Rosalie entered her first Avon Descent in 1997 as a 45 year old with only a few months paddling experience, and has since participated a further 11 times, in both power and paddle categories, and has won four times. Ever since her first Avon Descent, Rosalie has been passionate about sharing the excitement and comradery of the world’s greatest white water race and getting more women to take part in the event. Rosalie believes everyone has what it takes to be an Avon Descenter.
What do you love about the Avon Descent?
I love the satisfaction of being an Avon Descenter. The training is a fantastic way to have fun with friends and keep fit. The weekend itself is where the hard work begins, but when you get there, it doesn’t matter what the water levels are or anything else Mother Nature can throw at you – it is all a part of this unique event. 124 kilometres country to city, paddle craft and power boats, competitors, support crews all coming together to achieve such a rewarding goal, becoming Avon Descenters!
Winning the Avon is a great achievement, but more the satisfaction of coming across the line at Bayswater. The competitive aspect is exciting, but the comradery and friendships formed as part of being an Avon Descenter are unlike anything else.
How did you get involved with paddling?
I started paddling in March 1997. I had an operation on my feet a few months prior and hadn’t been able to return to normal exercise, so my friend suggested I go for a paddle with her. We would go on Ti Tree and Valley runs almost every weekend even though there was hardly any water. I fell in love with paddling and competed in the Avon Descent that year.
Why are you so passionate about paddling?
There is no feeling quite like getting on the water. The enjoyment is unexplainable. I love being able to see things and get to places you simply couldn’t get to any other way. I want to share that feeling and get everyone to experience the satisfaction of participating in the Avon Descent, especially women. I completely believe that anyone can be an Avon Descenter.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of entering the Avon Descent or a novice Avon Descenter?
Join a club, step outside your comfort zone, be brave AND GIVE IT A GO!!