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Vaniljesaus – it’s here!

For your viewing pleasure…

Vaniljesaus, a film by Nick Horwood and Finn Burrows. Enjoy…

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A flying update

I’ve set up a new blog for my coaching company – check out http://www.kayakcoaching.wordpress.com or follow the link over on the right. Expect to see trip reports, dates, technique articles and other interesting ephemera of a coaching nature…

On a more active note, expect more updates on the summer’s Slovenian and Norwegian adventure, plus all the gen on the forthcoming Iceland trip, as soon as I get hold of various photos and actually get back from Iceland…

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Deja Vu…

With a certain inevitability, I found myself enjoying a fry up while watching the sun rise over the White Cliffs of Dover before embarking on the long haul down to France, the first stop in the summer programme of courses and boating. Now, obviously, this part of the trip had all the traditional elements of a trip to the Haute Alpes, which can get a little ‘samey’. So, ‘Me Mate’ Dave and I, along with Sepp, our German comrade, hatched a plan one day to try something a little out of the ordinary – the Cevreyette.

Marvellous fun and well worth a look if you’re in Briancon early in the season.

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It’s a tough job…

5* White Water. Cracking rivers, sunshine. Why would you consider going to the Tees?

Yours Truly. Upper Morriston. Pic: Mark French.

Fran Kohn. Pic: TP.

The Upper Morriston – quite a lot like Norway. Pic: TP.

Dinner. Smashing. Pic: SN.

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Falling Down #4

Fleming’s Drop. Rauma. Norway.

There’s a definite location theme running through this series as we head back to Norway and hear what Nick Horwood, one of Devon’s finest, has to say about this genuinely epic fall…

First run by Norwegian hero Fleming Schmidt, about 10 years before anybody else had really considered doing this sort of thing, this waterfall is both a spectacle of nature and an iconic piece of Norwegian whitewater. In a country famous for big, meaty waterfalls, this one stands out, offering as much bigness and meatiness as you could shake a metaphorical stick at.

The hardest thing about paddling this drop was the ferry out of the eddy at the top. At this water level it’s difficult, committing, and boily, and if you mess it up and get pushed right there’s a fast track ticket to the rock shelf and oblivion below. After watching canadian machine Maxi K style the line, and what seemed like hours sitting in my boat waiting for the go ahead, I managed to nail the ferry and hit my line exactly where I wanted. The impact of the rock nugget partway down twisted me into a slightly skewed second or two of freefall, followed by a soft(ish) landing in the chaos below. Rolling up below the drop the view was simply stunning, and after one or two close calls reminded us all of our mortailty, the remaining members of the group assembled safely in the pool and we were rewarded with the prize of a blast of sunshine and a beautiful rainbow.

A mention must also go to Maxi Kniewasser for the photos, as well as Shaun, Gauter and Ric who also fired it up that day.

The footage of Fleming’s incredible second run can be seen in Valhalla, and further footage can be found in SickLline 4 and Means of Production.

For any fact hungry kayak geeks out there, you may be interested to hear that the graphic which adorns the back of the Fleming inspired legend series strutter is in celebration of his first run of this drop, during which he broke his paddle in two places, on either side of his hand.*

*This is potentially a drunken lie on the part of a proud viking, but you’d have to be a right misery guts (or Fleming himself) to deny it.

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Falling Down #3

Kittlebreaker Falls, upper Raundal, Norway.

Back to Norway once again with Luke Farrington, one of the UK’s young guns, chatting about his descent of this sporting number last July…

Kittlebreaker Fossen is located at the top of the Raundal near Voss, on a tributary to the Raundalselva  itself. Upon first inspection from the road bridge the only realistic line is down the centre-left between two splitter rocks. However, this is helpfully hidden from clear view when inspecting from the bank.

With some deliberation and exploration to find a good view of the line and the lead in, I decided the fall was good to go and carried my boat to the top. With the thumbs up from my boating pals, I launched and headed for the guarding hole which marked the top of my line. I punched through the hole, stopping for a moment on the tow-back to make some last moment corrections; started down the entry ramp and descended into the haze of mist. See mopmovie.co.uk for some great footage of the run.

Pic: SN

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Avast behind!

The NSARRRRR 2008 – a marvellous montage of pirates, paddling and partying

Commodore Horwood. Pic: PW

The dynamic duo going for gold in the duo event. Pic: PW.

Fighting and facial hair in abundance.

‘I love it when a plan comes together!’ Pic: PW.

A massive thanks to Tim and Nick for putting together the best ‘damn event of the year and everyone who gave it the big one all weekend!

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