As competitors lined up for the inaugural Klanacopia Team Kayaking Challenge, it was clear that this was going to be a tough and close fought event; a test of planning, communication, skills and teamwork.
It was this last one, the teamwork that I was hoping to promote and highlight with this battle of boats and paddlers, so with more than a little trepidation I ran the idea past consummate event organiser and ukele virtuoso Shawn who thankfully saw the fun potential of giving the challenge a try.
With teams organised and leaders briefed, strategies formulated and tactics agreed upon there was nothing left to do but give it a go and I really think the way the Hunter Klan played the game did them credit, not just as individuals but also as a group with a real community spirit, it was fun enough that no one was excluded or left out, but tough enough that skills and approaches were tested and after round one everyone was keen for a re-match to decide the winning team.
The rest of Klanacopia went well with surfing on a very sweet wave just inside Yacaaba, a number of skill sessions and some social paddles out in the fat long period swells that invaded the Bay.
On Saturday evening we all enjoyed fantastic local fish and chips followed by video presentations showcasing just how diverse the paddling experience can be with Tam and Zeph's far northern adventures on Lake Argyle, Shawn's great images of Mayall Lakes in an East coast low and some high impact video of Fernando crashing into rocks that had many in the audience not knowing whether to laugh at the exuberance or grimace at the almost constant grinding of hulls against very hard places.
Overall another successful Klanacopia where a sense of community and goodwill were the ultimate winners. Thanks to Shawn and the rest of the Klan for letting us share in the fun, Mick from Flat Earth Sails for several impromptu and very engaging workshops on towlines and sails and for his good company on and off the water, Fer and Joel for helping with counting heads in the surf , helping with instruction and their role in the challenge and finally the steadfast and very capable Sharon for her skilful and seamless management of the EK team both on and off the water.