Cardiff PaddleFest 2012 & a big surprise!

Last weekend I took a trip over to Cardiff with Lucy, Luke and his partner Frankie. Usually it would just be myself and Luke but we all had a special surprise planned for him.

To say thank you for being such a massive help renovating my house with me, I bought him a Jackson Rock Star and Ophion Katana Paddle. It was a total surprise for him. He literally didn’t have a clue and was left speechless when we told him.

The great thing was after unwrapping it we jumped straight on the course.

Problem is it is a little shallow :(

But still a lot of fun! We also took the Dynamic Duo down the course for a few runs which is such good fun. I sat in the back this time and it feels like a roller-coaster especially when you ride the conveyer belt to the top of the course. It is really easy to roll! We practised onside, offside and back deck rolls. It also edges really well and you have way more control than what you would first think.

Unfortunately I couldn’t take part in the evening Freestyle League competition as we had to leave before it started. But I did compete in the Palm Team Boater Cross. Six teams of four took part each with a pro, two amateurs and a youth member.  First there was a timed team run down the whole course and then half a run with one member of all six teams in each heat. From the top you would sprint down, hit an inflatable buoy, tackle an upstream gate then and scramble to touch a spraydeck on the wall for the finish.

I was placed on team Square Rock and used the fun runner for the event. We set a good time on the first team run down the course. I won’t lie I was knackered at the end of it!  After a short break the six man races were next. I got a good start for the first few metres before I took a paddle blade in the mouth. It slowed me down momentarily but I hit the inflatable in second place before getting caught on the upstream gate wrestling with other paddlers to make my way to get through it. I was then in third heading to the spraydeck. First place touched the deck and blocked the way as the photo finish shows I just missed out on second.

*Thanks to Canoe and Kayak Store for letting me use this photo.

In the end it was the team score that counted and Team Square Rock took second place!  Overall it was a great day out. If you have never been before I highly recommend it.


Thanks to Rhona Dempsey for the majority of the photos.

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