But as we all know cheats never prosper and we still lost.
All that was left to do now was to take the obligatory 20 ft jump from the finish bridge and sink a couple of pints in the pub.
Good fun had by all. Thanks to those who organized it.