After missing an entire season due to the pandemic, it was good to see the Winter Series running again - especially as this is 2021, the 40th anniversary of the series being formalised. It was therefore particularly appropriate that the start and finish marshals for the day were Ron and Alison Thorogood, winners respectively of the Senior Mens K1 and Senior Ladies K1 series trophies back in the 1981/82 season!
The trend towards doubles racing continued, with 20 K2s and one C2 entering Class 9. Women are increasingly well represented, with the gold, silver and bronze medals in Class 9 all going to mixed crews. There were also three all-female crews in this class.
The Mens Veterans race (Class 7) was the second biggest class with 16 entrants, so that taken together with Class 9, these two classes made up over half the competitors present.
Ali Kabeer from Wokingham, won Class 5 (u16 MK1) in a time of 44:43 and thus came quite close to beating the 5-mile course record for the Stortford race, which was set at 43:03 in 2010 by Lewis Duffield.
A total of 109 competitors took part, drawn from twelve different clubs. Despite sending a much smaller team than usual, Chelmsford were still dominated the event and won easily (210 points), with Stortford second (119) and Leighton Buzzard third (83).