I took my first trip to Scotland for WWPF as a sixteen year old park rat and I remember not only being gobsmacked by the landscape and rivers of Scotland, but also feeling … the hope that it would rain enough for us to get on some free-flowing rivers … the anxiety at the thought of the first drop on the Moriston … the excitement for quality whitewater and the sheer stoke of being able to share it all with hundreds of like-minded people.
Rarely does my travel schedule line up for me to go to events, on this occasion I landed in Manchester airport a few hours before the Palm van was driving past on its way up to Scotland. The fond memories of previous events stirred in my brain as I was walking the dogs and I swore off the jet lag, hideous to-do list and a weekend at home with my nan in favour of spending time on great whitewater with great people. *Sorry Nan.
Saturday is the main event of the weekend with a release on the Moriston river. The Moriston starts with a bang and almost every rapid is action-packed, I have so much love for this river. It’s a great training ground for experienced kayakers, a proving ground for intermediates and perhaps a little bit much for beginners. Although saying that, the middle is a brilliant section for anyone comfortable on Class II. Whatever your skill level you can have an amazing day on the Moriston. I spent the day doing laps with friends on the upper, sessioning this cool tailee spot with the Palm team and doing laps on the lower with more friends.
I watched some glorious carnage, when I asked what we call a beatdown with more than one kayaker in the hole the internet responded with ‘soup’:
Saturday night is a cool get together at the Nevis Centre, when we got there people were involved in some sort of traditional Scottish dance thing. It looked like a combination of line dancing and bulldog – you know that game you played at school that the teachers would always ban? Yup that one.
Sunday took us to the Garry river, a great section of Class III with several good freestyle spots. The sun came out, smiles and good times were had and Wet West 2019 came to an end.
It is nigh on impossible to ever fit all of the things that make kayaking such an amazing sport into the confines of an event but Wet West has a bloody good go at it. With thanks to everyone that makes this event happen and firmly hoping that my travel schedule will line up for me to come back next year!