Here we go everyone - the first league race of 2018 hosted by Amathus at Liverpool docks. Time to dust off the paddle and calm those back to school nerves.
The weather managed to hold out for us and though there were a few ominous-looking clouds rolling in, it remained a calm but chilly day.
The day kicked off with combined open and mixed heats leading to an interesting mix of crews. Notts Anaconda rose to the challenge and the open heat times were a pretty consistent 02:10 in both heats.
The semi final proved to be a much tougher proposition against Wraysbury and Pershore Phoenix but we stepped up and gave it our best, not letting Wraysbury get away and posting a stellar time of 02:06:90, just two seconds off the first place.
The ladies crew welcomed our youngest race paddler, Georgia, at 11 years old. Her young age doesn't stop her showing the grown-ups how it's done though!
We also fell one short of the required 14 paddlers for the ladies racing so we borrowed a volunteer from Hurricanes. Thanks guys.
They too rose to the challenge, posting a time of 01:34:52 in the heat to make the cup major final.
The open final ended with Notts Anaconda chasing down Wraysbury (2nd) and Amathus (1st) to finish in third place, grabbing us a nice shiny trophy.
The ladies final was a tough fight, with Powerhouse Ladies just pushing past the Notts Ladies at the line, pushing them into fourth place - still an incredible performance from the ladies, setting a standard to beat for the rest of the season.
The final race of the day was the 3000m pursuit race with a very tired crew. The number of boats and a strong prevailing wind quickly turned the course into a wave pool and everyone had to fight hard to keep going. We put our heads down and the team showed true grit and determination and after an epic battle we crossed the line in 10:53:87 to take fifth place.
A tough day but a great one overall. We started as we mean to go on.