Monday, July 5, 2010

Rough Water and Wash Riding.

This is me negotiating Five Finger Rapids in 2006. The water here is traveling at about 15 kilometers per hour. We hope to average about 15.5 k/hr, speed through the water at about 9k/hr. Which is not very fast but we have to keep that up foy 18hrs. The Horizon Flyer goes nicely at that speed with no real strain on lower back or hands. Over 9k/hr my hands begin to blister up.

We get a big speed bonus over this section of the river, clicking along as fast as 24k/hr. Any wind on the river, particularly against the current picks up a steep chop, and this river in many places is over a kilometer wideand straights up to 10. A bit like Sydney Harbour in a southerly and a fast in coming tide.  While it is tempting to get out of the wind and chop, that is where the fast current is and to go fast, you need to stay with it.

I will focus my last days training on paddling in rougher water.I had a bit of a session this morning with super coach Yanda Nossiter ( doing a bit of diamond wash riding. That is with four boats. One in the front, two each side and a bludger tucked in behind the lot. I wonder when teams of kayaks will be doing these races a bit like the Tour De France, where the top cyclists are towed for most of the race, the rest of the team sharing the load up front and letting the top guy go out toward the finish of each stage. There are Voyager Canoes in this race, with 10 paddlers, so good to get tucked in behind and pulled along. But I won't be too confident they know where they are going. In 2007 in the Yukon River Quest, near the finish, I followed a Voyager into some slow water for about an hour, when I woke up that they were going the wrong way and got out of there up a side shute back to faster water.. They finished a couple of hours after me. I asked them why they went that way. They reconded they had no hope of getting a place in their division so they took a slow path looking for moose.

These adventure races are all about lists of things to do, and lists of gear. Silly things, like a dry bag for my Passport. A dry bag for the toilet paper, and how I organize a pillow for the night. That will probably be my sleeping bag stuff bag, with a jumper inside it. I need to run a gas bottle for the micro stove right out so I can calculate how many gas bottles I need to take. (We can only afford ten minutes for cooking dinner and breakfast.)

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