Its the business end of the year for training at the moment so its been all training and racing lately and not much else, a little bit of sleeping, eating and working!
After procrastinating quite a bit, I finally got around to getting my Grade II certificate, a boat and a paddle. I opted to do a course through Topsport Kayaking and it was well worth it. I learned heaps and I was much more comfortable on the water in my boat after doing the course. With the certificate under my belt it has allowed me into a few races the past few weekends but the weather hasn’t really come to the party leaving my new found river skills untouched and my flat water paddling skills getting a good workout. The Waimak gorge is the final piece of the puzzle to giving the Coast to Coast a crack and both the previous weekends I have been hoping to get down there. I thought I was going to get my chance last weekend but after our planned Goat Pass run had to be diverted to the Casey-Binser, things were not looking good for the Waimak Classic…. and as it turned out it ended up the Avon Classic instead… 3+ hours in a boat much better suited to going down a fast flowing river, a tide that swung around so it was against the current the whole way and no rapids. 3+ hours of soul destroying, mind numbingly boring hard paddling.
After the front passed through this weekend looked much better weather wise and the opportunity was there to head down the gorge. It was just me and Tim however and I wasnt too excited about going down there as two green paddlers not knowing what was coming up. The window was there though so we thought we would give it a crack. I felt fairly confident in my boat heading down the river, Tim however was not so comfortable in his boat that the Topsport people suggested he didn’t get….
Our trip down the gorge was interesting none the less. Tim had a hard time of it in the Upper Gorge which sapped a good deal of his energy and confidence. We spent a good time mucking about in the upper part, me waiting, Tim emptying and repairing both his confidence and boat, but eventually got through. I tried some more racier lines in the lower part while Tim took the wide safe options. I ended up paddling through a few swirling eddies and didnt get my lines quite right but was lucky enough to get away with it and make it through without swimming, much to my satisfaction. Job complete, now to go back and do it again a few more times! Can’t wait!