And finally after a long early Autumn in Finland trying to finish my long awaited and now 4 years in the making Instructional DVD, Genotype 2, I headed to Munich from Helsinki to collect the G17 Sprinter, and drive back to England. I know this drive very well now, I can normally get to Dunkirk in 10 hours via Luxembourg, and the VIP lounge o the ferry was worth the extra £10 just for the leather sofa to sleep on, let alone the inclusive drinks and food. Once in the UK and remembering its on the left, driving that is, and getting it wrong can be a right problem!! I normally do at least one mistake after each cross over, its on T-junctions where I head off up the road on the right!! Needless to say, I quickly remember where I am, “England my home, the crash and burner of life”. Harsh I know, but its been a bleak Autumn in terms of the amount of on the water fun.
Here is Devon at its finest, a rare high water Autumn day with friends, hmmmmmm
Soon after returning to the now fabled River Dart Country Park, I took up residence and waited for the rain. I edited away, ran the wonderful forest trail, went mountain biking with Dr Paul, any visitors from Norway and Canada, went to Galway for a wedding, and yet no rain, what a time of it I was having. Still I could organise a bunch of other things for Gene17, namely moving bank, accounts, and planning for 2009. The moving of bank has allowed Gene17 to trade in Euros and not have to pay £30 every time I wish to send money outside the UK. This although boring, has been the vain of banking for sometime, and now HSBC have opened the door for European style banking in the UK, its no winder they have not been caught up with the looming economic recession at our door. I also have a bit of a rant with O2 and got a lot of money back and an iPhone, so I to can enjoy my apple on the move.
At least the UK politics have kept myself entertained, and with BBC 5live on 24/7 I am getting all the low down, Vince Cable, he’s has nothing to lose and just says it like it is, a refreshing insight into real politik. Now I have hours of political podcasts to enjoy when I go trail running. As you see its been a little desperate in terms of paddling news…..
With so little rain, I managed to run a bunch of WWS&R courses, in particular the Advanced course is very popular, plus a few 4 Star and 5 Star Training and Assessments, we finally got a little rain for these. Some boys from Waterford, Ireland came over for some coaching, and we hit the Upper and East Lyn for Steep Creek Training and Group Dynamic coaching. There are numerous play moves on both rivers at all levels, so it was great to show the guys that fun can be had even at low water, and England does in fact have some WW.
By the beginning of December, the now annual Gene17 Adventure Paddlers Weekend hosted at the RDCP in Devon draws lots of paddlers. I am very happy to see so many people from across the UK and further away come to Devon for some fun. Our little race with friends was great, and with a Team in the Dagger Green including myself it was a bit easy to pull away from the crowd, a few restrictions I think for next time. We got rain a few days before the event, and so people made the trip, I heard some 100 paddlers were on the Lyn on Saturday!! A busy spot given its narrow size. This event is quite a joy to run, the hosts are great and happy to see paddlers, and the crowd that comes down supports the whole event, and this year drunk some 1000 pints in one night!!!
Here is a shot taken on Palm’s new Drysuit photoshot, where one of our number managed to pin their paddles across a certain drop on the Upper Dart, and although I had heard of them before, I have never seen it. Its like the old comedy scene where someone is trying to fit a ladder size ways through a door, if you have T bird through a slot your paddles will be left be hide.
So with this image in mine, its time to pack up 2008 and look to 2009. What is on offer, when my wife may be with me on the road this coming year, so I am very happy to paddle with her all season. The stronger Euro may have a bearing on UK clients joining G17 in Europe, as our prices have been in Euros only for a year now, as that is what our costs are in. Still bookings look good for now, and a trip to the Alps in February will the excellent early snow will lighten the load as I look to bring on new staff for 2009 and a training course in late March to fire them up for Operation French Alps with SND this coming Summer. After the Summer, a belated post honeymoon honeymoon with a round the world trip to BC and Nepal in the Autumn should fire up the soul for the next UK season. For now I will enjoy the rest of my Lappland experience before the UK for another 5 weeks, although I will not leave the island until I have completed Genotype 2, and as such I must, its been a labour of love and now I must share the ideas and concepts for new school paddling and the coaching of the modern style with all and everyone.
Cheers and I’ll see you in 2009