Fishguard Bay Ocean Race 2016 Results
|1||Lewis Kirton & Steve Kirton||56:26|
Western Telegraph report on FBOR – September 2016
Saturday’s long planned Fishguard Bay Ocean Race avoided cancellation due high winds by running a shorter course within and just outside Fishguard Harbour.
From the initial field of 42 entrants, only half remained after the strong wind warnings in the weather forecast and the extreme conditions warning given at the pre-race briefing. Still, 21 highly skilled and supremely fit paddlers (including two serving Royal Marines) blasted off the start at Goodwick Parrog towards the first turn below the cliffs at the Fishguard Bay Resort. Leaving the relative shelter of the land, the roaring southeasterly rushed them downwind in a flurry of spray all the way to the next turn at Pen Anglas. In the words of one of the support boat skippers, “The wind was so strong – it seemed the blow the water straight up in the air.”
Then the hard work began – muscles aching and breath burning the lungs as the fleet made their way the last 2 1/4 miles back to Goodwick Beach. The first two boats fought neck and neck all the way to the shore where Lewis Kirton managed to leap out and run up the beach, beating the current GB champion, Mark Ressel, to the finish line. This makes Lewis and Steve Kirton the first winners of the Fishguard Bay Ocean Race trophy, hand-carved by Pembrokeshire artist Robert Jakes.
The first of the masters class (over 40), Adrian Croucher, was only the third boat across the line. A little later the race’s only lady, Lizelle Kemp, who drove 500 miles down from Dundee to compete, won the ladies’ prize, also claiming the GB Oceanski ladies’ points series.
Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor Tony Brinsden, presented the prizes in the packed Ocean Lab coffee shop where all the class winners collected their medals and other generous prizes from local businesses, including Fishguard Bay Resort, Celtic Camping and Bunkhouse Accommodation, and iCatcha handmade jewellery.
All the competitors were entranced by the area and said they’ll return next year for the full Abereiddy – Goodwick course, bringing with them many more competitors. The most telling comment came from marathon and sprint kayak legend, Ivan Lawler who said, “There’s no other route like this in Europe!”