London Boat Show Wrap Up!

So back in 2012 I was asked to be part of a presentation introducing white water kayaking at the London Boat Show. It was a great event and eye opening to say the least. The event's main focus is marketing top of the range Yachts combined with an outdoor show where all the big brands come to show off there new product range and get involved personally with their customers.

Rob Harris was in charge of organizing our presentation with commentary by Ed Smith and Christian Stevenson. 

The Paddlers:- Bren Orton, David Bain, James Bebbington, Claire O'Hara, Mallory Franklin and myself, Anton Lippek.

James put together this wrap up film together which I thought I'd share with you. Enjoy :D

Rain in Wales

With a heavy dose of Rain forecast in North Wales, Birthday boy  Ieuan Belshaw planned a weekend in Betws Y-Coed. We headed out on Friday afternoon to scout for some white water fun. We found this cheeky run just off the A5.

There were quite a few trees in the river on the lead in above the bridge so we had to take extra care in looking at the lines but it was well worth checking out.
 The first section of the river was fairly steep which gave us a good fix of adrenalin. There were a few more rapids further down providing some more fun with some continuous narrow creeks.
There was a huge storm brewing and we were engulfed in darkness quite early on in the afternoon setting us up early in the neaest pub for some birthday beverages.

Camel Log

I've been going through some images I captured this year and I thought I'd share with you a magical moment I experienced in Morocco after returning from a Rafting trip with AdevntureX

With a few spare days before my return Flight I headed to Essaouira on the west cost of Morocco. Its a beautiful place full of life much like Marrakesh but with less tourism. There is a great divide between rich and poor. The beach is famous for its ample wind supply making Essaouira a popular destination for windsurfing.  

I went for a run along the beach and noticed what looked like a sun bathing camel in the distance. The closer I got the stranger it began to look and I began thinking perhaps it may have gotten stuck in the sand. Turns out it was a log that had washed up on the beach but it really was a tease. Have a look for yourself.

On the evening I headed into the Medina which is much like a town center where most of the Citys trade takes place with a big emphasis on tourist souvenirs and trinkets

 Many buildings remain in amazing condition from historical events boasting a confident community. The divide between rich and poor is evident now with many modern buildings being erected and developed in specific areas exposing difficult living conditions in the less developed majority of the City. It will be interesting me to see how it develops over the next few years. 

Morocco is a beautiful country and if you get the chance to explore it, embrace the opportunity. AdventureX offer a number of adventure trips to Morocco which may tickle your fancy!

A Day in North Wales

We had a spot of bad weather recently in the UK, causing havoc nationwide. This apparent chaos however, provides kayaking enthusiasts with an enhanced play ground. The rivers rise and increase in their intensity.  I got a call from Dave Janes, a fellow river guide who had the day off and fancied checking out some local rivers that were on the rise. There was a chilly wind so I was pretty glad to have my Nookie Venom Cag at hand to keep me warm and dry.

We had a couple of fun trips down the Winion Gorge which was at a high level. Its quite a fun little run which we couldn't resist to do back to back runs. We then headed over to the Gamlan, a more steep creeking tributary that runs into the Mawddach. It was at a good level making it an interesting run. It was good to meet some locals who were out for a walk who stopped to watch us kayaking and took some cool pictures of us. 

We then took a group of friends on for an easier run on the Eden to Lower Mawddach which made for some interesting rescues. It was good to see the guys had made so much progress over the short time they had been paddling for to attack the Eden as they did.

Before heading home we squeezed in a quick run of the Upper Mawddach through to the Lower section which was surprisingly not on full flow after so much rain but all still good fun.

If you are reading this and haven't done much kayaking before and want to see what its all about, why not book yourself onto a Kayak School in Nepal with AdventureX. Warm weather, warm water, amazing scenery and culture while learning to kayak at the same time - the perfect holiday!

Kicking off with a Boom!

Its been a long process with kayak design and with time running out before the start of next season I have decided to stick with an established design for the winter leading to Team Selection in March. With consistency being a focus, good foundations are essential and becoming at one with equipment takes time.

AdventureX have provided me with a Sonic Boom, a boat I loved as soon as I sat in one. Many of the Elite Athletes swear by this design and I can see why. I have only been on the flat water in my new boat so far but I feel so comfortable with it and I'm really looking forward to getting on the white water in Nottingham later in the week.

Thank you to AdventureX for the continued support. Keep posted for more updates over the winter!

Extreme Slalom

After a few hours’ sleep and armed with my newly delivered Pyranha 3rd Gen Burn with thanks to Mercedes Benz Vans UK for the help,  we set off early from Kendal to head over to North Wales for the Festival of Llangollen’s first Extreme Slalom event, hopefully of many to come, on Town Falls section of the River Dee.

The event is in its early stages of establishment but brought spectators in the masses to the town. It was great to see all the cafes over following with happy customers.
The event itself is based on slalom where a competitor has to negotiate a course while managing the rapids. Slalom gates are replaced by Touch pads that competitors must touch by hand as the pass and unlike slalom competitor’s race head to head and the winner of each heat moves to the next round until there becomes a Final. There were five touch pads and each competitor must complete a freestyle move in a freestyle zone to avoid disqualification.

The pressure was on with a lot of the competitors expecting to see me take the win. It was announced that there would be a team category where teams of 4 will have their results accumulated to form a team result. It was quite inspiring when a number of the competitors were battling to be on my team.
 Each of the first round heats are organized such that competitors race against opponents most similar in ability and I was up against an up and coming Junior with great speed. It was a good battle but I made it to the finish line first moving on to the next round. In the Quarter Finals I raced against a young extreme Kayaking opponent who decided to jump the gun a few seconds early and skip the freestyle move meaning he would be disqualified.

 I caught him up but with him having the inside line he managed to block me from hitting the finish touch pad which is allowed. With the event being in its early stages and largely staffed voluntarily there were no judges officiating the event and competitors were left to be honest and stick to the rules and so that left me being eliminated in that round putting me in 5th place overall. The organizers did note this and as there were no officials were judging throughout the event they couldn’t just make a decision just for the one heat and awarded me with a prize for sportsmanship. In the team event we came out on top so AdventureX (team 2) remain the team to beat.

It was such a fun event and it was great to see so many people racing and I look forward to racing again next season. Hopefully there will be some judging to keep things regulated for the new season and for the party to be just as good.

Kendal Mountain Festival

The Kendal Mountain Festival is one of the leading festivals of its kind in the world. It is an internationally known event, attracting adventure film premieres from around the globe. Film makers, TV producers, adventurers, climbers and world-class lecturers gather to take part in four packed days of the very best films, speeches, books releases and exhibitions covering all aspects of mountain and adventure sports culture. It is also the main social event for outdoor enthusiasts in the UK. 

We headed north for the first day of the festival to check out the latest film premiers and catch up with some fellow adventurers from around the World. It was interesting to learn about some of the most recent expeditions and latest technology in outdoor adventure gear.
We enjoyed a beer with some good friends before taking time out as we were heading to North Wales first thing in the morning for the Festival of Llangollen for a new Extreme Slalom Event that is starting a new wave of competition across the kayaking population.