2016 Westlakes Classic

Sunday 14th May was the Westlakes Classic – which is another good lead-up event to the RPM.

The Classic consists of a choice of 3 events – 6, 12 or 18km on Westlakes.

Conditions were pretty good, with temperature in the high teens and the wind around the 15km/h mark from the S/W.

As usual there was a reasonable number of boats on the water – and this alone makes for a good bit of practice – in terms of a start and also in terms of dealing with the wash.

It was a bit much for some and a couple of other paddlers took an unscheduled swim within the first 500M for just that reason.

I have been trying to solve the issues with my seating (again) and yesterday managed the whole 2 hours in the boat without any issues – so looking good in readiness for the RPM in only 4 weeks time,

Not sure of the actual time, but I completed the 18km in about  2h 4m or so at an avg speed of 8.7km/h

I have my eye on a record in the RPM and this time puts me within  reach of it!

2016 B2B

That is Back 2 Back, not Border2Beach!

This weekend just gone was the Back2Back a 2 day event that leads up to the RPM.

The Weather was not brilliant with fairly strong winds – yeah Saturday saw us battle winds up to about 45km/h – not so bad when it is at your back, but not so much fun in your face!

This year, on the Sunday we moved from our usual location at Murray Bridge up to Mannum and ran day 2 in conjunction with the Paddlefest. We were hoping for better conditions, but they were similar! not quite as strong, but still 30+km/h winds to deal with.

All in all, a fun weekend out paddling!


I know, I have not made many posts over the last little while on my blog and with now only a week to go will give a bit of an update.  Yeah, more updates to the blog will happen, but after the adventure!

I am doing this in my C18 – yeah the same one where I broke off the foot pegs way back at the 32km mark of the HCC in 2014.

I finally got around to fixing up this mess and replaced the pegs on the side with a full footplate.

Lucky for me, in my new boat, it has a full plate, so I had something to guide me in making something.
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I made up something that resembled a footplate and then cut the original hinged foot-pedals down so i could re-use them for the rudder.  I used some 6mm ply and then epoxied and glassed it all for strength.

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I then took to the cockpit opening with a jigsaw and cut a bit of it away, removing as much as i could to give me more room for the knees to come up – and to let me actually leg-drive.  You get an idea of how much I cut away and how much more room it gives me.




Finally, the keyhole surgery – of installing some rails and fitting the new footplate into the boat.

Of course, with the boat ready, this only left me to get out in it and get ready myself!

I have been out a few times now – and of course, every time I have been out the wind has been terrible, but in only 3 weeks, I have been very happy and over a relative short distance of 15km in 30+km/h winds I have already hit my marathon training pace of 2 years ago!  It took me about 8 weeks last time to hit that pace, so very happy with how things are progressing.

Of course, I would have liked a few more weeks of prep, but once I hit the river it will all fall into place.

With now just 1 week to go, I’ll get out on this weekend I’ll make a couple of small adjustments and then do a nice 20-25km paddle to make sure I’m ready to go.


Well this years lead up and training for the RPM has had a lot of speedbumps and it is now rapidly approaching!

First off, I was on-call for work for a couple of weeks, which seriously curtails any boat-time.  The next hurdle is getting my seat right in the boat.  I thought I had it OK, but then I started getting numb legs after about 45 minutes – to the point where I have to stop and get out!.

Limited boat-time while still trying to come to terms with the boat in all conditions is having a serious slow-down on my preparation.

First step-back.  Over the  summer months I did manage to get a little bit of coaching, which has given me a few items I need to improve on.  It is slowly starting to come together in that regards, and every time I do get on the water there are improvements – both in terms of how I finish and the average speed.

I have had a couple of coaching sessions including doing a visual clinic with Clint Robinson.  It is great to be able to get someone to really tell you what you are doing well and what you need to look at changing, then get back out and work on the specifics.

Now, for the most part, in the hour before my legs go numb, I am averaging around the 9.0km/h mark, which is a big step-up from the previous 8.2km/h in the C18.  Of course, the downside is as soon as I have to stop and get out for a few minutes, the average speed drops off, and I cannot even get an indication as to the average over a longer distance at the moment.

Current progress is that I am having a custom carbon fibre seat made – and it came out of the mold last week.  All was going well with the fitting and getting ready to blow the foam to fit it to the boat, until we noticed that I had “broken” it in the process!  Well, not totally broken, just flattened it somewhat!.  Fortunately, it was still somewhat green and some heat was applied and it returned to the correct shape!  So, back to the drawing board, some extra re-enforcement will be added to spread the load a bit before we try again later in the week.

So, a few small changes to my foam “seat” and then I headed down to Encounter Bay on Sunday morning to participate in their monthly 6km handicap event, with a scratch time of 50 minutes.

Encounter Lakes

Waiting for the start



As this was my “first” event, and I have been averaging around the 9km/h mark I figured that I could do 6km in just under 40 minutes and suggested 39.30 time, or a 10.30 start offset.  I figured being only 6km, and very protected that I could sustain a tad over 9km/h.

I was wrong!  The conditions were pretty much perfect and I was a lot quicker than I thought, and finished the 6km in 37.41 (9.3km/h).  At the end, I was just starting to feel a bit numb, but I guessed that with just 6km, it would be pretty much OK.

So, now all I can hope is that I can manage to get my seating sorted out in time for the B2B and see how it goes – otherwise, I will have to get my other boat repaired so I can use it.  That would be a big backwards step in terms of my performance, so trying to avoid that step unless I have no options.

New Toys

Well, Toy.

20141225_195937_resizedYep, that is an Action Camera mounted in it’s waterproof housing attached to the front of the boat.

The handlebar mount goes on almost perfectly on the front handle, and at this location, I can face it either forwards or backwards.  Forwards for the scenery, and back, well, lets see how bad my paddling really is!

Since the weather today was excellent, low to mid 20’s and barely a breath of wind (well 5-15km/h predicted) it was worth ducking out and giving it a go!

I did a full lap around Westlakes, then did a small triangle around the northern end and shot a couple of videos.

I have included all the details in the video, and no, it is edited so as not to bore you to tears watching nothing but me for an hour and a half!

Before I get into that, yes, it was a good day, and the 11km lap was pretty quick –  averaged 9.2km/h and given that this is the “off season”, pretty happy with that.  I guess more importantly, this was probably the first time out in this boat where I was not really concerned about swimming, which is a big boost to the overall average speed.

It started out with about a 5km/h breeze, which strengthened to about 15 mid-way thru the paddle.  Anyway, onto the video’s.

Note, no audio track on these videos.

Video 1 – Selections of the full lap.

Video 2 – The complete triangle around the end approx 11 minutes.

Well, now, not only a fun toy, an extra dimension that will allow me to see what I am doing (wrong) and hopefully improve the efficiency of my stroke.

So, how many things can you spot that I could improve in my stroke – and yeah, like I have not already seen most of them!