Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shaan Crosses Bass Strait Solo

Shaan Gresser has completed a Solo crossing of Bass Strait. Although a great feat in itself theres a lot more to it than just the crossing. Bass Strait doesn't give itself up easily to a kayaker and Shaan's crossing was no exception. 19 days it took her and this I believe was her second attempt this year after being thwarted by weather earlier. Shaan also came back from a kayaking related shoulder dislocation last year. With guts and tenacity like Shaan's it was only a matter of time before she bagged the Bass and became the first girl to do so solo.

Congratulations Shaan - Your an inspiration!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Urban Epic III

There were Six of us up for the latest Urban Epic Club trip. We again had a grey day only this time with the added bonus of strong Southerlies and a livley sea. Both me and Garry were in unfamiliar boats and as both of us have come from the rock steady reliability of Mirages we found staying on course a bit of a handfull (and upright in some instances - Garry got to do a couple of rolls in anger). George's shark sighting and resultant yells helped I'm sure. I'm hoping that improved skill and getting used to our boats will overcome these issues for us. While some skeg paddlers seem to accept that zigzagging is part and parcel of paddling downwind I find this frustrating. Going in a straight line and catching waves at sea is now my prime focus. The Stern rudder helps maintain course for sure but I don't like this stroke as it has a breaking effect (when compared to forward paddling) which can result in missed rides (tragic). I accept that its essential for surfing breakers on a bar or beach or when sailing (15 KT +). I will now focus on more aggressive edging to maintain direction without compromising the all important forward stroke. Next test this arvo in Easterlies which will produce rebound waves off the cliffs. I've installed an inflatable beanbag type seat which will raise my seating position and might help with edging.


Thanks to Andrew E, Andrew C, George, Neil and Garry for making it such a fun day! Photos by Garry Thompson.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hybrid 550 Update

Starting to really enjoy the new boat. Whilst positioned in a break zone at South Head ready to get a picture of Andre a steep breaker appeared. I was way impressed at how little effort was required to turn bow on and accelerate. The H550 rose over the crest to fall off the back of the wave very nicley indeed.

These pics are from Andre's camera as my new Panasonic drowned after only 3 uses. Very disapointed in that camera - I should have gone with my gut and stuck with the indestructable PENTAX.