It had been over 4 years since I entered my last competitive slalom race. Back then I was in 6th form at Taieri High hanging out with mates and having a good laugh on the river. I had no knowledge of river dynamics, strokes (except a healthy power roll), or much more than the basics of slalom.
Today I headed out to Waipori for race 1 of the South Island series. The race had been organised by Dylan Thomson & OCKC. First of all I had no boat, and definetely hadn't paddled a long boat in ages. Caleb Woodside my old paddling partner from high school came along too he hadn't even been in a kayak for over 3 years.
Caleb's brother Josh lent me his slalom boat for the 2 race runs. My first run was a little shaky through the staggers & definetely well behind the regular slalom racers.
Race 2 started off well through the upstreams and first set of staggers, I thought I was going well! Then while going for gate 14(downstream)I caught a rail and flipped. Not sure if I even went through the gate... I rolled up in time to catch gate 15 & paddle down through the last couple of gates.
Overall I ended up 13th out of 21. Great fun being back in a competitive atmosphere & picking up more knowledge from the regular racing crew. Might even have to venture to the next race in the series at Hawea! All depends on my workloads though.
Cheers go out to Dylan & everyone who made it a good day out on the river.