Friday, April 11, 2008

Long Term Student Development - Day 6

Location: Trearddur Bay, Anglesey.

: Richard Janes, Paul Williams.

Student Goals: Further develop rough water handling skills and decision making processes

Coaching Points:

Decision Making: Original plan was to use Penrhyn Mawr as a Coaching venue. We walked to the headland of PM to observe and note tidal and wave movements. However with the weather forecast being South / South westerly wind F5-7. Overcast. Sea state rough Trearddur Bay seemed a more sensible option.

Reading rough water - The initial session involved PW & RJ holding position in a channel observing the line and refraction of waves breaking into it. Opportunities were taken to paddle through and understand the demarcation between safe and risky lines. Going up and down is good, washed into rocks is bad!

Leadership issues - PW & RJ explored shaping a course to utilise wind and wave for a safe and energy efficient passage.

Turning the kayak different directions relative to the wind - Video footage of RJ highlighted a wrenching almost robotic paddling style as core muscles tired. This further lead to periods in the turn where RJ was potentially ‘exposed’ with the blades out of the water … video finally convinced this rather stubbon paddler that his Nordkapps should visit the angle grinder!

Whilst RJ felt comfortable in the conditions there was some anxiety when in close proximity to rocks. Aside from a natural survival instinct this anxiety is born out of the unknown. Six months ago a similar anxiety would have been elicited by conditions considerably smaller.

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