I arrived in Plattling 4 days ago after a 850 mile drive from Nottingham, UK. I expected it to be busy when I got here with tents and camper vans scattered all over the river bank, instead the only thing that was full was the porta-loos - nice!

The camping site is nice however,a  big field in a nature reserve by the river. Showers are a 10 minute walk away but are in the cleanest swimming pool complex I have ever seen, I wonder how long that will last when 300 kayakers descend on it!

What was really noticeable as I queued for 30 minutes in the eddy was the amount of carbon boats that are being used this year. There were a few carbon boats at the Europeans last year but the change is significant now. Paddling squirt I have been in carbon for years and years so for me paddling on a shallow river in carbon is nothing new but it is interesting watching people tentively plugging for loops hoping not to break their boats - and some have!

I am learning fast about these rocks. On my first training session I went of a washout on the wave (which is a squirt move a bit like a barrel roll or donkey flip) got is slightly wrong and ended up momentarily pinned to the bottom of the feature upside down. This resulted in some damage to my squirt boat...

[caption id="attachment_5092" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="Broken foot bump onthe top of a squirt boat"][/caption]

Although many have worked out where the rocks are, lots haven't and chucks are commonly removed from boats and in the worst cases seams have been split open. There are a number of boats "in the pits" with people sweating over a pot of resin and kevlar tape. This was not helped by a rapidly dropping river level yesterday when the rocks actually started to show through the water in the hole. Thankfully a massive and heavy storm swept across last night and the levels are on the up again, lets hope we keep getting topped up with rain.

The other noticeable thing is that if you turn on a light at dusk then you will be swarmed with midges and everyone has itchy bites. it is best to use repellant...

[caption id="attachment_5093" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="So many midges..."][/caption]

Training continues...

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