Student Boater X 2008

Saturday saw the third, now annual student boater cross on the l’argentiere slalom course on the Durance River in the south of France. The event is raced over a tricky section of rapids running alongside the campsite.

Entrants from universities all across the UK are divided into Beginners, Intermediates and Experts and are then pitched against each other in a mass start head to head race.

First up were the old boys and girls who were no longer students. This provided an entertaining race with Simon Westgarth eventually finishing on top. next up were the experts with both Nicola and myself lining up against many other paddlers. I got a good start in the race and soon made it to the first eddy and ‘hit me’ banner. As I tried to exit the eddy though it felt as though everybody else was trying to get in an I was blocked in fighting my way through the crowd of people. After getting out the race was really on as the field became more drawn out. After cleanly breaking into the second eddy and making a swift exit it was a sprint to the finish line and a run up the river bank. In the end I have no idea what position I finished but was not too far from the front. Nicola had and excellent race, she seemed to be really fired up racing against the men and managed to finish second lady.

Next up we went up to watch the intermediate class and cheers on Sam from our Uni. It was her fist ever time paddling on alpine water and did really well until disaster struck near to the end of the course when she capsized. After battling with her roll she eventually swam. Due to not finishing this race we threw her straight back on in the beginners class on the flat lake. She was clearly already tired but put in a good effort to finish.

All in all the event was awesome with some nice new Alpkit drybags being handed out as prizes. Big shout out goes to the event organiser Tom Laws.

The social gathering afterwards wasn’t too bad either.

By Bill Anderson