Glasbury to Bredwardine – Paddle
Paddle Hay-on-Wye to Bredwardine
Back onto the boats again for the last paddle stage and the sun was out.
With the bright sunlight and a cloudless sky and a steady paddling rhythm, we were all feeling very sleepy. The river was proving to be longer than expected again, so spying another sandbank we decided to pull up for another powernap. We already had spotted several other teams along the bank doing the very same thing. 15 minutes later Steve’s alarm put us back into action and we continued on to the end of the stage.
There were several teams queuing (and sleeping), the get-out was on the left bank of the river and up an almost vertical bank of mud. The organisers had equipped the slippery “steps” with a rope but it was a real effort to climb up with all the kit bags. Man hauling the boat up onto the bankside was difficult too, it was definitely a one at a time job.
Our bikes had been transported to this transition sans boxes and kit bags, and were lined up along the grassy area almost ready to go. While others packed away the paddles/buoyancy aids I helped carry the kayak to the trucks.
We helped another team fix one of their bikes, a chain suffering as much from the rigours of the trail as much as it’s pilot. All this while listening to other horror stories including one competitor having smashed his bike completely, finding a bike shop and bought a replacement, leaving his damaged machine with the shop and promises to go back and collect it once the race was over. It’s another example of the rigours of Adventure Racing and the camaraderie and resourcefulness of the competitors.