Flotsam and Jetsam [30]

Caught Resin-handed!

Flotsam reporters have uncovered yet another illicit sea-kayak construction site on the far south coast, this one in the Tura Beach area, and, would you believe, disguised as a child-care centre!

Following complaints from concerned parents about the presence of fibreglass strands in their childrens’ hair, our reporter cornered a furtive individual at dawn as he emerged from a concealed workshop at the rear of the establishment. The man, fortyish, heavily built and with acetone-bleached hair, hurriedly gave his name as Wayne Dinkworth, but initially refused to answer questions. However, unable to explain the streaks of fresh gelcoat on his face and arms, Mr Dinkworth reluctantly admitted that the child care centre was a ‘front’ for the ‘main operation’.

Asked to explain the need for the secret location, Mr Dinkworth finally opened up, “the kayak taking shape here is unique, the ultimate sea-going machine .. and believe you me, there’s a few characters round here that’d kill just for a look at the plug…it’s a cut-throat business down these parts…”

Asked to describe the kayak, tears welled in the man’s eyes as emotion borne of years of sacrifice overwhelmed him. “I’ve devoted my entire life and savings to designing this beauty every dramatic line, each sensous curve they are a part of me! My marriage and health have suffered but, so near to completion 1 know it’s worth it! Please…please don’t give it away” pleaded Mr Dinkworth, tears now streaming down his face.

Reassuring him of the project’s confidentiality, our reporter asked Mr Dinkworth what makes this boat unique. Composing himself, he continued “this craft is the sum total of twenty years of concentrated sea kayaking experience – she has it all… she’ll out-track a Vynec, out-turn a Raider, out-pace a Mirage 22s, out-tough a Puffin, weigh less than a Gauntlet and be more fun than an Inuit Classic. I guarantee it -or my name isn’t Dave Winkw , errr, Wayne Dinkworth.”

And what about a name for this wonderboat? “The Catcher” pronounced Mr Dinkworth. Was there any particular maritime or other symbolic connotation attached to the name? “No” said Mr Dinkworth “It just sort of came to me while mowing the lawn last week! “

Footnote; In return for our continuing discretion, Mr Dinkworth has granted Flotsam sole publicity rights for Catcher news as she moves towards full production. Watch this space!

Brave fool!

Flotsam has heard of an act of unheralded courage at a recent club paddle. A prominent club member chose to paddle his Arctic Raider, (yes, you read right – a ‘pretty but tippy’ Raider!), not just on totally unsheltered waters, but all the way to Montague Island – 9 kms offshore!

Amazingly, this act of ‘derring do’ was accomplished without the aid of an outrigger, inflatable sponsons or powered support vessels. We at Flotsam believe that this is the first time a Raider has been willingly paddled on the open sea, although it is known many have been taken to club meets only to be left sitting on the beach by their nervous owners.

While the mild-mannered individual concerned was not seeking publicity or hero status by his achievement, Flotsam feels that deeds such as this; that challenge the known limits of sea kayaking, should be recognised and the trailblasers acclaimed.

Hail Andrew Eddy!

For a suitable refutation of this inappropriate and exaggurated assertion, see the letters page in the next issue.

Selling Inuits to the Eskimos?

The first overseas sale of an Inuit Classic has been confirmed -to an Alaskan! The Classic TP (Three-Piece) was delivered to the buyer’s door in Anchorage for about $1600US -$500 cheaper than any equivalent U.S. made kayak. The Classic’s ability to ‘ride up’ on ice floes, an obscure feature about which it’s designer has often boasted, can now really be put to the test!