Sunday, June 25, 2006

The paddler in front of me...

The man on the picture is Gerrit, member of kayak club "De Kromme Aar" in his beautiful carbon-kevlar Nordkapp Jubilee . Today Gerrit was leading the yearly kayaktour through the region of "de Venen" on the Marathon distance of 42,195 km. I am still not sure if Gerrit did this because of the predicted showers and thunderstorms, but he made a speedy trip of it. Whatever: I enjoyed this sporty tour. For training on speed, nothing works better than the motivation of a fast paddler in front of you.
To get a reference for upcoming experiments with the wing-paddle I paddled with the GPS as a speedometer today. Conclusions about my speed with the Valley Pintail and the Lendal Nordkapp-paddle:
- 8 - 8,5 km/h is a comfortable cruising speed on long distances;
- 8,5-9 km/h requires more effort but can be maintained for a long time without exhaustion;
- 9 - 9,5 km/h is possible for a sprint of 5 or 10 minutes to get back to the paddler in front of you, but is exhausting!;
- above 9,5: pffff....
I am sure I need a lot of training before I get real profits from paddling with the wing, so please don't expect conclusions at an early date.

Don't think we were only speeding today. "De Venen" is Holland at it's best. It's a peat-soil region with a fascinating variation of meadows, swamps, lakes and little rivers. It's a breading-place for lots of otherwise rare meadow- and swampbirds. And it's a perfect region for kayaking on placid water. So I wondered why there wasn't more interest for this kayaktour: 1o participants on the 42 km and 8 on the 21 km -distance. The organization by KV de Kromme Aar was perfect. Thanks for this very nice day!

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