Thursday 19 April 2012

Cruising with Cheri & Turner

Cheri Perry & Turner Wilson are in town for the next few days running their brilliant instruction sessions on rolling & general Greenland paddling skills. 
After their first session on Tuesday Rob organised for Cheri & Turner to come out with his regular Tuesday night group for a paddle, to show them some of our spectacular Sydney cliff line & enjoy a bit of local paddling camaraderie.
Unfortunately a great forecast promising winds up over 25 knots didn't eventuate, and as the sea was running from the dead south we didn't even get our normal taste of rebound & bounce, but it did give us a chance to get up close into places like the Gap for a play.
It also meant that the short ride back with a very unidirectional & slow sea was a hoot, even if I would have preferred an hour of it, rather than an all-too-short 20 minutes or so!
I was fascinated watching Turner's elegant forward stroke - watch the video above & you'll see a brief slow-mo out off south head. I cornered Cheri & pinched her paddle once we got back inside the harbour & she gave me a very pointed 10 minute lesson on the canted stroke. I have often wondered about some of the tips I've been given about how it's supposed to work, & tend to tune out when I hear instructions that are interpretive at best - things like 'magical lifting force' etc. Cheri explained the bio mechanics so succinctly that I can see why these guys are the reference point for most people in the Greenland world when it comes to hearing some good straight talking about technique, leaving aside their revered rolling tuition.
I further enamoured myself to the Etain 17'5, ripping around in the little following waves in a boat I didn't really get at first, but would now call my boat of choice for any sort of rough water paddling. If you apply the 'never ever use a stern rudder rule' on a running sea, you'll soon find out either how good you are or how good your hull design is. This smooth new boat from Valley allows you to crank the bow around & keep chasing the troughs without having to resort to a big braking stroke. I'm thoroughly enjoying the responsiveness & feel of the boat & the great running speed I seem to be getting.
The torrential rain washed our boats & us down once we landed, & we then kicked back in the warm & dry Watson's Bay Hotel for a few beers & a counter dinner.
Cheri & Turner had a few ripping yarns about Greenland itself & specifically the competition week held there each year. I haven't Googled it, but see what 'Walrus Pull' turns up & you may well find what could be our next big paddle sport craze! Of course, here at Expedition Kayaks we never condone the actually pulling of a Walrus, but the Cheri & the Greenlanders are right into it….
Rob has been helping out Cheri & Turner with logistics etc & is so impressed with their technical breakdown, explanations & professional presentation, as good as anything he has seen. So, if you are looking to master the dark arts of the stick, or would like some targeted rolling coaching give Rob a hoy (best to call him on 0417 227 627), they have lessons spots available on Saturday (April 21).

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