One of our Senior Tutors, Andrew Morton, is a keen kayaker, who started racing kayaks in 1967 and still does so almost fifty years later, with 5 World Championship medals to his credit, including one gold. He and a kayaking friend recently had the idea of running a new race on the Firth of Forth, for sea kayaks and surf skis – specialised racing kayaks designed for racing on large waves off-shore. Kelvin TOP-SET agreed to fund the first prize for the event and to help with its organisation.
The race ran from Port Edgar marina, under the Forth Road Bridge heading out East and round a navigation buoy beyond Hound Point Oil Terminal. The original idea was to race round Inchcolm island and back, a distance of 11 miles, but unfortunately the course had to be shortened because of near gale-force winds on the day. Conditions were tricky and four competitors pulled out during the event, because of the wind and waves. Fortunately, excellent safety cover was provided by two RIBs from the Watersports Centre at the marina and 25 paddlers completed the course.
The winner was a 44-year-old South African paddler, Mike Surmon, who is also the Senior Scottish Long distance racing champion.
And Andrew? He came 6th, just over eight minutes behind Mike. Summarising his performance Andrew said “Not bad for an old man!”