I’ve thought of a name for the new boat, “The Darkness Demon”
It’s been a bit of a devil so far, but it is entirely my fault.
I lent it to some very experienced racing canoeists who soon identified that it is by no means unstable, but due to the bow being slightly off-centre, it veers to the right. I took it back down to my boat builder who applied a big wadge of filler on the bow, and it’s fixed. In the meantime he’s making a new mold.
So I took it to the National Canoe Marathon Championships so that a very experienced lady crew could try it, not to race, but just have a go. There’s a short video, but the most frustrating thing for me was the way they nonchalantly jumped in and pushed off from the side and didn’t even put a paddle blade on the water for stability!
I got some useful feedback regarding the seat configuration, but also a comment whereby the boat isn’t “sit&switch”, it’s just “sit” because it is so directionally stable (goes in a straight line) you rarely need to switch.
As I was at the Nationals to paddle C1 on the Saturday (did I mention I got the silver medal!!), and the C2 event on the Sunday, I persuaded my partner to jump in the front and off we went. Of course there was no problem at all, I feel such a fool.
There was a decent number of entries on the C2 start line, Sarah and I managed seventh out of twelve crews in the Duet, which wasn’t bad as it was only her second outing in a sit&switch,
It was a baking hot day but I decided I didn’t need to take any fluid. I threw a bit of a wobbler towards the end and we had to come to the side so I could recover. Fortunately we were able to continue and didn’t lose track position.
As a very experienced racing kayaker and also high-kneeler canoeist, Sarah adapted to sit&switch very quickly. The race environment also contributed to sweeping away any hesitation or doubts, and the boat went well. The switching was infrequent and it allowed me to steer the boat like a “C1” which is what the Duet does best.
I do need to get out in the Demon soon, but it’s just too hot.