Took a drive down to the final day of the 2018 National Canoe Slalom and Wild Water Championships that were held on the Goulburn River in Eildon to try my hand at a sport I hadn't seen before. Well of course I'd seen it on TV but not up close and personal and I certainly hadn't photographed it before.
When I arrived there were a few boats (or do I call them canoes? Kayaks? Feeling a little out of my depth) in the water going through some practise runs and officials setting up on the banks to judge each participant as they cleared the gates. I got chatting with one of the officials who helped me out with which gates might provide better photo opportunities and with a bit of trial and error was quite happy with my first attempt.
The above image is perhaps my favourite from the day as it shows the determination and strength required to compete at this level. Having navigated gate 4 the participants had to manoeuvre back against the flow of the river before turning and allowing the flow to take them towards gate 5.
The layout of the course was also of interest. A series of gates suspended by wires across the river provided the participants with clearly marked gates to navigate. The green ones represented downstream gates whereas the red ones indicated an upstream gate. Participants are time penalised for missing gates or making contact with the gate. While the aim remained the same each participant seemed to approached the gates with various techniques.
At times the boats appeared to be almost completely submerged.
Once I was there for a while I tried to get a little creative using rocks as the foreground and getting up nice and close as their navigated a gate close to the bank of the river.
A few other favourites from the day...
I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience at the Canoeing and was so impressed with the strength and skill required to navigate the course. I look forward to further opportunities in this sport.
To see all of the images taken on the morning of the finals please go to the following link: