I’ve got the key. I’ve got the secret …

During our most recent training weekend, we got together in Sunny North Wales to decide where each of us will sit in the boat for our next event; the World Championships in United Arab Emirates, Al Ain, this October. This type of training weekend takes an extra level of organisation and as a team, if we are honest, after working all week we are pretty chuffed if we all arrive in the right place at the right time with all the right kit! So this training weekend we had our work cut out for us – we needed extra people on the bank to help with testing, we needed clipboards, stopwatches – the whole works!

Fieke: sporting Wairoa and Malalu, giving the signal to the timekeeper for the sprint tests on the River Conwy.

We were successful in this mission; a couple of the girls did however run into some … shall we say, obstacles! Firstly, Suzie was still in mourning from having to hand back her Volvo estate ‘The General’ that she was car sitting for some globetrotting friends. As a team we had become very fond of the General, he could happily carry a raft on the roof, five paddlers and all the kit they have ever owned! Unfortunately, her replacement car is a slight downsize, however, fear not economical car owners we devised a way to fit a raft, three paddlers, eight paddles and three 100 lite palm kit bags into the new tango machine!

Just to show that you don’t need a massive car to go paddling – even if you have a raft!

The next obstacle was slightly less comical, after a hard afternoon rafting following bagging third place in the Conwy standard distance triathlon, Fieke accidentally locked her keys in her boot. Now, surely any paddler can relate to a messy boot come pack up time after running a river so let’s not judge! If anyone does find themselves in this position, we can confirm that the fancier your car, the harder it is to break in, even with professional help! And if anyone is wondering, if you have the spare key elsewhere, you can’t open the car remotely via a mobile phone and you look pretty crazy whilst you try! In the end a courier saved the day, driving the spare key all the way from London to Betws-y-Coed!

Nerys: sporting Wairoa head to toe, giving it her all during the testing on the River Conwy.
So it all ended happily ever after and we learnt some important lessons on the way; so long as you can put your seats down, the sky is your limit with a small car! And never let your car key out of your sight! Next time we will be reporting on how our new seating positions fare on Lee Valley’s White Water course in London.