Cheshire Ring Race Report 2019

Over the weekend of 6th/7th July, the club held its annual Cheshire Ring Canoe Race. Some of our club members might not know about this club event which has been running since 1977 – with only one year interrupted by the foot and mouth disease epidemic.

Originally it was a dads and lads event done as a relay in double kayaks with the challenge being to “…complete the first ever circumnavigation of the Cheshire Ring by canoe”, for way back then the canals had only just seen a resurgence and the abandoned Macclesfield canal had not long been reopened.

As the club acquired proper race boats the event turned more competitive and attracted all sorts of teams including Macclesfield Masters swimming club, the local firemen, Scouts, and Sea Cadets. Many did the event for the satisfaction of completing 96 miles whilst portaging around 92 locks and 5 tunnels with a target to complete within 24 hours.

In recent years, All The Way entries from K1 and K2 paddlers have become more popular and the 2019 race was no exception. We had 10 ATW entries and just 3 relay entries. Unfortunately, pre-race injuries scuppered 3 crew’s plans, so it was more of a boutique event than usual.

Ring planning started shortly after the 2018 race so big thanks are owed to those club members who helped make the race happen in 2019 (you know who you are!) On race day we had around 17 club members doing checking in, timekeeping, marshalling at relay change points, and roaming around the wilds of Cheshire all through the night. Again, you know who you are and thank you very much for your efforts!  Special thanks to Yvonne – not even a club member or paddler - who found out about the Ring, became intrigued and ended up being both a marshal and our WhatsApp group leader – showing that you don’t need be a paddler to enjoy the event and get involved in helping.

The results from this year’s race reflect the big efforts of the paddlers, with completion times showing what you can do with a slick team of highly trained paddlers (Runcorn in 14 hours, the second fastest ever time in this realy class), through to grit and determination not give up ( Hills/Suenson in 27 hours) along with everything else in between.

Boat Number

Team Name

Planned Start Time

Actual Start Time

Finish Time

Elapsed Time

Position

1

Robert Pearson K1 ATW

08.00

08.00

Retired

n/a

n/a

2

Alistair Hornsby C1 ATW

08.10

08.13

08:25:00

24:12:00

1st

3

Hills/Suenson-Taylor K2 ATW

08.20

08.22

11:26:00

27:04:00

1st

5

Neil Evans K1 ATW

08.40

08.45

07:08:27

22:23:27

3rd

6

Tom Dawson K1 ATW

08.50

08.57

03:11:40

18:14:40

1st

7

Shackleton/Wilson canoe/ski relay

09.00

09.00

Retired

n/a

n/a

10

Pete Lawton K1 ATW

09.30

11.00

Retired

n/a

n/a

11

Pete Ford K1 ATW

09.40

09.39

06:47:32

21:03:32

2nd

12

Nottingham Allsorts

 K1 x4 relay

10.30

09.45

03:11:37

17:21:37

2nd

13

Runcorn CC K1 x5 relay

10.00

09.55

00:02:56

14:07:56

1st

 

We have had many messages from the paddlers and their support crews thanking us for the event and particularly commenting on how they loved the friendly supportive atmosphere and their surprise at how we manage to organize such a long race with what is actually quite a small team of marshals.

It was great to see our own Neil Evans completing his now usual decadal solo K1 race with the satisfaction of coming home in under 24 hours. Sadly, no other MADCC entries this year but with all the efforts Andy, George and Adrian are putting into Monday and Friday race training with our promising juniors, the club has every prospect of getting a relay team into a future Ring race.

As the person who’s name goes in the UK Marathon Racing Calendar as the official organiser, once again thanks to everybody who made the 2019 Ring Race a good one!