The first thing that hit all the GB paddlers when we arrived in Bavaria was the heat. Surely Germany should not be this warm.
The Lost Mills is known as one of the toughest races due to the 18km distance, flat water with no flow or swell to assist you. This race is based on sheer power. Add to this 32 degrees heat, no cloud cover and high humidity and what we had was one brutal race.
The race was brought forward 3 hours due to a thunder storm which was forecast. The first start was the males, 91 guys all on one start line. This caused mayhem on the water, a few swimmers and lots of draft trains linking up immediately. The female start was much easier.
We had 3km on the small lake before portaging up an incline and round the corner to the beach on the next lake. On the big lake we had a 6.5km crossing to the other side, which seemed never ending. At the half way point I was slowing and needed to put a sprint in. I took a drink, sprinted for a minute and then it all went wrong, I was really sick and very disoriented with the heat. Back to slow steady paddling. I really wanted to pull out of the race but realised that if I did I would still have to paddle back to the finish line, so best thing to do was keep going.
I got to the final portage and had to stop for a minute, no way could I run with the board. Back onto the small lake, only 3km to the finish.
It was great to see Aaron Rowe, Ryan James, Pete Holliday, Crispin Jones and Charlie Grey waiting at the finish line with water and BEER for me. The beer was going to be a step to far for me at that moment.
The heat effected everyone, even the Hawaiians, Australians and Americans were saying how draining it was.
The most memorable thing about Lost Mills is how everyone is like one big happy family, from the World’s best to the weekend Warriors. What other sport would you spend time after the race with the best racers in the world drinking, eating and chatting.
Everyone of the GB paddlers did an amazing job in brutal conditions. We all worked hard, supported each other and showed this Elite race what a great bunch of people we have over in these cold shores. Great job guys, I know we all felt pain at the end of the race but we were there together and the smiles we all had on our faces on the Saturday evening showed it was well worth it.