Sunday, September 20, 2009

No news is good news

Cruising on the Moesa. Photo by Jens Klatt

It has been an age since I last blogged, I have just been too busy. The title "no news is good news" means lots of paddling, lots of fun and very little time in front of the computer.

Verticle rescue is a key skill for all advanced swiftwater rescue technicans. Photo by Jan

Since I was last here I have attended an Rescue 3 Advanced SRT course and Instructor course with Neil and Jan in Tirol, Austria. Rescue 3 is an American organisation that provides flood, water and rope rescue training for emergency services and paddlers all over the world, if you go to the river either to work or to play the knowledge and skills you learn on these courses is invaluable and may save your life.

Solo canoe courses on the stunning Vorderrhein. Photo by Thomas Schoenenberger

The outside is great fun way of getting out onto whitewater. Photo by Thomas Schoenenberger

I have taught loads of courses this summer for Kanuschule, everything from basic introduction to whitewater to advanced river running. The highlight of this summers course program was a week long course on the beautiful Soca river in Slovenia.

Just married. Photo by Steffi

On our way to the party. Photo by Steffi

The 7th August, 07/08/09, was a very special day, I got married! Over 100 friends joined Lilli and myself to celebrate our wedding in Versam, we exchanged vows and rings, made a whole load of toasts and danced the night away to one of Graubundens best bands No Future. Big thanks to everybody helped us prepare for and celebrate the best wedding ever.

Surfing the wave in Thun. Photo by Biit

Straight off the back of getting married the next adventure was competing in ICF Freestyle World championships in Thun, Switzerland. I had decided in 2005 to retire from competitive freestyle, but the prospect of the Worlds being only 200km from my front door kind of swayed me to get back in my freestyle boat. Freestyle has changed, it is no longer the sport I remember, I found it very hard to get involved and motivated. My end result of equal 7th meant I didn't advance to the finals, it was the first time I missed finals since 1998! I was gutted and it took me a few days to figure out what went wrong. I didn't prepare sufficiently for the event, several last minute changes to my boat, to little grasp of the latest rules, a lack of freestyle specific training and the high standard of the other paddlers, or athletes as they are now called, out classed me. Big props to Jeremy for his consistently good performance and his well deserved gold medal.

Me, Aldo and Philippe cruising on the Soca. Photo by Beni

The end of the first gorge on the Korinica. Photo by Beni

As I mentioned earlier in the post one of the highlight of my working summer was a trip to the Soca. I was joined by Aldo, Beni and Philippe for a superb week of open canoeing in one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe. Changable weather meant the typical crystal clear water of the Soca was a milky turquoise colour. We spent the week learning and practising techniques for the safe and controlled descent of rivers and exploring the world of nu skool whitewater open canoeing. Thanks to all the paddlers for a thoroughly enjoyable week and I look forwards to seeing you all again on the river soon.

The Grand Canyon. Photo by Google images

In 19days Lilli and I are off to the Grand Canyon for our honeymoon, a 17day journey through one of the seven natural wonders of the World, I can't wait.

Stay safe world and if you don't hear from me for a while it means I am out and about living the dream.



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