Oban Sea Kayak Race returns to Oban and a new start venue

Lizzy Polgreen, Lizelle Kemp and Lina Kraus from East Lothian, finished first in a course record time of 1:34:22.

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The Oban Sea Kayak Race restarted its annual race around the island of Kerrera on Sunday with 47 entries.

The organisers had had to cancel the 2020 event due to the Covid virus restrictions.

Due to the demolition of Kilbowie Outdoor Centre earlier this year, it was decided to relocate the start and finish line at the Oban Sailing Club, using the facilities of the clubhouse, which had been generously donated for the day by Oban Sailing Club, with the adjoining Gallanach park being used for registration, post-race presentations and barbecue.

With the forecast of fine weather again in Oban, there was an excited anticipation amongst all of the entrants and organisers after the long lockdown.

Competitors had travelled from England and south Wales as well as from Inverness and the Borders to take part in this popular event in the UK sea kayaking calender.
With light winds forecast and neap tides, the organisers were hoping for good finishing times, but didn’t expect that the record time, set by Mark Ressel of Devon back in 2016 of 1:36:16, was about to be smashed – twice.

A triple Surf Ski, paddled by Lizzy Polgreen, Lizelle Kemp and Lina Kraus from East Lothian, finished first in a course record time of 1:34:22, with second place Duncan Capps from Surrey racing a single Surf Ski just behind the Ladies, in another record time of 1:35:28.

The Ladies Championship Cup was presented to Lizzy, Lizelle and Lina, together with a bottle of Isle of Colonsay Gin very kindly donated by Oban Whisky and Fine Wines.
The Men’s Championship Cup was presented to Duncan Capps with a bottle of Oban Whisky.

The organisers of this event would like to thank everyone who took part in the race and who gave up their Sunday, helping to make this event the success it has become.

Particular thanks goes to the support boats, without whom this event could never take place. Also thanks goes to Jackson’s the Butchers, who every year supplies its burgers free of charge for the after-race barbecue.

The Oban Sea Kayak Race is a non-profit organised event, with all money and race fees taken on the day being donated to The Oban Lifeboat. Sunday’s event managed to collect £1,500 for the Oban Lifeboat.