I faced the one legged man again today.
I have gone up against him three times now. The first time he beat me, the second i beat him with tyler's help, and today I beat him but just barely. I am talking about the annual New year's Day Paddle around fox Isl. Today I thought that I would use the surfski in order to make a record time for me. I arrived at the put in for an 8:00AM start. The wind was calm and the water was glass. Problem is, the race didn't start until 10. I went home and came back at 9:30. now it was cold and windy with the wind from the SW. This was an unusual wind direction. I didn't know how big the chop would be on the S side of the island but I thought that i would go for it.
Now I don't like to have my world messed with and this late start really screwed with my head. I was late to the water, the GPS was buggered up and I was not ready to go. So I backed up to shore to straighten this up when they said go. No problem, I'm a good paddler and can easily catch up. so i was last to start having spotted the group two minutes.
When I got going I noticed that the rudder was working right. It was sticking. No problem in the bay where we started and I easily started passing other paddlers. At the first turn i stopped to free up the rudder.
Back in the boat and on my way but it was no better. now in a normal sea kayak it is no big deal without a rudder but in a surfski it is imperative to keep you upright. Now this section was exposed to CASE inlet and i was now taking waves at the beam with rudder. in fact the rudder was more of a hinderance because i would put increasing pressure on it to turn and it would finally/randomly break loose causing the boat to swerve out from under me.
I went swimming at least 10 times. I was now last and the one legged man was way ahead of me. This was a major frustration moment. I couldn't get going without swimming. I would get going and ahead of him and then bam, I'm swimming again and he would take the lead. This went on for an hour. I finally made it the 6 miles along the S side and made the turn N where the water was calm and I didn't need the rudder. No more falling in and I put some time on him.
It was a great workout. But even just the paddling time was longer than in my sea kayak. My surfski is usually 10% faster. You can see the GPS track at