Archive for October, 2009


British Surf Kayak Championships

Last Saturday’s lovely weather lent itself well the British Surf Kayak Championships hosted by Nathan and Naomi in Llangennith, Gower, Wales. Having been postponed from the previous weekend, competitors, traveling from all four corners of the UK, were chomping at the bit to get out in the welsh waves.

Photo:  About the paddle out

A full day of surfing with a great turn out of over 50 competitors.  Event sponsorship was provided by Lobster Bob who gave us all a t-shirt :-) . We also had independent judges who tirelessly kept their eyes on the competitors to determine the most dynamic surfers in each heat.

Photo: Some of the welsh team; looking towards Worms Head from Llangennith

This was my home turf and it was cool to see so many kayak surfers at my local break. The competition got underway at 8:30 am and heats went through to 5 pm. We were treated to many good rides. Heats went well, but for me, i didn’t advance to the next round. But i certainly don’t mind loosing to the likes of Tamsin Green and Emma Wynter. Just sharing the same water as them is a privilege to be fair.

Photo: Nathan Air on his first heat.

But the evening do was the best- a black tie affair at the local pub. Tell ya what for a bunch of dirtbag kayakers, we didn’t half scrub up well. Shoulda seen the camper’s eyes turn when they saw us. Of particular note was the campsite warden’s face when Jenny asked if we could plug our hairdryers in the at the hut…we transformed that place into a beauty salon :-) . I ended up locking myself out of my car for a few hours after the party. It meant i had to visit the facilities at 7 am in sweats and heels. I got a few strange looks…

I didnt stay for the finals on Sunday due to the horizontal rain and 20 mph wind. But im sure they went well.


Sea Kayaking on the Hamble

I’ve been back from Scotland nearly 1 week now. I’ve seen the physio twice and he’s helping mobilise the thoracic vertebrae that were affected by my bad landing. He reckons i should be able to compete in the British Surf Kayaking Championships in 1 weeks time.

Photo: Sunset on the Hamble.

 Phew. Although the physio is helping, I’m a big proponent of getting better through doing exercise. A sea boating  trip was just what i needed. And The swans and signets seemed to love the camera baby:-) You know, Hampshire is not a bad place to live if you can do this after work! Last night I also re-confirmed my observations that sunsets are most colourful in October!

Photo: Swans posing on the Hamble


Etive River- Race Day

The Etive River Race day was upon us last Saturday. Chris and I headed up from Edinburgh to Glen Etive. During the journey I was debating whether or not to race because my back and ribs were still not 100 % from my bad landing the week before. We headed to the river and the levels looked great.

Photo: Monica Gokey and partner on Triple Drop

But…I decided that i didn’t want to push it and race. It was a very tough decision. Having been through extended rest from kayaking due to two blown C-spine discs, and recalling that frustration, I decided it best not to push it. Better to rest than to be out for 6 months for the sake of one 11 minute race. I think I’m finally growing up (or getting old)! Chris was very sympathetic to my predicament. Team Huck it and See withdrew from the race. But we stuck around to watch the race.


Photos (L to R): Letterbox; Ski jump; Crack of Dawn

It was good to see so many boaters on the river taking part in this well organised event. Safety was paramount and I believe there were no issues. I only heard about one swim. 


Photo (L to R): Crack of Dawn; James Flemming on the Dog Leg

Photo: Ian Letton on the Right Angle Falls.