Briac – FRCC
Every practice ends with a similar scene: instead of heading down through the cannal towards the shed, each boat picks its own line through the reef trying to run in the crashing surf and see how fast the boat can go. With mixed success I might add….actually I’ve heard the spot has a special place in Jericho’s heart….but maybe they can post the story.(Speaking of Jericho, we just caught a glimpse of Paul yesterday as we were driving through Waikiki).
As we run these boats down, I wonder if we’d do the same with Mirages,or Bradley’s….but typically Paul (our local helmsman) takes the most aggressive line, then Dave and Steve stay just wide. The conditions are very odd. Paul says he’s rarely seen these types of mixed conditions, which will make for a very different approach to Diamond Head (final turn in the race). The swells aren’t huge…and the forecast is still a little too long term to start relying on.
Tuesday morning started with the usual 7am surf session. Everyone is starting to get the hang of this, and as each wave comes through,it’s not uncommon to see multiple ‘Creekers’ running side by side shocked at this result. You can buy rides in an outrigger on the beach, and it’s something like $15 for 3 waves, and I call these guys “the surfer mowing machine”. You have to see it to believe it. These guys line up their 600lb canoe outside the surf break and wait for a big one. Then, they tear through the 60+ people waiting for a wave. If you don’t see them….to bad….Today is a down day for surfing.
Ater surfing, we head to “Island Paddler” a store dedicated to paddling….a store probably visited by every single Canadian paddler visiting…to admire the amazing wooden paddles….good only for hanging on a wall in our part of the world. Everyone buys books, shirts, hats, whatever…
So about now, it’s been at least 2 hours since breakfast, so we should go for a massive lunch, or whatever it is you eat at 9am. We’re up to 4-5 meals a day. The Costco run was a massive load, and chances are we’ll be back tomorrow. On the topic of food, Scott needs mention: Scott Booth ladies, can cook like you wouldn’t believe. He’s been the chef these last three nights, and everybody’s wondering how he will outdo himself tonight. The man works magic with a bbq.
On another note, having 14-16 guys living together in close quarters is starting to take its toll. Neanderthalisms abound. I’d love to expand here, but this is just not the place for it….
Trevor arrived last night, and our friend Gord from Australia showed up for practice yesterday and is now living with us as well. The guy definitely eats his spinach, and blends nicely, so he should slide in as a meat seat no problem. His wife was on the Mooloolaba crew that won the womens race, and like us,he jokes the heat is on him to beat their time!! Also, Sampson is moving in tonight,and I believe we’re planning a big Mahi-Mahi bbq now that everyone is here.
We saw the high-school group training surfskis, OC1’s, OC2’s again yesterday. Every single one of them is in top shape (guys/girls),and their coach is making them do push-ups and pull-ups everyday after practice. They get these boats humming….this is a VERY healthy program….definitely tough competition.
We arrived at practice yesterday, to massive drops of water crashing down …. felt right at home! We started thinking maybe if it rained hard all crossing, it might improve our odds! And maybe if the water temperature dropped by about 10-15 degrees, we’d be the only ones making changes…it’d be an all Canadian finish! If it got cold enough, we may even be able to skate across….We were talking to Gord last night about winter paddling….these guys hate training in the winter time…the water temperature drops to ~20, and the air is around 16-19degC…..horrible. Chalk up one more guy who thinks we’re nuts.
Ok, everyone is starting to mix their drinks, so it must be time for practice.
One last note, when I cruised into “Island Paddler”, the guy definitely knew the Canadian teams, and was definitely impressed with both women’s crews…. sounds like everyone was…the second crew finished well alongside many top crews. Nice work.
Yikes…these are not getting any shorter…