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Sunday, 23 January 2011

Brand New Website and Blog

Today is the Launch of my brand new website, it contains pictures, videos and my new blog.

Regular blog updates will be found there rather than here in the future

Enjoy it.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Still on my Christmas hols............well its tough being a student isn't it!!!

So it is now the third week of January and I'm just coming to the end of my christmas holidays. When I first came home I was worried as there was snow everywhere and no water, but just before new years eve a big thaw came in, rain began to fall and the Thames valley came up in true style. Hurley sessions early in the morning, sweet levels, great fun slalom sessions on shepperton, hours of time wasted getting changed in the sunbury car park to find its not running, usual winter stuff.

Each day of the holidays is pretty simple for me, out of bed, breakfast, uni work, (sometimes go to the gym), kayaking, sleep. Every day.

We even got away for a quick creeking trip this sunday just gone, with great levels in South Wales, a quick blast on the Mellte and a fair amount of tree portages on the Ned Fecchan.
Heres a couple of pics from Dale mears (The good pic), and Pete Scutt (the grainy one)

Hurley (when it dropped off for a while)

Just after firing the BIG DOG of the big drop on the Mellte

See you on the river

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Santa visits Shepperton

So I've been home from Uni for around a week now, during a normal winter this would mean lots and lots of regular but cold playboating. But this winter has been unusually cold, dry and snowy meaning that the usual local spots are still running on summer levels, the only difference being the temperatures often being below freezing!!

Anyway I'm making the best of it and doing my best to get a bit fitter in a slalom boat, today just before my regular session Santa popped along for a paddle, of course I lent him my kit and off he went.

Stay warm and have a good Christmas holiday

Monday, 8 November 2010

little videos

The last few weeks have been pretty crazy, lots of driving and a fair bit of paddling to boot. I've been working on a short video project since about august, here it is. Enjoy and safe boating

If the Video looks off watch it on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BGjinxpp4U

Monday, 25 October 2010

Bo Selecta: GB Freestyle Kayak Team selections

The weekend just gone saw the Nottingham play host to Great Britain Freestyle kayak team selections. Across the course of two days competitions were held on two different features on the course, the 'Twin Waves' and the 'Tardis'. Saturday also saw the one and only squirt boat team selection.

I've spent the whole summer training for squirt boat selection and was really fired up for the competition. So when saturday morning came I knew there were only a few hours left to prepare. Months of training all came down to to this, three sixty second rides with the best two counting. The scoring system for squirt is fairly complicated, basically each competitor is scored based on their flatwater tricks, added to their style scored then multiplied by downtime score (Which is the amount of time the whole boat is under water, greater points awarded if the whole head and body go underwater) Anyway six men rocked up to give it a go with three places on the Team up for grabs as James Reeves won the last world-Championship he was pre-selected so didn't attend. That left myself, Jamie Austin, Paul King, Josh Gosling, Ben Aldred and fresh out of squirt retirement Chris Evans to duke it out for the three team slots.

the nervous waiting between rides

I had three fairly consistent rides although I did feel like I was along way off my best it time for a nervous wait while the scores were added up. I filled the time by trying to get warm, dry, getting out of the horrible weather and helping out on the commentary. Finally the scores were, 2nd place. I was in, a place on the GB Freestyle team for the Plattling World championships 2011.

Later that day I was competing again in my float boat on the 'Twin Waves', out of three rides I had one very average ride, one rubbish ride and then ten seconds into ride number three my deck popped. I have literally never been so annoyed at a competition. Anyway Saturday evening, and I had good reason to celebrate I hit the town with Matty Nichols and Adam Ramadan.

Godzilla on the Tardis

When Sunday came I was feeling a little worse for wear but it was super sunny so I pushed on and by the end of the day it was time for my rides in the 'Tardis' one of the courses smaller, more flushy features. So I managed one average ride, one rubbish ride and one really rubbish ride. Overall I wasn't that impressed with my own performance, but to be perfectly honest I wasn't expecting any better as I hadn't really put the time or the training in like I had in my squirt boating.

A great weekend was had by all and well done to all who competed. On the top end it was great to see big rides from James Weight, Sam Anderson, Matty Nichols, Pringle and many others. Also a big thanks to all of the UK Freestyle committee for organising all of the events this season.

Photos by Dave Wortley

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Pyranananananananananananana Fest

I've just got back from a wild weekend at Canolfan Tryweryn which was playing host to the third annual Pyranha Fest. For those of you not in the know PFest is a Pyranha organised event where a massive fleet of demo boats get brought down to Tryweryn for people to try over the weekend. There are organised coaching courses by some of Pyranha's top coaches and a whole bunch of fun competitions. In the evening there is a hog roast, short talks about recent trips, previewing of an up and coming paddling film (Means of Production 2) and of course a party.

For me this event really kicked off on friday as I arrived in Runcorn to help load up a fleet of vans with demo boats, tents, bean bags, merchandise and other general paddling paraphernalia. Once we were all loaded up and had a cup of tea we set off for Wales. Arriving in Bala we had enough time to sample the limited edition Angry fish ale before hitting the hay.
A cloudy start at Bala Lake.

Unluckily for me I had been delegated to work at Bala lake on saturday morning with almost the complete range of touring boats, open canoes and sea kayaks. The morning ended up being fairly quiet although I did do a short coaching session for a gentlemen who wanted one.

Then we loaded up the van and headed over to the river I arrived just in time to miss the rodeo (gutted) but in time for the Boater-X race. The race was scheduled to take place from the top of graveyard to the NRA bridge (thats a long way for those who don't know). Heats had 6 people in and mine was not without incident. Straight from the word go I got into a tussle with boring James Bradley who promptly pulled my spraydeck off. I managed to get it back on and over take him but could only finish 4th in my heat not enough to go through to the semi final. In the end Tom 'sickline' Wakeling came in first, David 'Spaghetti arms' Bain came second and Pete 'The Scud' Scutt came third.

A boater-X clash once my deck was back on

After a short rest a mellow surf session on Cafe wave turned into a 15 minute game of King of the Wave, luckily no-ne was injured.
Cleaning up in the Varun

Chillin out
Once all was said and done we packed the vans and headed back to the Glan Lyn, for an evening of talks, videos, hog and beer. Not to mention the odd informal breakdance off.

Throwing the Varun around

Sunday was a more chilled day with some paddling, relaxing and resting. At the end of the day we packed the Van and headed back to the factory.

A fun weekend was had by all and a big thanks should be said to all who were involed in the planning and implementation of the weekend.

Photos By Leanne Atlee

Monday, 4 October 2010

Brit champs: Nottingham

The sun was shone brightly on saturday for another in the series of the British Freestyle championships series. This event was a special one for me as it was scheduled to be the only event to decide the British Squirt boat championship.

The day started in the standard format, registration a good deal of standing about and then eventually the competition kicking off. The squirt comp was first for me at 2 o'clock, this was my first Squirt comp and needless to say I was nervous. My feelings weren't really helped when I learned it would be in the Pyramid Pool, which is notoriously shallow a long way into the pool and the one which I usually do worse in whilst practicing. At the right time I got changed, got on the water and did my warm up. and by the time the competition came I felt focused and ready to go.

My rides went well and a bit of sunshine certainly helped. After all 10 male competitors had had their rides the scores were totted up, I was happy coming in 4th place.

After a quick change of clothes it was time for me to do my k1 runs, although my runs went to plan I was still a long way off top place. Thats hardly surprising though as Pringle scored over 1600 points in one ride! My final result was 14th out of 18.
That evening saw the usually consumption of food and beer, but also brought a lot of rain. The course was already fairly brown on saturday and the evening rains pushed it over the edge, and forced the course to be closed on sunday. Unfortunately this meant no finals to watch and no body boarding event or boater cross.
Anyway despite the rain it was a great event and I look forward to the last few of the year.

See you on the water

Photos by Dale Mears.