The last six weeks had jammed packed with paddling. I paddled in three races in April alone: Narrow River, Sharkbite, and ROTC. Yesterday I was on the mighty Sakonnet in the high winds, storm surge and some mixed conditions you don’t usually get in the Sakonnet. All great training. This followed up by a very instructional workshop with World Class paddler, Jasper Mocke who is working his way through the East Coast, Jamestown, Greenwich, Boston, Charleston before heading to the Molokai Challenge in a few weeks.
I first met Jasper at the 2013 US Surfski Champs, then again at 2015 Canadian Surfski Champs shortly after he joined the Epic Team.
Below is a pic after traveling all day from the East Coast to Vancouver, BC to race in Deep Cove Kayaks Tuesday Night Race Series two days prior to Saturdays Championship race in Squamish. Looking tired! I was!
Today’s clinic was hosted by Tim Dwyer. Tim has made it a tradition to organize these clinics with some of the top paddlers in the world including the Big O, Sean Rice, and now Jasper. Maybe we can get Michele Eray, Maggie Hogan or Teanele Hatton next year just to mix it up or maybe Jasper will come back to visit. He said the vibe was great in Jamestown.
Today’s clinic was made up of 10 of us with varying skill levels. We made two large loops from House on the Rocks to Newport Bridge working various aspects of paddling. I even got do some long interval work with Matt Drayer and Joe Shaw as the whole group worked on their downwind skills. I picked up a key pointer as Jasper pulled up beside to offer some instruction. Bingo, the light finally went off for me as Jasper was explaining that this is how you should do it. You must have a few gears in downwind paddling and be intentional! I also got two of my questions answered about my stroke with the left side needing some Attention. It was nice to meet some new paddlers like Max and Olga who live only a few minutes from my other paddling partner Chris Chappell and my son. Wayland is a happening place it seems. Hopefully we can coordinate on padding on the mighty Sudbury or the nearby lake.
So a Big Thanks to Jasper and Epic Kayaks for the clinic and to Tim to coordinate the clinic for us. I encourage all of you to take a clinic when these guys come to town. If only you pick up a key tip or two it can make a dramatic effect on your paddling. Sometimes the suggestions may not click at the time it is presented, but later you will have that Ah Ha moment and realize, this is what Jasper meant. Participating in a clinic also builds community both locally and globally. It will be fun thinking about the upcoming Molokai Challenge knowing you have met one of the top contenders. So sign up for an individual class or group clinic to improve you paddling. Good stuff!