The Think Kayak WA Experience

on Feb 04 in Downwind, Races, Racing, Skis, Surfski, The Doctor, Think, Uncategorized by

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What a week!!!

After catching up with most of Team Think at the Sunset Surfski Series Race – Fremantle to City Beach on Thursday night, where most of us had an awesome downwind race in great conditions and some of us found the beach landing at the finish quite a spectacle (Andy!) The guys were all pumped with anticipation for what The Doctor had in store.

Race day forecast was for 15-20 knots of pure downwind bliss with a temperature of around 36 deg C, it was going to be a cracker. Time to get the skis loaded onto the newly named vessel “The Think Express”. With final race day preparations and logistical plans undertaken and Dean’s race briefing complete, Team Think Kayak was ready.

Race Day
We were greeted with a stunning race morning of light easterlies and baking sunshine. All meeting at Sorrento SLSC to load up and we were off to meet the Think Express which was leaving from Fremantle. On the road we went, a van loaded with Taswegians and loving some old time reminiscing of the great little Island Nation. Then the phone call, we’d missed Spencer hiding in the car park at Sorrento. All that was needed from him was a quick hitchhike to join the Tassie crew and we were off again.
























And there she was, The Think Express fully loaded and awaiting our journey to Rottnest Island. The Think kayak WA banners and flags attached we were ready for our maiden Doctor voyage. Heading out of Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour we had a quick intro to our crew and captain with a safety demonstration of the emergency exits, located anywhere you can jump! The trip over involved heading into a light but building sea breeze under clear sunny skies and the temperature was rising. Perfect pre Doctor conditions.

The scene once anchored at Rottnest was picturesque to say the least. Thompson Bay was littered with pleasure craft and boasted pure white sand and crystal clear water. We set up camp a short distance from a party boat and the occupants would later play an amusing role in the main race start. Time to unload the skis, lead by the bearded Jimbo, who masterfully managed the procession of Think craft onto the water, long line style.























Then the phone call… a paddler in need. A well known paddler forgot his rudder for his ski from a rival manufacturer. The last thing any of us as paddlers want is someone to miss out on a race like The Doctor in perfect conditions because of forgetting equipment. No names, but as the unfortunate paddler did the run-swim-run to collect his rudder off Team Think Kayak in amongst the unloading process, we did manage to take a happy snap of him hand paddling a Think ski back to shore for one of our paddlers who had taken the Ferry.














The Paddle of Shame…Any idea who this bloke is?????



With 90% of the guys unloaded and having made their way to shore, there were two local paddlers just chillin’ back enjoying their jellybeans and contemplating what the Doctor was going throw at them – The Brothers Maurice, cool as two kids in an ice-cream sundae shop. And when Sam decided to launch he was a bit scared to get wet but a nice little nudge off the back by Mr Think fixed that pretty quick.

A special pre-race mention needs to go out to the Think Kayak distributor in Port Macquarie, Gary Henderson, where after chowing down on a can of rice cream beforeleaving the Think Express, he ventured back before the main start to suck on a bottle of honey. WHAT THE…?! It must have worked as Gary pulled off an outstanding paddle to finish 2nd in his division. So much for low GI pre-race nutrition.

The SUPs, OC1s, and ladies all started in their respective groups, but the focus was all on the main field. And the pace from the start was blistering. Amongst the lead group vying for the Hot Spot was young upcoming local paddler Josh Maurice who took off like a seasoned rocket and I think may have startled a few of the guns with his enthusiasm to take the initial lead. It was an awesome spectacle having the field paddle past the Think Express and trying to get pics was a challenge indeed.














But the real challenge for some of the paddlers was the Party Boat moored near the Think Express. A boat load of young and eager adventurers who were enjoying more than a spritzer had ventured onto the water, inflatable shark and tube in tow, right in the line of the oncoming field of paddlers! Lets just say the shark just survived, which was a testament to the majority view on the proposed WA Governments shark cull policy.

So the field was off and racing which meant the support crew needed to get back to the finish line at Sorrento. There we were met with big smiles and ripping stories of how all the Think paddlers had gone during the race. Some had finished closely together with their training buddies, others beat their PB’s and some were just happy to finish. All had had an amazing time aboard the Think Express.

It was a privilege to be able to host and provide Team Think Kayak paddlers with a service and experience that would make it a very a memorable day. The smiles as we left Fremantle said it all, which makes my job all worth the effort. So a big thank you to our skipper Andrew, hostess with the mostess, Christie and all of the Think Kayak Paddlers that supported us on our maiden Doctor Voyage upon the Think Express.

Plans are already in place to make it an even better and bigger day later this year, so what are you waiting for? Come and join Team Think Kayak and get service and an experience like no other.

Happy Paddling,

Adam Fahey
Think Kayak Western Australia