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Sunday, 26 September 2010

Scotland: There and back again (and then once more)

So Ive not been back to Uni for long which means it must be time for the yearly pilgrimage to Scotland for the Wet West Paddle Fest. Last year I found someone to travel up with but this year preparations were a bit more last minute. Luckily the Team Pyranha van was to the rescue giving me a ride up to Scotland if I could get myself to Runcorn. Easy peasy. Plans were made, I arrived at Pyranha a bit early, hung out for a bit until I eventually found out that Tim Burne had left without me, Shocker! So after some hurried phone calls I made my way north to Preston where I linked up with Tim and headed north.

Although I was slightly ill over the course of the weekend we returned home on sunday evening having made some great new friends.
The following wednesday I made my way To runcorn again, this time the plan was to link up with the boys, Pete Scutt, Graham Milton and Tom Wakeling. We left late in the evening and picked up the final member of the crew, Si Tapley on route. Our goal, Etive River race.

We drove through torrential rain all evening and spirits were HIGH, the vans chat nav was firmly tuned into high water options for the week. We swung by Falloch on the way up and were disappointed to find it extremely low. We continued to the Etive, arrived at 4Am and slept.

When we awoke we checked out the Etive and were less than inspired by the water levels, we went and drank tea for a while and then opted to smash down the Etive and then travel to one of the tributaries down stream. Si Tapley opted out of paddling an took the role of photographer with some great results.

We squeezed out a couple of low water runs on Friday but concentrated on rest for Saturdays race. When the day came the river had dropped off even more prompting organiser James Flemming to call a mandatory portage on one of the rapids. Once the day was done Team Pyranha had made a strong impact taking many of the top places, Barnsey and me placed 7th in the sponsored team category.

Overall a great time, heres a few pics by Si Tapley. See you on the water.

Chillin when the day is done.

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