Fourth Race: 25.40. Paul starts to see some improvement.

I think Monday’s coaching session helped a lot – I shaved some time off this week compared to last week (but still not as fast as the week before), after a couple of the good guys complained that it was actually a bit slower this week. I didn’t get a copy of the race results this week or last week, so I can’t really compare, but I think they’re right.

Once again, the wind was blowing from the south, which meant you started off with the wind behind you, but then had to face a headwind for the entire middle half of the race. When the wind comes from the north, it actually doesn’t seem to blow on the creek part of the course at all, but when it comes from the south it does.

I started at the end of a huge group of people, so I got to pass one person and watch the faster people pull slowly ahead of me in the bay. Two of the better open canoe racers caught me right at the buoy that marks the second turn – I was trying to swing wide to see if I could do it with all sweeps and not lose too much momentum when I discovered this one guy trying to go around outside me, so I ended up not swinging as wide as I liked, and having to rudder and back-sweep, meaning a total loss of momentum as usual.

I tried to remember the lessons I got from Coach Dan on Monday, and I think I did for most of the time. I’m not sure it made me any faster, but I think my elbows aren’t hurting as much as they did last week.