With a beautiful sunny day and no wind for the start, my daughter Kalya and I set off in our Hobie Tandem Island in high spirits. That lasted for the first 100 metres, when suddenly my legs seemed to say “26ks of this – are you nuts?”
However, I slowed down my stroke rate and settled into a more comfortable cadence, even as we watched others vanishing around the first bend in the Wilson River. Kalya and I reassured each other that, after all, we were just cruising, and all that mattered was finishing.
Periodically, a bit of breeze did pick up, but straight on the nose. Optimistically rounding a bend in the river, and expecting a more favourable wind angle, we found it was still on the nose… seems it largely follows the river. Oh, for a Northerly!
The windage of our furled sail and amas certainly didn’t help against the breeze, and in retrospect, we would have been better off using the TI just as a kayak.
Once past the half way point, the legs started to protest rather more seriously, and we moved into determination mode. By the last quarter, desperation had set in, and stubbornness kept us moving, until we gratefully crossed the finish line to the sound of the Jazz band. We made it in around 3hrs 35mins, whilst this year’s winner – a sculling double – took just 1hr 45mins!
On beaching our TI, I tried to get out, and my legs folded up under me like jelly, with Kalya in marginally better shape. I recovered in the company of my wife Sandy and our Taree friends – who have just ordered a TI themselves – and a few cold beers.
Would I do it again? Will have to think about that once my legs have recovered!