I have now been in Dubai for a few days and so far it has been a great experience. As always it is a relief to arrive and find all your kit waiting for you and not find out its in London or Hong Kong.
The first day we did an out and back paddle of about 8km just to settle in and make sure our new skis were set up right. I was stoked to have a nice shiny new High Volume Epic V10 waiting for me – These skis are impressive weighing just under 11kgs which is no mean feat for a 6.5m vessel that is rigid as. In the afternoon I took part in a Oscar Chalupsky coaching clinic that was put on by the Dubai Shamaal organizers. Oscars knowledge was immense and to learn some tips from one of the legends of the sport was an opportunity too good to miss. For me two of the most valuable tips were about understanding your quadrant – and not sitting too deep on the wave – sitting back a bit in other words.
They have a great set up at the base here with a nice pool and really good storage right by the finish of the race course.
Day two we took the opportunity to drive up the coast and get a nice 20k paddle in on the course finishing with a 15k downwind run. After getting a little heat from what we can only guess as being the local authorities (may have been restricted access in hind sight..)we left the shelter of the man made land mass and got into the best part – the conditions were stunning with great runs the whole way down. I was impressed how well Busto Fernandez multiple World Marathon kayak Champion went. He has obviously put some work in on the ski. Also to paddle out there with a 218 Braca 1 is not going to make life easy either. As a reference Oscar uses a 210 and at the moment I am using a Epic 211.
Below is the put in – Paddling paradise