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They say that when a K2 crew gets it together the boat flys. Last night Julien and I found that flying pace for the first time and it has put a spring in my step this morning.

We swapped seats in the boat and I think this was, indirectly, what got us going faster. Up until now I have been in front stroking the boat (setting the pace). When we set off last night at Julien's faster stroke rate I was initially concerned that I would not be able to maintain it but after about fifteen minutes I realised that we were flying along and that I could comfortably hold the pace as, although the rate was faster, the strokes were lighter and it actually felt easier than before.

I should have realised this sooner as I have long known the theory that a faster rate is more efficient (much like a lower gear on a bicycle) but it actually took Julien to sit in front and take the rate up for me to feel the benefit.

We paddled from Limehouse Basin up the Regent's Canal to the last lock before the tunnel at Islington and back, a distance of 13 km. I forgot to time the outbound leg but the return took 43 minutes at the same pace (5.6 mph).

Now we look forward to Waterside C on Sunday, 23 miles from Pewsey to Newbury and 35 portages (almost half of those on the DW).