Botany Bay Downwind

on Jul 10 in Ace, Downwind, Evo II, Surfski by

 

 

Any avid downwind paddlers in Sydney hate a Westerly wind. Hate it. It’s cold, it sends you out to sea, and it’s cold! But there is a spot where this nasty wind can kick up some terrific fun, and that is Botany Bay. You need it to kick up strong, and ideally just have a tiny pinch of South in it, and last week it did just that. The charts were predicting 20 knots, pretty much perfect for a run from George’s River Sailing Club across to La Perouse. The call went out and Mark Sundin from Expedition Kayaks put his hand up straight away, as soon as he took it off the mouse after clicking on the Seabreeze website. We arranged to meet at the finish point at midday and drive across to the start. My ski of choice was the Ace, the most stable ski in the Think Kayak range. Mark choose an Evo II from the Expedition Kayaks’ demo racks, and he was going to be hard to miss out there, with its bright yellow custom colour. Looking back across the Bay, the wind was howling, and there were big white caps everywhere, it looked like it was on like donkey kong. A quick change into some paddling gear, and placement of some cameras on our skis, and we headed across to the other side of the Bay.

 

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Arriving at George’s River Sailing Club, I jumped out of the car, and to say I was a little apprehensive was an understatement. There was no wind. Had we missed it? No chance. The lay of the land over that way meant we were totally protected, so it was a very gentle paddle into the Bay to start the crossing. Within a few hundred meters there were small bumps. I’d never seen it build so far inside the Bay, so straight away I knew some goodies were waiting just ahead. We didn’t know at this stage, but it was gusting to 37 knots, and we were out there at right on the perfect time to get the most of the wind.

 

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No more than 1500mts into the 9km crossing, it was paddles down time on small wind chop, and the Ace slotted perfectly in between the shorter gaps between the runs. It was a case of a few easy strokes, surf, few easy strokes, surf, few easy strokes, surf, few easy strokes, surf…… you get the idea. It wasn’t long until we were surfing down the face of some really nice runs and absolutely having a ball out there. It was lining up so well that is was a case of point the nose at a hole, surf in, check the next hole, surf into that, and this just went on and on. The ease with which the Ace charged direction on the runs made it a blast to paddle and confidence inspiring. And then there’s that grin. You know the one. It creeps up on your face, and only gets bigger as you link more and more runs, until it’s a full blown cheesy smile, accompanied by hoots of delight. There really is no better feeling than a fun downwind. Every time I looked across to see how Mark was going, he seemed to be carving it up on the Evo II. It’s a ski which loves the bump, and he was finding the fast feel and great secondary stability was allowing him to link some terrific sections of runs.

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I mentioned that we set up some cameras for the paddle. Mark had some on his ski, and I popped on my pole mounted camera to give a different perspective. We hope you enjoy the video and it conveys just some of the fun we had out there.

 

 

 

And the next day you find yourself complaining of a 20knot Westerly wind, maybe jump in the car and head down to Botany Bay and take this quick downwind on yourself. I promise it won’t disappoint. I’ll definitely be back at the next opportunity, and can’t wait to take the Ace out for another paddle.

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Keep those paddles rolling!

 

Stewart O’Regan

Think Kayak Australia

Mob:     0404 236 638
Web:     www.thinkkayak.com.au
Skype:  stewieor