Last weekend Kevin and Daz followed up on the success they had with the Dee Boater X and hosted the much anticipated Garry Boater X. Here is what Kevin has to say about the day!
“After two Boater X events during 2012, Grandtully and the Dee, we thought lets ramp it up. Boater X on the River Garry during a Dam release, awesome. A full on top end Grade 3 high volume river, challenging for paddlers of all abilities from club paddler to the race head. And to add a little spice… instead of four boaters racing in close contact… lets have six paddlers racing in close contact, it was going to be fun.
The competition was four knockout rounds, but the key to the success of Garry Boater X was everyone would race in every round! The format was devised so as the heats progressed the abilities of paddlers would become closer and closer so by the time of the finals round the boaters very closely matched allowing for very close racing with the racers finishing within seconds of each other. Everyone had a final and every single paddler was positioned from first all the way to the thirty seventh competitor who entered.
It was a short exciting course taking in all the tasty rapids on the river making it very exciting to watch as paddlers smashed through the rapids side by side vying for the best line. The sun was out and there was a carnival like atmosphere around the event as spectators sat along the river bank cheering on the racers. Back at race HQ Go Kayaking provided demo boats for people to try out while the boaters waited after their heats to find out who they would race in the next round.
After a very close final where the first three paddlers crossed the finish line within seconds of each other Colin Aitken the victorious one, beating Bruce Joliffe into second place and Gavin Miller into third place. It was back to Invergarry Hall for refreshments and presentation of prizes kindly donated by Wavesport, Eddylines, Immersion Research, Go Kayaking, Kokatat and Peak UK.
Special mention to Will.I.Am Chan for excellent sporting behaviour, his selfless rescues of other paddlers during his heat and to Jules Miller for her lungs of steel efforts. Also a huge thank you to all the supporters of the event who made it happen. It took a real team effort from everyone involved to make the first and definitely not the last Garry Boater X a yakking great success.
The Garry Boater X will be back next year bigger, better and even more competitive! Colin has secured bragging rights for the next 12 months but look out for opportunities to train and compete at more events organised by Kevin and Daz as the take over the roll of Scottish ambassadors for WK.
Photos from the facebook page taken by Charlotte Hogg