Winter Challenge Take III - Part II

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The course went across one half of the Huon river, through a little channel in a long skinny island (Egg Island) to the other side of the river, then  up to the pointy nose of the island, round it and back down the other side of the river.   The first thing I noticed was that unlike the other 2 kayak races I've done, I actually had people to pass - yay!  So I made short work of a couple of wobbly looking people before we got to the canal, then on the other side I worked hard to get past another couple which put me within reach of a group just in front of me. People were generally staying close to the bank as we were going against the current although I was probably a little further  out into the river as I was a bit warey of the sticks and branches sticking out into the water..   and then suddenly there was  this big CLUNK.    Like a bang really.   I'd hit a submerged tree or something - probably a stump as the people on my inside didn't hit anything.   My boat kept moving but the rudder had hit this thing so hard it had bent itself back against the hull and jammed there so I could no longer move it.  

These boats aren't made to be steered with the paddle alone - I tried to push the steering pedals but couldn't' do anything - by which time I was going in all sorts of directions. I stopped to think.. what to do what to do… I was less than 1/4 of the way into the race and I couldn't see how I was going to finish without being able to steer.  Devastated, I decided I had to turn around and pull out, so I did a big slow wide turn (cos that's all I could do) and started to head towards the safety boat which was back up the river a little.   Just as I was finishing my turn, one of the zillions of paddlers who were coming past hit the same thing I did. Only he hit it even harder.  I heard him swear,  then he pulled straight into the bank on the island.  So i'm thinking - hey that's an idea - I could try to FIX this.. so I kept  turning until I was quite close to where he was wrestling with his boat.  But without the ability to steer, and the river being quite deep until you were practically up on the bank, I had to tip myself out of the boat and swim the last few metres to where I could just stand. Then I flipped over the boat and returned the rudder to where it should have been.  Luckily there wasn't any hull damage - unlike the other guy whose rudder went through the boat and made a hole.  Then I had to try to get back in - which was difficult as the water was not shallow.  I had to do the equivalent of a deep water recovery which is not easy - and I didn't actually think I could do it but I got lucky on my first attempt.   I started paddling but immediately realised I still couldn't steer. Bugger.   As I happened to be pointing in the racing direction again I decided to just keep trying to head that way and finish the race  as it would be altogether better than not finishing at all (especially after all Jon's hard work).  The paddlers I had passed earlier were blips in the distance but I soldiered on without steering and got into the groove of it pretty well. Turning at the top of the island was a pain and whenever anyone came past too close to me my boat got sucked into towards them and they would hit me with their paddle but generally I managed to hold my line pretty well and I actually started to haul in a few people.  By the home straight I dragged myself past one of the guys I'd overtaken near the start and I had also passed a few of the people who came past while I was doing my swimming & boat maintenance session - yay!   I finished strongly and although it's a bugger that the rudder broke I'm SO happy I chose to continue and finish. Jon claims that if he had seen me paddling back as I'd originally intended he just would have sent me back out to finish the course anyway - so I'm glad that didn't happen.

And then the best part - we came third! - our pre-race goal was to be in the top-five! The winning team was miles in front of us anyway although it will be interesting to see where 2nd and 4th were when the results come out - I'm pretty sure I passed someone in our category fairly close to the end.   But how sweet the Wine we won for coming third will be! And we also won some groovy little wooden apples which have gone straight to the trophy room.  

In case you are wondering, the guy who got a hole in his boat (but could still steer) finished too - although he was getting pretty low in the water by the time he finished.  And it sounds like quite a few other people hit whatever I hit too - as there was much discussion about damaged rudders and I wasn't the only one to have to do the rest of the race without steering.

Finish Line Saturday, 31 December 2011
Warrior Tips Saturday, 31 December 2011
Back on the water Saturday, 31 December 2011
Boarding Passes Saturday, 31 December 2011
Rock Sink Holes Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Kangaroo Island Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Adelaide Light Saturday, 24 December 2011
Surf Rescue Saturday, 24 December 2011
Splash! Saturday, 24 December 2011
Planet Adelaide Friday, 23 December 2011
Saturday Morning Paddle Saturday, 17 December 2011
Sports Day Thursday, 15 December 2011
School Assembly Thursday, 15 December 2011
Heirloom Thursday, 15 December 2011
Nothing a cupcake photo can't fix Thursday, 15 December 2011
Wedding Feet Monday, 5 December 2011
Street Party Monday, 5 December 2011
Christmas Tradition Monday, 5 December 2011
Not so romantic getaway.. Friday, 2 December 2011
Not My Cake Disaster Friday, 2 December 2011
My Cake Disasters Friday, 2 December 2011
Blue Skies Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Mercury Surf Safari Monday, 21 November 2011
People's day on the Mountain Monday, 21 November 2011
People's day on the highway Monday, 21 November 2011
Fairy Flotsam Monday, 14 November 2011
Road Trips Sunday, 13 November 2011
Backing up Sunday, 13 November 2011
Tullah Challenge Saturday, 12 November 2011
Tullah! Friday, 11 November 2011
Craftarama Thursday, 10 November 2011
Where are the women? Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Watch out for that Light Saver Luke. Monday, 7 November 2011
Going Places (or not) Sunday, 6 November 2011
Summer - Today Only!! Sunday, 6 November 2011
On the water.. Saturday, 5 November 2011
Waterfalls and Pandanas Sunday, 23 October 2011
Uniform pondering Sunday, 23 October 2011
Boats at Freycinet Sunday, 23 October 2011
before & after #23 - Out Takes Saturday, 22 October 2011
before & after #23 Saturday, 22 October 2011
Freycinet Challenge Monday, 10 October 2011
Clothing Challenge Update Monday, 3 October 2011
Re-United! Monday, 3 October 2011
Bogan Sensitivities Monday, 3 October 2011
MTB Boot Camp Friday, 16 September 2011
Otway Fly Friday, 16 September 2011
Extreme Granny Friday, 16 September 2011
Ruuuuunnnnn!!..... or walk, really.. Friday, 16 September 2011
just quickly.. Friday, 16 September 2011
Child Torture Monday, 12 September 2011
Great Ocean Road Monday, 12 September 2011
not like the old days Monday, 12 September 2011
Otways Sunday, 11 September 2011
Book Week Sunday, 28 August 2011
Funnest Game EVER Sunday, 28 August 2011
Winter Challenge Take III - Part II Sunday, 21 August 2011
Winter Challenge Take III - Part I Sunday, 21 August 2011
In other news.. Thursday, 18 August 2011
Gen Y. Thursday, 18 August 2011
Happiness Monday, 15 August 2011
New Traditions Saturday, 6 August 2011
Back on Deck Saturday, 6 August 2011
Welcome Home Me! Sunday, 24 July 2011
Snow Day! Sunday, 24 July 2011
Bear Grylls Cake Sunday, 24 July 2011
Local Skiing Sunday, 24 July 2011
Babushka Matchboxes Sunday, 24 July 2011
Ok, so maybe there's two Wednesday, 13 July 2011
The Only Reason to Not Move to Tassie Wednesday, 13 July 2011
on the snow! Monday, 11 July 2011
on the water Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Happy Birthday Jamie Saturday, 18 June 2011
Pump Track Saturday, 18 June 2011
Local Footy Saturday, 18 June 2011
School Cross Country Tuesday, 31 May 2011
My new blurry boat! Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Forgive me? Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Tough As Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Snow! Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Frustration Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Life in the slow lane.. Friday, 6 May 2011
Community Service Announcement Friday, 6 May 2011
Stanley & The Nut Tuesday, 3 May 2011
Mural Fest Saturday, 30 April 2011
Mt Roland Saturday, 30 April 2011
Holidays.. Saturday, 30 April 2011
My New Phone Sunday, 17 April 2011
I love cooking too.. Sunday, 17 April 2011
Jett loves cooking Sunday, 17 April 2011
Under the Deck Thursday, 7 April 2011
The other Weming? Thursday, 7 April 2011
Happy Snaps Monday, 4 April 2011
The Cute Weming Wednesday, 30 March 2011
The Wemings Wednesday, 30 March 2011
A long time in the making (sort of)! Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Power Plant Monday, 28 March 2011
before & after #22 Monday, 28 March 2011
before & after #21 Saturday, 19 March 2011
Footy Figurines Saturday, 19 March 2011
Binalong Bay Sunset Saturday, 19 March 2011
in other news.. Sunday, 6 March 2011
Loss Sunday, 6 March 2011
What's with Zhu Zhu pets? Thursday, 3 March 2011
Atlas Sewing Machine Sunday, 27 February 2011
What I did on the weekend.. Sunday, 20 February 2011
Ouch! Tuesday, 8 February 2011
16! Friday, 4 February 2011
Hanging out Friday, 28 January 2011
Egg Island Friday, 28 January 2011
Measuring Day Friday, 28 January 2011
Harvest Friday, 28 January 2011
I'm still here.. Friday, 28 January 2011
2011$ Challenge Take 2 Sunday, 16 January 2011
20$11 Challenge Thursday, 13 January 2011
In other news Saturday, 8 January 2011
Job Well Done Saturday, 8 January 2011
Lovely Zali Saturday, 8 January 2011
More Maria Photos Wednesday, 5 January 2011
Maria Island Wednesday, 5 January 2011