If all things are equal, go for that. It'll pay you back time and again as your skills advance and you spend more time on things like getting back into the boat after something like a brace or a roll fails, and makes much of that a lot easier.
Not dissing the Atlantic, but Aled Williams designed the Tiderace boats and it is hard to beat his record. He has the NDK Romany under his belt. Finding a more reliable and flexible hull design for both growing paddlers as well as experienced ones is a hard task. The Tiderace boats have all of that ethic plus what he has learned over the years.
Pull-Up Strap Handle Kit
PFD's (Life Jackets)
YakCatcher Rod Holder
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