Another crack on the Think Eze
The Bondi Big Paddle event was run and won this morning – I have no idea by whom because I didn’t enter.
Let me go back a step. I arrived early, but at 7am the wind was howling, it was raining fairly heavily and I’d watched a few set waves roll across Bondi in the 2 to 3 meter range. I recon I know my limits and I recon those conditions are well beyond them.
I was offered a more stable ski, and not wanting to miss out entirely on a paddle, I jumped on the Think Eze demo again, this time with video camera attached. Stew O’Regan escorted me to northern marker buoy and we did one run downwind towards Icebergs. To say I was shaky would have been kind. The boat was very stable, but even its inherent stability didn’t stop me having a few swims. There was so much to contend with today I know I made the right choice not to race.
Not racing at the Bondi Big Paddle.
So while the big boys and girls raced, I decided to try and up my surf skills and catch runners in at the northern end of Bondi past the kiddie pool, which was fairly appropriate for me today.
It went fairly well, but demonstrated to me in no uncertain terms just how steep a learning curve there is from some decent chop and bumps in Middle Harbour, to actual ocean conditions, and where I was giving it a crack was comparatively sheltered.
But the ocean being the ocean, and me being tired and overestimating myself again lead to a fairly embarrassing rescue being required late in my session – thank to the Bondi IRB crew who helped me back into the boat – I blame my overloaded PFD for not being able to get back in that time 🙂
Bondi Rescue – thanks to the guys from North Bondi SLSC.
So, what did I learn today?
1. I’m not an ocean paddler’s arsehole at the moment.
2. There’s a whole lot to learn about keeping a ski in a straight line and at the top of a decent runner that’s likely to take me a few years yet.
3. You have a leash for a reason you big muppet, so why didn’t you use it?
4. Know your limits – in all seriousness, if I didn’t have an escort to start with and didn’t know that at least two jet ski crews and an IRB would be assisting on the course, I wouldn’t have entered the water nor gone out as far as I did (which wasn’t that far!). There’s not much point in being another statistic.
I did have fun today stretching my limits – I now know what to aim for proficiency-wise the next time I’m faced with conditions like today.
And just to show I wasn’t kidding about not being entirely confident, here’s a little video I’ve dedicated to Alan, whom I outed not quite managing to stay in a ski a few weeks ago 🙂