The National Student Rodeo 2019 begins in just over week. This huge annual event takes place each March in Nottingham in the UK. Last year the event was cancelled due to some horrendous weather conditions here in the UK. The year before that the water quality on the whitewater course wasn’t good enough so the event was pushed onto the flat water lake near by. This year it will hopefully be good water and blue skies.
We’ll be there helping to make care of the media side things. In the meantime here is a throw back to some of the action from the last couple of years.
There’s something incredibly humbling about having a bad swim. Yes there’s the realizing the river’s the boss, however much control you think you are in – but more in recognizing the support from those paddlers around you – some of whom you may not have even met before.
This Saturday I took a dip on the Spillimacheen River in BC. It happens – I was due one, it’s been a couple of years. But this one was different. I’ve had other bad swims over the years, but with those, although I’ve had other paddlers around, I’ve played a part in my rescue. With this one, apart from the single act of keeping concious/breathing there was very little I could do.
After 3.5 years of kayaking, the inevitable happened. On Sunday I found myself a little bit stuck: I was in a weir.
The day had not being going very well for me; we had headed to the Kent in the Lake District with one car. We were 4 quite experienced paddlers, and although none of us had done the Kent at the high-medium it was rising to, there was little cause for concern. After taking my first swim of 2016 on S-Bend (embarrassing, but meatier than I recall), I wasn’t the happiest of paddlers but reluctantly got back in my boat.
I haven’t been totally happy paddling for some time, and that was rearing it’s ugly head once more. In our circle of kayaking friends we call it The Fear. It’s paralysing, frustrating, illogical and embarrassing. It has sucked the joy out of so many rivers since I had my first bite of it in Scotland last Easter, and it’s iron grip is incredibly hard to shake.
Good friend of Unsponsored, Sam Ellis hit the River Swale a couple of days ago. Levels were good as were the lines.
The River Swale sits within Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is an awesome river in stunning surroundings. When it goes it has to be one of the best waterfall runs in the UK. So here we have it Sam Ellis – River Swale Dec 15. Lots of drops and a swim along the way.
People typically think of needing a break down paddle (splits) when someone in the group breaks his or her paddle, but what if somebody just loses a paddle? We have all been on the river and seen someone swim. People are going all different ways chasing the swimmer, the boat, the dry bag that came out, but what about the paddle? The paddle is one of the hardest things to spot floating through a rapid and can be easily lost. Suppose it was you that lost or broke your paddle. “My friend has a break down,” you think to yourself feeling relieved. Then your friend hands you a paddle with a blade twice the size of what you normally use and it’s 10 cm longer with a 60 degree offset. Now what?
Believe it or not, Storey Arms Graduates are not ALWAYS great at this paddling malarkey. Sometimes it all goes abit Pete Tong, resulting in scratched helmets and comedy gold. Here are some of the best bits we’ve caught on camera.