If any sport-minded mums are wondering what to do when the children grow up, ask Rosalie Evans. She’ll say: “Have a go at the Avon Descent”
Rosalie started when she was aged 45. She’s now in her 60s, still going strong and she can tell some great stories. She has entered in both paddle and powerboat. There won’t be many who have done that.
She was a quick learner and won Ladies’ K1 by her third Avon in 1998. Those were heady days with an exhibition beforehand in Forrest Place and a parade after. Rosalie remembers being ferried through town in her kayak on top of a car !!
The power dinghy years were fun too. Rosalie did two of them with Darryl Long. They hit the bank at Toodyay and Rosalie, as co-driver, did a head over heels right in front of the spectators. She found it exhilarating, but hard and also cold and believes the reason they drove straight into an island at Amiens was because they were almost frozen to death.
“I was glad to get back into paddle, it’s a lot easier to change direction when you get into trouble,” said Rosalie.
She now sports a wonky little finger from a spill just above Syds. “I was in a double with Grand Pepper. The ASU pulled Grand out and I clung on to the boat and managed to get my whistle string caught around a tree and my finger at the same time,” Rosalie recalled.
“When we got going again, there wasn’t time for the broken finger. Grant needed the tape for the spare paddle and off we went, all the way to the finish.”
But the committed veteran has also been injured further up the valley. She admits to always having trouble at Superchute and in 2012 that culminated in a dive into the rocks on Deadly Mistake. The kayak bent in two and she suffered serious leg injuries.
But Rosalie bounced back and was soon on the river again. Last year, she mixed her duties as Executive Officer of Canoeing WA and management of the event with partnering Neil Long in a K2 and they finished.
Plans for 2016 and beyond ? There’s talk of a K3 with her grand-daughter and another friend. Well done Rosalie.