Westlakes Classic

Last weekend, the Westlakes Classic was on and This year, like last year, I opted to do the 12km course.

Post from last year

Conditions were not the best, with wind around 20km/h, but you deal with what it is on the day.

Unlike last year, I didn’t take anywhere near as long to finish – I did the 12km in 1:20:21 at 9km/h!  Well, lets face it, 12km v’s 208km, 12km is a sprint and I didn’t leave much in reserve.  Short events like this are good as they give you a reasonable indication of your flat-water paddling speed, and year to year, this shows me that my flat-water speed has improved (or my training this year has been reasonably effective).  Just like last year, I did jump back in the boat and put a few extra km of paddling in, did another 8km at a fairly steady 8.5km/h (told you the 12km was a sprint!)

Yes, a sprint speed does not realistically give me a marathon-pace speed, but if I do a direct comparison to last year, I should be a tad faster over the 208km (at least I hope I am) – I’ll know either way in 2 weeks time 🙂

Nearly done

Over the last several weeks I have been watching from afar as something has been coming together for me.

Greg from Sladecraft has been building me a custom mid/high volume MRec and he is nearly done!

We discussed various options on how to get what I needed as there is no (performance) production boat on the market that I can actually get into – the cockpit is way too narrow for my hips, and the volume is well, a tad low!.  after a few months of discussions, Greg came up with a solution that we were both happy with – and it is literally a few days away from completion.


Whilst you cannot see everything in this picture, you get the idea – and this one, is most definitely a one-off, unique build!

There are actually quite a few “borrowed” aspects from some of his other boats in this one – the obvious one is the nice high rounded foredeck.  Of course there are a lot of other things that you don’t see either!

This one will be hard to miss out on the water with the distinctive red tips joined along the hull/deck seam with red lines and a glossy white hull and deck.

Now, the big wait will be in the arranging of the shipping from the Central Coast to me here in Adelaide.  Then I will have a little bit of work finishing the seat, some deck rigging and other minor customization’s before it hits the water.

down to the pointy end

Only 3 weeks to go means taking every opportunity that I can to get out there.

The last 2 days have provided an un-expected weather pattern with mid 20’s during the day, but dropping off quickly as soon as the sun goes down.

Tuesday Night I did a 17km paddle on West Lakes in what is probably the most perfect conditions I have ever seen – Yes, the wind was well under 5km/h the whole way.

I did my fastest ever time for the first 5km down to the southern end of the lake, doing the 5km in 34 minutes.  the whole 11km lap around the outside of the lake, getting back to the start in 1 h 14m and finishing the 17km in 1h 55m at 8.7km/h

On to Wednesday evening, I decided to do the same 17km again in conditions that were almost exactly the same, but the wind was probably about 5-7km/h –  yeah, tough I know 🙂

I was pleasantly surprised to note that I was a tad quicker than even the day before, the first 5km, I was about 40 seconds faster, and the 11km lap I turned around at 1h 14m – or about the same time as the day before then did the final 6km and finished just as the GPS ticked over to 1h 54m @ 8.8km/h

Yes, these are only relatively short distances compared to even the shortest day of the RPM, but all things considered, it looks like I am right on track to be at least as fast as last year, maybe a tad quicker.






B2B 2014

Wow, only 5 weeks until the RPM – I can hardly believe it!

This weekend, we had the B2B – 2 days of Marathon Paddling on the Murray River at Swanport – near Murray Bridge.  This year, for something different, the B2B also incorporated the State Marathon Championships for the first time.

With a weather report predicting pretty horrid conditions the numbers were down a little, but in the end they were nowhere near as bad as predicted.  Sure, Saturday saw us with winds around the 30km/h mark with a few heavier gusts., but as it was across the river in the end it had very little impact on the event, We were even fortunate in that the temperatures were in the mid teens, so it actually made for very comfortable paddling.

This morning, just before sunrise the river was spectacular!  and as the sun came up, it warmed up again to the mid-teens and the wind was 5-15km/h.

In the end, we had 43 boats start on Saturday and 29 Starters for Sunday, but that was sort of to be expected with the Singles for the State Marathon Championships on Saturday and the doubles on Sunday there were several that paddled in Singles on Saturday and Doubles on Sunday.

Now, if I go back and look at my 2013 B2B, I was just a tad faster.  I put this down to me seeing a little bit of paddle coaching and trying to correct a few issues I have.

This year, due to the state Championships, the course was ever so slightly different and the same on both days.

  • Day 1  – 2:25:24 for 20.3km (8.37 km/h)
  • Day 2 – 2:23:58 for 20.3km (8.46 km/h)

The good news, after last year’s B2B I was still questioning if I would do the RPM 200 or just the 100, well after the weekend it confirmed that Yep, 200 here I come.

Oh, and the state Marathon Championships – I scored a 3rd.