HENLEY DRAGONS welcomed teams from across the country to Center Eyot to compete in this year’s second Henley Winter Series event on Remembrance Sunday.
Teams from as far away as Milton Keynes, Exeter, London and Wraysbury attended the event, competing on both dragon boats and outriggers, and new this year, stand up paddle boards (SUP).
The river was awash in color with a SUP paddler flying over Poland to participate in the race.
After observing the two minute silence at 11 a.m., the races began with the stabilizers and dragon boats descending to Temple Island at 30 second intervals in a 12 km (stabilizers) or 7 km chase race. km (dragon boat and SUP).
The slight change of course this year sent all the crews off the island of Eyot, which was a good spectator point on the course.
Positions were held or lost during the tight turn of the buoy. Rafters triumphed in 32 minutes and 52 seconds, followed narrowly by Wraysbury Dragons in 33 minutes and 34 seconds. Milton Keynes’ crew of the Secklow 100 was third in 34 minutes and Henley Dragons fourth in 36 minutes and three seconds.
Paddlesports Racing Canoe Club fielded nine crews in outrigger canoes, with the men of the 1950s and women of the 1950s taking gold in their respective categories.
Polish paddler David Kuleta led the field in the SUP category with a time of 44 minutes, 55 seconds. Alex Tyrer was the first woman to cross the finish line in 45 minutes and 46 seconds.
The next race in the series will take place again at Henley on November 28 at 10 a.m.