The sheet bend is usually the best knot for joining two ropes
5 from the Wellington Sea Kayak network enjoyed a short trip on Wellington’s west coast.
A tough expedition in the Fiordland wilderness.
The finish line buoy of the 18km race Photo Charkes Jarvoe
The Foxton loop race is always tough. The race, starting on an exposed estuary for 4.5 km then heading up a man-made cut for another 4.5 km, it then returns on the same circuitous route and always brings some surprises. There’s wind, which constantly appears to change as the loop cut snakes its way to Foxton township. There’s the current – high rain inland can influence the route taken and the race outcome. And then there’s tide. This year, the race started at 11:00 am and we were told the tide was high at that same hour. As there had been little rain, we could have expected an upstream leg on slack water and no current on the cut.
At the hooter the top K1, multisport and ski guys zoomed off leaving us slowbies and sea kayakers for dead. The path upstream was not bad – just a little chop on the exposed sections. Heading into the cut I felt pretty good. No sign of the shoulder injury, and all was well. I glanced at the GPS that I use as a speedo. 11.5 km/hr – as fast as I have ever been without a current. “Yahoo” I thought – my collar bone must be fixed and I am back to good form. We steamed up the narrow section, although Dave McKnight overtook me and I thought I had seen the last of him. A strip built wooden sea kayak paddled by Pete Notman’s son came past – unbelievable. A bathtub boat with an inexperienced paddled using a slalom paddle – he obviously had some serious fitness. I caught up a bit through cunning on the turn and the,n as we headed back towards the river, Dave just took off. A boy in a K1 overtook me and again the wooden sea kayak, and I knew all was not well. I was down to 7.5km/hr. Despite a rudder guard, I must have picked up a twig or some weed. I reversed back off and then gained almost 2 km/hr as a result. Speed still only 8-9 km/hr – the tide was still going in – about an hour after apparent high tide. I sped up enough to start overtaking. Goodbye Guillemot sea kayak and stripling K1’er. I caught Dave after a while by sneaking up the edges against the current while he battled the main flow in central channel. I went to overtake on the wrong side and he upped has pace. We were neck and neck for 2 km. I could not gain the lower counter flow on the bank as I was on the mid-channel side of him. We made the main river together. Inexplicably I got my second wind and scooted away from him in the later stages, just managing – I thought- to pip a K1 on the line. Tough race. Poor Kupe Canoe Club turn out – only Paddy Urlich and myself.
Fri 2nd August – managed an evening paddle in perfect conditions. 40 minutes or so in the Maximus.
Sun 4th August. A perfect day on the harbour. Took a camera and some pics along the way as am looking for some shots of fishing SOTs. Out to Somes island where spotted shags were spotted, then back to Falcon shoals, thinking I’d see some kayak anglers there, but none was present. Headed back to base and snapped a mother and young boy out for a paddle at Hataitai. Decided I was fit enough to do the Foxton loop race next weekend without doing any bodily damage. 17.5 km today, some at training speed. Noticed this has dropped from the 10 km/hr I used to achieve . Need to regain speed and stamina.