Find out what our ambassadors have been up to in the lead up to the 2018 Avon Descent!

Want to do the 2018 Avon Descent? Take the Plunge and get started today!

Kris Parnell
Power Ambassador

“Boat repairs and getting setup for the start of the river season for 190 Racing Team. This is last year’s standard class Avon winner after a full strip back and repair. Just waiting for new vinyl wrap!”

Kiera Albertsen
Paddle Ambassador

“I had states a couple of weeks ago and have nationals soon. I have been continuing my normal training regime with a few slight adjustments to make it more speed and sprint focused to sharpen up for those competitions.”

Luke Dooley
Paddle Ambassador

“Training has really ramped up the last couple of weeks as we’re now less than 5 weeks out from national marathon championships. I headed over to Canberra during the Easter long weekend for a training camp organised by Margi Bohm and Australian Canoeing. I left on the Friday and got back to Perth Monday with 2 solid 12 hour days of training in between so I had a slightly less relaxing Easter than most enjoyed. Was definitely a worthwhile trip however.

We had a professional running coach come down who showed us the proper running technique with video analysis and demonstrations. We also had video analysis and time trials with our portage running and portage entries and exits which will definitely pay dividends during the portages at the champs. As well as this, we did some time trials over 5000, 1800, 1000, 500 and 200 metre distances (we had to wait till 9 o’clock until we could see across the river through the fog) and my results were very pleasing. A physiotherapist came down and gave us an assessment which proved very valuable for me especially as I’ve never had access to physiotherapist help of that quality. She certainly had some very interesting things to say which I need to work on! We were coached on our flat water technique and came away with some great quality footage and instructions. The most interesting part however was the blood lactate testing. We began at 10kms/hr and paddled at a constant speed for 3 minutes. We were then pricked in the ear, had our blood lactate levels tested and paddled for another 3 minutes, picking up the pace by 0.5 kms/hr. We continued in this fashion until we were no longer able to hold the pace.

We ended up with a lovely J curve at the finish which is some of the most helpful numbers a marathon paddler can look at as I can determine my threshold boat speed and heart rate. It was a full on Easter weekend and so I was pretty glad to return home and still have the Monday night and the Tuesday to have a bit of a relax.

As well as our weekend away, I’ve been training most mornings and every evening as usual at the Ascot Kayak Club. Last weekend was the Rod Fry race organised by Swan Canoe Club which I won the open K2 section with my mixed doubles partner. Was quite a close finish in the end as our kayak didn’t have pumps so we weren’t all that far off sinking with the water in our boat from the passing large powerboats. Most of the races coming up now are slightly longer such as the Middle Swan Race and the Double Barkers, as well as the Kalbarri Canoe and Cray Carnival Murchison Dash.

The winter mornings are starting to get a bit of chill to them which is getting the seasoned Avon Descent paddlers rather excited as they dig out and dust off their boats. It hopefully won’t be too long  now before some water starts running which I’m very much looking forwards to as that means the down river and slalom races aren’t too far away. Autumn is always a slow time of the year as it’s all long flat water sessions with the downwind ocean season now passed and paddlers wait in anticipation for the water in the Avon to start flowing. There’s a heap of aspiring first time Avon Descent paddlers who are looking at taking the plunge this year which is excellent. They’re all coming to the Saturday morning sessions we have at Sandy Beach in Bassendean and are improving their skills no end each week. It’s a great year to start as well with the discount promotions being held for first time paddlers of the big race.

All of my focus at the moment is towards the upcoming national marathon titles in Adelaide on May 19th and 20th. After that, the river will hopefully start running and I’ll be gearing up to take on the Avon again.”

Registration opens 13 May 2018





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