Scull, scull, scull your boat...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Having spent last Saturday morning zipping up and down the river in a small skiff watching children as young as nine making sculling look incredibly easy, I’m heading back to the Hinksey Sculling School tomorrow to show them a thing or two about how to handle a long, thin boat.

I’m encouraged by how stable the youngsters looked in their single sculls, or at least I was encouraged until Tom (expert coach) pointed out that their centres of gravity are somewhat closer to the waterline than mine is going to be. One doesn’t so much sit in the boat as on it – or next to it in water up to my neck as will most likely be my innovative approach.

There will be no event completion tomorrow – we’re still at the stage of getting me into a boat to see how much work there is to be done before we can go to a proper racing lake to record some times – but I’m looking forward to it. Mostly.

One thing I’ve learnt so far in the course of trying Olympic events is that the more ardently the experts insist that their discipline is "easy to learn but difficult to master", the more likely I am to get either hurt, wet, or both. In April last year, Shaun Cavern, flatwater kayaking guru extraordinaire, kept telling me that his discipline was simple, right up to the point where I was disappearing into the Trent.

The next day, Ian Raspin, slalom kayaking guru extraordinaire, was saying exactly the same thing, even as he was saving me from drowning.

It’s slightly disappointing therefore that Tom Collins, sculling guru extraordinaire, has punctuated nearly every sentence he has spoken to me since we met with the expression "it’s really very easy." For now, I believe him - the kids last week certainly made it look so – but by lunchtime tomorrow, I might be singing a different tune.

3 comments:

adem said...

I'm sure it'll be really easy!!!

good luck

Anonymous said...

so--come on---what are you singing now? wowo

John said...

Heckled by my own mother. Typical.

Update to come tonight (hopefully).