Saturday, 26 May 2007
Before we went there were a lot of negative feelings, like the river being frozen, the threat of being beaten down by icebergs, and the levels being all wrong. On the contrary it was a great trip, the weather treated us well and the levels were fine. With a dry suit on it was relatively frost free and I was disappointed not to get hit by any icebergs!
I started off the trip by getting a squirt boat ‘float cut’ This is the highest level of customisation possible where you try the boat in two halves, taped together at the seams with duct tape. The builder then gets out a big saw and chops bits off until the desired level of comfort (enough) and floatiness (not much) is achieved, the stuff of dreams. Far out! At the end you have a boat that is perfect for you!
The competition was held on ‘Smoothie’ a world class mystery spot. I have seen squirters get 30 second rides there under good control. There was some controversy as one Japanese paddler entered in a cut down plastic boat. He was able to get an insanely high technical score by performing cartwheel type moves in the eddy at the expense of losing some of the mystery multiplier. After the heats he was in the lead and I was in second place. It caused some ructions amongst some of the more traditional thinkers in the squirt boating fraternity and will probably lead to the rules being changed with more weighting on the mystery move. It was with delight that Ben White (GBR) took the world title having performed a very timely long mystery move at the right point in the knock out final. I was delighted with my third place. (All photos courtesy of Pete Meares)
Friday, 25 May 2007
The three members of the Swing Paragliding Team are myself, Simon, and Tim Guilford - hopefully the others will introduce themselves in due course.
Monday, 21 May 2007
Thursday, 17 May 2007
Just to let you know I now reside in the whitewater mecca of Hokitika, New Zealand.
For news on my latest trip to Tibet check out Zak Shaws blog at www.passion4adventure.blogspot.com, Sam Hughes' blog at www.athwak.blogspot.com or Jason Sheperds blog at http://www.hydrothinko.blogspot.com.
If you want to see some video from our tibet trip go check out my site www.2at.com and you can download JJ's short video edit.
At the moment I am furiously working on finishing my Tibet DVD which will feature two edits from our trip - the award winning rock and roll edit - 'Seven Weeks in Tibet' and the all grown up and sensible edit - 'Low life's in High Places' and hopefully some cool extras from Steve Rogers over in BC.
The DVD will be released int he UK and USA in July. It was all filmed in High Def so If I can figure out how to do it, then it will be a High Def DVD.
For more info keep an eye on www.2at.com.
Anyhow hope all you lot over there in the Northern Hemisphere are getting excited by summer, Over here i am watching the powder pile up in the alps.
Wednesday, 16 May 2007
This is an average day at a break called Crocodiles in Morocco. It is pretty hard to not get addicted to this...Thurso anyone, give me a call! The food in Morocco (below) was unbelievable; fresh and so cheap. The Falls of Lora never really produced their best for our trip. Fortunately we, Ross Montandon, my Dad and I, took our creek boats too and chilled out on some classics.
We didn't however bring plates to eat with; Ross's boat was the next best thing! Ross also accompanied me to Uganda and my Dad met us out there for the last fortnight. Ross and I paddle together quite a lot and get on really well. We always have fun even on trips to Hurley - only to discover it has dropped to one gate!
I forgot to mention that Dad took a three month Sabbatical and came on the second half of each trip. I really enjoy paddling with Dad, it is one of my favourite aspects of the sport. I help him out with technique on the river and he teaches me about everything else; from competition preparation to article writing.
Dad (Chris) on a Boda after the Day 1 section.
Ross getting inverted. During the first week that Ross and I spent at the Hairy Lemon there were some spectacular storms. I got the camera out, set it on f2.8 and 30 second shutter and shot away. The result is below.
I have been lucky enough to spend the better part of the year so far in as little kit as this.
I then boarded a plane to snowy Canada. I had to get the bus from Montreal to the Ottawa River which was easy, it was amusing to see snow starting to fall as the bus pulled out of Montreal. It didn't stop for about 26 hours; that was not amusing!
Spot the difference from the previous picture! The new drysuits work well though. Pistol flipping on Buseater, below. Courtesy of Peter Meares.
Now I am back at home, listening to the rain and wondering when the Trent weirs will start to run. I have paddled at Nottingham a couple of times since Canada; yes, it is not as fast or big but you can still have fun. You can put into practice things you have learnt from the World's and just mess about too. I am planning a surf trip though...
Wednesday, 9 May 2007
Many of you will never have seen System X. So here's our office, that's Ant, Piers and Scott discussing where the next cup of tea is coming from, and here's inside our industrial unit in Wokingham, it looks a mess but this hides a ruthlessly efficient chaos management system.