Rough Stuff, 24th Feb

Rough Stuff, 24th Feb

The chairman likes us to post up reports- but who’ll read this through the post match hangover ?

18 of us hit the beach on a wonderful sunny crisp, fresh morning- and in 2 groups headed into the sizeable SE swell down towards Peffer sands.

In judging whether to surf ashore or not,the 3 rd best old man in the kayak surfer’s world event reckoned it was a bit meaty, ‘but fun’. We declined the fun and instead headed out across to the Bass in a good rolling following sea in a SE 4/5.

My group picked up two Davids en route- so good to see David Grieve( ably nurtured by his carer Dave Towsey) frisky in a boat after months of being housebound with a back injury, they’d come down from N Berwick.. Richard Young’s lot were aready in the bounceback off the E side, we built up to it from the lee side.

These sessions are aimed at taking folk out of their comfort zone but with adequate supervision. Yesterday was all of that .In these conditions ( swell 3m out here) you don’t always KNOW that you can rescue because most of the time you avoid it. However, in preparation for these mini courses the coaches had all been out together doing rescues in force 6 ( by scenic Cockenzie), just to be sure. We had a couple of capsizes- one in the middle of the pretty meaty bounceback off the Bass, and all concerned dealt with it routinely- real credit to the paddlers who really assisted the return to forward motion by knowing what to do and making it a swift and practised recovery.Group discipline was good, good eye contact ( and not many whites showing either) and a steady buzz of conversation while grinding away into the wind on the way back. I was really proud of the way that people worked together- it is only when the wind is up and the sea rises that you get the true measure of skills and approach.
These were not easy conditions- grade C- but well within the capabilities of the group who coped well.

It is only possible to do these sessions because good people share their skills- we had a virtually 1:1 ration of 5 star paddler to trainee ( one of our coaches- David Musk- came along from Fife, and without a translator!). It is a fact that those of us who have more experience only got that because others did the same for us . It is no exageration to say the the slightly apprehensive group that went onto the water came ashore relaxed , confident, tired but cheerful,

And so home to watch another fine experience in the rugby- Lou Reed was right, it was a perfect day.

David Simpson