Top power boat contender Michael Prosser was introduced to the Avon Descent at the Cobbler Pool campsite playing with Lego boats in the creek while his dad competed.
“I spent my childhood wondering what this place called ‘the valley’ was all about!,” said Michael, who is preparing for his 10th Avon.
Soon after reaching the minimum age for entrants of 17, Michael had his first crack with his cousin Tom Hodgkinson. The young duo took out the race and managed to beat their fathers, who were in their 11th event.
He’s had a few adventures since then: “A heartbreaking moment was 2001 when we were in the lead and our motor gave out 5 minutes from the finish. We also have the highlight memory of crossing the finish line alongside boat 001 with cousin Tom on the tiller in 2014,” Michael recalled.
He considers the Avon to be a particularly special event. “Nowhere else do you have power dinghies competing in a combination of open deep water, shallow mudbanks, sandflats, dense tea-trees and rapids. It’s never the same, the first craft across the line is the one that has had the least mishaps.”
One of the parts he enjoys the most is setting up at the overnight camp on the Wednesday and Thursday nights before the race. It’s about the excitement and anticipation of the fun ahead.
His thoughts on this year: ”I’m very excited about the new full course hell or high water philosophy.”
“The whitewater here in WA might not be as big as other places ,but its power should not be underestimated, nor should the quality of the river valley we get to enjoy so close to our city.”
Michael’s advice to anyone thinking about it: “Get amongst it! It’s a fantastic wintertime activity that gets you out in beautiful country close to the city. The people involved are some of the most genuine you will meet anywhere.”