Typically just as I was getting some good form on my bike, and enjoying a new surf boat, injury has put a stop to all of it.. I spent last weekend doing my BCU 5-star sea kayak leader training with Roger Chandler of Coastal Spirit and Rich Uren of Paddlecrest Coaching. Despite hurting myself it was a great weekend with perfect conditions for the exercise in question – i.e between 2 & 3 meters of swell, force 6 winds and the tidal races off Lands End were going off beautifully on the spring tides with flow rates of more than 4 knots. The strong wind against the tide making for some super fun, steep 2 -3 meter breaking seas to play with. I collected some significant damage to the quads in my right leg while doing a re-entry and roll in the tidal race between Lands End and the Longships Reef.. it was a little bit tricky with the waves breaking over my head and there was an awkward moment while inverted when my legs were partially engaged in the kayak cockpit but upper body was still anchored by the strong current – I suspect the kayak was hit by a breaker at that moment wrenching it around and my legs with it. Didn’t feel a thing of course as so focused on the task at hand, and once rolled back upright only felt what I thought was a touch of cramp as the water is still cold. It was only right at the end of the day.. when we got off the water at midnight after the night navigation exercise that I realised it was a little more than that… hardly able to walk and peeling off my drysuit revealed that my right thigh had swollen to not far shy of twice the size of my left. A visit to A&E on Monday instead of paddling the only downside to what was otherwise a really great weekend.
I’ma terrible patient..so climbing the walls already. I have had to withdraw from the next two weekends of racing and I can’t even get into my surf kayak. Not sure how long it’s going to take, although I reckon by next week I’ll be OK to sea kayak so long as I’m careful with it. Anyway, in the meantime you can read about the paddling on Roger’s excellent blog here or just click the image above :-)