Final race of the 'season' so managed to get a leave pass to go and 'race'. I had to borrow Windboy's 12'6 Fanatic Fly Race as my 14' DC has had major trauma and is need of repair. The awkward thing is that since I had the 14' I went from zero-to-hero and won three races in a row against the two dudes that have always beaten everybody over the last three years. The problem now is that I was back in the 12'6 division and on the Fly Race - so was it the board or the paddler that defeated the reigning champs!? (Turned out it is the board that made me fast!)
As soon as I started to race the 12'6 it felt like a slug! I am used the Fly Race as I had one for 18 months but I immediately felt slower and was putting in more effort to get less glide compared to my 14' DC. It was a slog from Cheltenham to Narrow Neck with a stiff x-wind and the same heading back. I got third but there was clear water between me and the first two guys - who I have beaten three times on my 14' but...er... they were on 12'6s.
So I learnt that 14' is way faster than 12'6 and that race board design has advanced over the last few years. That a 14' board can flatter the paddler (me) versus good paddlers on 12'6 boards. So 18" does make a difference ;-)
The debrief at the clubrooms was great and we busted out the bbq and cooked up a pile of meat without a hint of salad and drank craft beer till 1am :-)