Your post brought back a whole raft of memories. In 1987 we spent 3 months
in Perth. Being a wannabe whitewater paddler at the time I entered the Avon
Descent in a Canadian (open) canoe, with one of my Perth co-workers. We had
a great time, but were pulled off the river at the last checkpoint before
the end, as the official didn't think we could finish before dark. (Our
support team had got lost earlier in the traffic on the back roads, and we
foolishly waited for them at the scheduled meeting point.)
The Descent has to be one of the craziest races around. The river was
almost dry a week before the race, then we got some rain and it flooded over
the banks to the point where we were paddling through thickets of tree
branches (Ti trees?). We saw several of the less maneouverable long surf
skis or kayaks wrapped around tree trunks. Paddlers were started a minute
apart, over a small rocky weir. We had a head start on the power boats of
about 4 hours, then they started to zoom past. Everyone camped at the half
way point (therefore the support car and crew) at a small town whose name
I've forgotten. We started again in the misty dawn -- the starting gun was
a 105 mm howitzer, I think, courtesy of the Australian army. My hearing
came back eventually. I think this time the power boats moved off first,
but I can't really remember.
Both days were bright and sunny, the water was warm and life was good.
Sent: November 1, 2001 4:01 AM
Subject: [bolger] re:stability
Here in western Australia we have a race known aas the Avon Descent,
a 2 day white water, rocks an long flat water run for kayaks Surf
skis and absolutely flat skiffs with 6 hp outboardsand 2 crew.
The skiffs are a sheet of styrofoam ,with maybe a ply stringer or 2,
Like a surfboard, coated in a thin layer of epoxy and kevlar. add an
outboard mount and handrails, and go jump waterfalls!!!
They have no rocker. No vee, nno sides, and no sense. They are
smooth bottomed, often planing through white waterfoam on a wing and
on the flat waterwater home stretch they skip like a flat stone on
turns, hence the hand rails. they have a habit of overtaking their
own bowwave and need constant balancing fore and aft by the crew.
allthis happens in mid winterregardless of wether thereis enough
water in the river, hence the extreme light weight( you may have to
carry the boat).
just thought Id let you know what the hillbillies do for sport1
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