By CLAUS BUSSELER
2011 R & R Coordinator
Now that it’s over I feel I am having withdrawal symptoms – no more reading masses of emails, sending letters, organising, coordinating and worrying about everything that could possibly go wrong.
What a great event, even I couldn’t stuff it up: terrific weather, record crowd (one hundred and sixty attendees), four platinum sponsors (Expedition Kayaks, Mirage Sea Kayaks, Nadgee Kayaks Australia and Roaring 40s) and two silver sponsors (Flat Earth Sails and Hybrid Kayaks Australia). Members had a great selection of kayaks, sails and other accessories to check out. Even with having a biathlon on at the same time all went without a hitch, we didn’t run over any swimmers or crash into any jet skis.
Friday evening started with the beer and pizzas supplied by Expedition Kayaks, well attended by hungry, thirsty kayakers. While some of us were busy handing out tags and doing the registrations, David Fisher was busy under the marquee with his Master Chef classes. A little slow on attendance at first but as the smell of hot popcorn and damper wafted around the site the numbers grew. Maybe we will see David on the real show one day. He could give them a run for their money if he can convince them to cook out of a kayak while afloat.
We all woke up early to a great sunny Saturday with the crowd scrambling around the marquee eager to ensure they all got onto a trip. Matt did a great job and had plenty of trips arranged and with a good number of trip leaders I do believe everyone was catered for.
Conditions were great and everyone seemed to come back quite exhausted after long trips, so much so that I could not get the Fractured Paddle event up and running, my only disappointment for the weekend. So now, I have lots of bling (ten gold and silver medals) to hang around my neck when clubbing.
The afternoon injury prevention session was run by Sally Jacobs and well attended with all gaining something of value. At one point in the afternoon while I was sitting on the grass she shoved a thong (the one worn on the feet) up my butt (under actually) to show how it tilted my pelvis and made for a better seating position. It actually worked so I now have an old thong sika-flexed to my Mirage seat.
The feeding of one hundred and fifty hungry paddlers on Saturday evening went well despite some who had to put up with a little more beverage consumption while waiting due to the long lineups.
The meal was followed by an interesting presentation from Richard Barnes showing the type of paddling adventures that can be had in a kayak. This was followed by Stuart Trueman’s ongoing adventure paddling around Australia. We all wish him a safe journey and look forward to hearing about the ending.
Sunday was much the same as Saturday: lots of trips, good weather and plenty to do afterwards. A couple of groups went into the rock gardens for a bit more excitement lead by visiting Tsunami Ranger Jim Kakuk and club leaders. Some people started to leave in the afternoon due to work commitments.
Paddle stroke correction classes were organised by Michael Eggleton which showed many of us that there is always room for improvement.
Jim Kakuk gave a great presentation in the evening about what can be done in the rock gardens. One point Jim made I felt was valuable and one that is possibly not given much importance is that if you can’t swim in it, you shouldn’t kayak in it. Food for thought.
Lastly I thank the committee, the speakers, the volunteers, the beach masters, the trip coordinator, the leaders, the sponsors and all members for their help and continuing to support Rock and Roll and making it the great event it is.