Kayaker, Engineer, Athlete, Tinkerer

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

First Runs on the Course

The plan for Monday was to meet the Australians and Irish at the course in the morning.  Luckily there was water, it was low, but there was water. Being my first time on the course in the new boat I was quite nervous. Luckily the Irish knew the course so I was able to follow them.  First run was okay, there are some tight lines, but no major damage, which was good considering I only had a front crunch pad and one airbag... The next run was worse,  I was sloppier and the water level had dropped slightly making the lower portion of the sprint course quite hard to run clean.  Since the water was dropping off everyone elected to stop after two runs and take the afternoon off.   Since it was close to noon, Chris and I elected to stop at a cafe to eat lunch and of course drink coffee.   Having the afternoon off was nice to kick back and relax a bit.  Marin and Doug were also able to find their boats and spent a bit of time working on outfitting them.

Later that evening Emmanuel arrived bring epoxy and float bags. I then set about making a stern crunch pad that evening,  I'm not sure if it's good or bad that I've made lots of crunch pads so this wasn't really a big deal. That pretty much wrapped up Monday.

Tuesday had basically the same plan, meet the Irish and Australians in the morning. This time there was slightly more water so it would be closer to race level (or so we think because there is no information and it's Italy).  I spent quite a bit of time going over video of the previous day's runs so I think I had a good idea where the lines where.  The extra water made things a bit pushier, but I was less nervous than the first time down the course.  Both runs in the morning, someone was in front of me, but not directly in front so I was working on remembering the course.  Then we took a break for lunch and to spend a little time relaxing before heading back for an afternoon session.  Back in the afternoon, the water sort of low, but we (americans, irish, and australians) did a full top to bottom classic course run, since the water was lower there was a bit of hitting and nearly everyone had some bad lines at some point.  However, when we arrived back at the sprint course, the water was back up.  When the water is low, there's a higher potential for hitting, but it's less pushy, as the water goes up, the rocks get more covered but the waves and holes get pushier and the consequences increase drastically for blow moves.  I had some rough runs on the sprint course, with one mediocre one.  There are few things that can test you both physically and mentally like a properly difficult sprint course.  Luckily I did not need to do any boat repair (yet), but one of the aussies did and apparently no one on their entire team knows how to do patches. After dinner that night, Chris and I helped out by working with the Australian teaching him how to do some patching.  While I'm not fast, it's nice to be able to help out.

Being able to make crunch pads is a worthwhile skill

My boat, still looking good at the moment

Proper italian dog carrying scooter driving technique

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