Competition, Carnage and Cardboard...........

Manchester Uni vs Salford Uni vs Manchester Met

With a healthy turnout from all three university clubs including some seasoned pros, new paddlers and everything in between all competing for the title of 2014 Varsity Kayak Club champions, the stage was set for a great competition.

With a friendly social paddle to get started the atmosphere was great with all three universities looking after each other and showing support for everyone on the water.

Becky and Hannah get race ready with their strawberries

However after the social paddle, it was time to get down to business

Ben and Bond get ready with their warpaint..............This just got serious!

The pro category set off first racing for at least 1K down the river to the finish

The pro category set off on the boater cross

With both pro and freshers categories in the boater cross, it was always going to be a thrilling race, with swims happening throughout.  Some of the paddlers had only ever been on the river a couple of times

Down come the paddlers in the Fresher Boater cross

Race Face

Following the boatercross there was the polo tournament, which was always going to be a hard fought competition with all three uni's already having teams representing their uni.

Mollie keeps her eye on the ball

Will Tricky getting stuck in at the polo comp

Then came the real highlight of the whole event...........The cardboard race!

Each uni had a boat building team who between created 3 very individual looking designs that could be "paddled"!  With a huge amount of work going into all 3 of these boats ranging from what seemed to be  20 minutes to a good few hours!  A special mention must go to the team from Salford who created what seemed to be a race car shaped boat, complete with a genuine Lionel Richie LP stuck to it for good luck.

Jack in his fully HSE approved cardboard kayak

With some incredibly surprised faces when the boats actually floated, before it was too late they paddled down the river with all the boats (only just) making it to the finish intact.

Apparently this was more stable when it was filled with water!

Straight up gangster in the SS Lionel Richie (Complete with vinyl edition of Dancing on the Ceiling)

Final scores were

Manchester Uni won 2 events with Man Met and Salford winning an event each.

Manchester Uni takes the crown!

A fantastic day had by all and great to see so much love between all of the universities and a real buzz about the paddling too.  Looking forward to next year and entering a cardboard racer in myself.

Oh yeah........someone also took a boat to the face......You might not have seen..........

Nothing says "I love you" like a kayak to the face