Tuesday 7 April 2009

Whitewater rafting on the Sydney olympics course

I was in Sydney for a family event and decided to make a side trip to 'whitewater stadium' in penrith. This was the venue for the Sydney 2000 Olympic whitewater events, and it is a really impressive place. I paid my $80 and got myself on a raft with 7 others, and a grumpy guide called Craig.

Spent about 20 minutes getting kitted up, safety briefing, then onto the conveyor belt for our first trip through the course. The water is pumped through the course by massive turbines and can be set for grades 3 to 5. For rafting trips they set it to 3. It was awesome fun, and pretty much non-stop whitewater, as soon as you got through, you were back on the conveyor for another go - think we got about 10 trips in total. It may not have had the good scenery of rafting I have done in NZ, but it made up for it by eliminating any stillwater paddling.

We did one whole lap spinning in circles and we also spent some time 'surfing' - getting the raft stuck sideways in a violent bit of water that guaranteed a flip. This is pretty dangerous, and you wouldn't do it on a real river, but it was cool. As promised, the raft flipped :)

I have a new found respect for the whitewater kayaking guys - they were cutting around the rafts with ease and practicing their rolls in the whitewater.

1 comment:

Lydia said...

You are insane. The phrase "the raft flipped" should never conclude with a smiley. It should end with the sentence "but luckily we survived and I will never put myself in a similar situation ever again".