Archive for April, 2014

P&H Consistency, Flat Earth Sails and Much Deserved Respect

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

About two weeks ago I came to another difficult point in my life where I had to sell another one of my precious P&H kayaks. I’ve done this about 3 times now over the past 5 years and it never gets any easier with the only bright side being the thought it was not only going to a good home but also knowing that 6-12 months from now I will own yet another fine watercraft from P&H with new colors, a new seat and whatever other awesome thing they have come out with. I started kayaking in a Venture Skye 17, an older version of the current Easky 17 from P&H’s little brother Venture Kayaks. I did things with that kayak at the time that, looking back, I wonder how I made it but it started my future of sea kayaking. I have since owned 3 Cetus LV’s a Capella 163 and what looks to be a 4th in the works as selling the last was only to fund the next.

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So in my sad Cetusless world I find myself taking out the Capella 163, which I coincidentally enough just thew one of the new P&H distributed Flat Earth Sails and it has created a whole new level of fun to the kayak. Rigging took more time looking at the deck making the commitment to drill a hole than to do the rest. The sail and all hardware looked really high quality and I was sailing that day. It has really been a blast and has added to the speed of the Capella. I was worried about a sail on a skeg boat but it works fantastically. After doing a full day sea kayak lesson in the Capella (2011) today I was just blown away at how versatile it had become but more so how incredibly sound all of my P&H family boats have been over the years and the craftsmanship of every single one of them. I have taken these kayaks all over the place and put them to the test and never have a I felt the “this boat can’t handle this” syndrome.


So for now I get to go through the process of dreaming up options for the next Cetus LV and wonder if a sail with meet that as well……


London Kayakathon

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

London Kayakathon

London Kayakathon was sponsored by Venture Canoes and Kayaks.

This Marathon length paddle on London Marathon Day, took the entrants up through the amazing cites of London’s Royal River. A lovely sunny day, tremendously well organised by Simon Osbourne and Matt Loots from Paddlesports C.I.C

Based from the hospitable Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre, who also used their safety boats, and staff. Many thanks to them and all the on water marshalls.

Paddlers needed to be 3 star and above, and came from not just the UK, but one chap had come from Frankfurt and a couple had come from Galway, that I bumped in to.

Pete Scutt from Whitewater The Canoe Centre and I (Graham Mackereth) were testing pre-production Jura MV’s. Tim Lambert paddled a P&H Cetus LV and there was a great showing of  P&H, and Venture designs throughout the fleet it was particularly good to see some of the older kayaks such as an Orca.

We launched on to the flooding tide about 11.15, and paddled up river under Tower Bridge and through the city with crowds cheering for the London Marathon, and those that saw us, for us; shades of HM’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant. I could have done with a Klaxon!

London Kayakathon

Due to safety we had to keep paddling, and were not allowed to take photos in the city. With Clippers and Trippers, crossing, turning and generally putting up large washes, it is a very busy stretch of water. This is then compounded by a fast running tide at about 3-4 knots, sweeping you to obstructions and dangers of bridge arches, moored barges and boats. Easy to keep clear of, but you need to stay watchful that you are staying away from a potential danger.

London Kayakathon

The sights of the city are awesome, unique. Paddling along it is hard not to let your concentration wander to the Tower of London, London Eye, St Pauls Cathedral, the Shard, the Globe, Lambeth Palace, and historic boats a plenty. Thames Barges, the vast HMS Belfast, the Golden Hind, and numerous historic paddle steamers and exploration ships, now used as bars and restaurants.

This large group of slow moving sea kayaks had to be tightly marshalled.

Once through to Westminster we had a short break, and got cameras out, after that it was a steady cruise up to Chiswick Bridge, and always sights to see, Battersea Power Station, classic bridges and new housing developments a plenty. Then a lunch stop at the Ship at Mortlake, mooring over the flooded road. A very civilized way to do a Marathon.

Simon timed it perfectly, so as soon as lunch was finished the tide had turned and was running well, talking us back towards the city.

Under London Bridge we encountered large standing waves, probably about 1 metre high, then we had some large washes to contend with to liven the paddle up. The return leg seemed even faster, and a finish about 5.00pm

A Fantastic day, and a brilliant job of organisation. A kayakathon event is very recommendable, and I have no doubt will be a tremendous way for paddlers to help charities in the future.

Thanks to everyone we shared it with, we’re looking forward to the next one.


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