With the petering out of the Moriston River Race, Callum Strong and I were left with a gaping hole in our racing hearts. The demise of the Adidas Sickline was almost as galling. So last year we decided to replaced both events with the Ladidas *ickline Extreme Kayak World Campionships (sic) held on the Upper Moriston. A small (some would say elite) unique kayaking race. We took inspiration from the world of mountain biking where enduros are now all the rage. Racers battled it out over three hours to see who could do the most laps, the fastest six laps and the single fastest lap. With timing only on the runs down the river it was up to you if you wanted to run back to the top or instead have a cup of tea in the lay-by between laps.
Following the success of last year’s event we (I) decided that we should make it a more official and open (I wanted to get some insurance). Thus was born the Official Scottish Canoe Association Moriston Enduro. Despite the official title and the presence of a BBC film crew the event kept its low key, friendly, ‘grass roots’ feel. We stuck to our founding principles when it came to boat rules #norulesbaby #rulessuck.
Buke team member and notorious ‘Long Man’ Joe Fender took the most laps this year with an impressive fifteen runs down. Beating last year’s total of fourteen (although no one can really remember how long we ran the event for last year? It’s all a bit of a haze …)
The North East of England provided is home to many of the UK’s best kayakers, even amongst them Molly Agar stands out. Notorious for running stouts in the signature Agar family Jackson Fun. In the women’s race Molly clocked the most laps, the fastest lap and the fastest six laps. Her ‘strong slalom background’ clearly paying off.
I dusted the dancer off for another year (#norulesbaby #winyourownrace #pickyourownprizes) and this year I managed to avoid hitting the bottom of top drop. I was genuinely worried when hero of the Green Race, Matt Brook turned up with a Dagger Green Boat. But I managed to hold him and Lee Royle at bay and took fastest lap and fastest six laps. Which was a relief as I had only bought three bottles of whisky as prizes and I really wanted to win one!
Heavy rain put a dampener on the lay-by party and we headed to the Clacaigh in Glen Coe to work on our hangovers in preparation for a big day of boating on Sunday.
Huge thanks to everyone who came along and raced. It really does have an epic atmosphere and it wouldn’t work without a great bunch of people. A special thank you to everyone who came and helped doing the timing, running the timing for three hours is no mean feat not to mention the Callum, Rio and Lee then sat in the van working out all the times and winners for two hours! Also thanks to those who brought watches so we could do the timings (like I said ‘grassroots’).
Thanks to the SCA and especially to Mikaela West and Dave Rosseter for you support and tolerance! The event will go out on BBC Scotland as part of the Adventure Show in Friday 12th of July and will be available on iPlayer. Check out Ben Fitzburgh’s video of the event and video of my fastest lap too: