Tuesday 26th to Saturday 30th, September
Tuesday pm the crew met up for the Wizard's birthday and a last evening surf of the year at Boats. But while Wizard and Drop-Down waited on the bank for Toes to get his suit on (late as usual!), they caught a glimpse of a small ripple crawling up the sand bank. Yep Sabrinha had arrived and she was not looking to inspiring. Probably more amusing was when Tranny Traveller came running up the bank, clutching his tripod, asking if the others could see it yet, even though they had been watching the mighty ripple for a while!! So off to the Vic for a few, while The Silver Surfer and Buff were twiddling their thumbs at the White Hart wondering where the hell everyone was!! (Sorry guys!)
Wednesday am, Buffalo went alone to Boats and The Silver Surfer sat in the lower channel. Buff banked a small shoulder that carried him right to the far bank where the Wizard was watching. A long long paddle back. Silver had mere ripples that washed over his back! With Toes comitted by work (for once!?) Buff got the opportunity to score the shoulder at Mud Banks where he and Silver scored a wave peaking close to five foot and working up the bank with a glassy 3 foot shoulder. They were both pretty stoked and Buff worked some hawaiian-style magic.
Thursday morning Silver Surfer, Standfast and Toes paddled down from Jaqs Reef with more fresh flowing in the river making the paddle quick. The Wizard meanwhile had taken his magic carpet further down for a bit of pioneering. It took him several paddle catch ups to finally get into a wave with enough power but as Sabrinha rolled up the straight Wizard found some face and put in a few nifty manouveres as he carved across a dyeing section to connect to Boats where the others were waiting. Enough time for a quick chat on the wave as to where to go next and it was backing off over the rapids. Standfast hung on into the bowl for an extra few hundred yards.
Friday am, and while Standfast was tied up by work, Drop Down, Wizard and Silver Surfer headed for Boats. The fresh had finally dropped slightly and with the tide peaking the night before a good show by Sabrinha was expected. But with a steady flow still all three of them did a drop down and could only watch as a solid peak broke just upriver from them! Toes meanwhile, having seen some glassy footage at Leicester Square the previous night headed out for a quiet clean shoulder. Last minute he was joined by Buffalo charged up for some styling. The wave broke further down river but they hung on the banks to avoid the flow and watch where the shoulder went. Picking up a fast 3-4 foot shoulder the moves came out for the camera. A bit of bargey ensued on the shoulder and within seconds of catching the wave they both slipped off the edge from some indecissive surfing! It was a long paddle back to the square!
On up to the Mud Banks where the crew joined together and shared their rather disastrous experiences downstream! No Hands this time and the wave was a similar size to the previous day with a cleaner shoulder. Toes bagged the shoulder for a few cutback collisions with Buff who was hot on his tail again. Around the bend, as the wave pulled into the bank, all five squeezed into a tiny space and began pulling each other along. The Silver Surfer was first to drift off the back of the wave, only to drop back in on Drop Down and Wizard's inside - a spectacular switch manouvere!! He was so surprised he came straight off his board taking out the Wizard at the same time. Drop Down hung in the longest riding further than ever before for the stretch of river. Here are a few moments from Mud Banks...
Saturday morning the tides were dropping but Silver Surfer and Toes decided to check it out. The fresh levels also had dropped and the rapids were flowing fast below Jaqs'. What a surprise not only to find a canoeist down there but he was confidently (well!?) instructing a possee from London who had also showed up!! It's great to see people coming up to try the bore, but Boats is not a safe place to try for the first time, and with a couple of girl's on boogie boards the locals were ready for disaster! As it turned out, everyone made it out of the water safely. The wave was powerful, breaking at four foot, but very lumpy as it hit some huge counter swells in the rapids. Toes negotiated the crowds to pick up the shoulder which was pretty fast and got a few big turns going with Silver Surfer on his inside. No one went very far.
The two snuck on to Mud Banks where the river looked like a mirror. Not a trace of breeze on the surface. The wave was not much smaller than last two days and it was sheer glass. They both rode it up past Drop Down's point from the previous day, and Silver Surfer even managed his trick again to sneak outside Toes for a bit of face around the bend (better watch this one guys!!). The ride was a numbing experience, sheer perfection for over half a mile. Both surfers were mute for several hours in shock recovering from the experience.
Friday 27th And Saturday 28th October
Friday am, Toes headed to Leicester Square with Tranny Traveller. The wind was howling cross off shore force five and the fresh flow was high and fast. Evenso the wave looked alright down river so Toes headed in and paddled down. The wave broke against the sandbank and all Toes could do was sit watch it and the canoeists go past, turn around and paddle back to the Square! At Mud Banks the slab was still shapped well and not too deep. The wave was a lot smaller than the previous month and choppy in the slightly sheltered winds. On his first turn, Toes did his famous lose speed trick and lost the rail! And that was that, two-nill to Sabrinha!
Meanwhile, the Wizard rode a decent wave at E-Land where the bed appeared to be changing and the wave was taking on a new form. But before he and boatman, Dunc, could go any further, their fuelline broke, and that, was that!
Saturday am, and the wind was calm. Probably the only reason Toes got out of bed with a stingin hangover! He and Tranny raced down to the upper channel, just in time. Toes picked up a tiny foot of white water caught in the shallows and soon came off. Undetterred he paddled on after the wave and got back into it as it began to pick up speed and wall up over the crossing. With a three foot face in mid channel Toes banked left, but had to negotiate a single canoeist outside him. So as the canoeist was busy performing a floater on the soup, Toes nipped round the front of him quickly and had a crisp, clean shoulder right up to the Square where he kicked out of the wave, and headed back down the country tracks to be picked up by Tranny Traveller.
By the time they reached Jaws, the wind was howling across the river. Wizard and Hands turned up in their boats. (Wizard had scored E-Land again and a great wave on the Banks) Jaws thumped down at a wind-choppy four foot. Not the best wave but a fun ride. Toes hopped in Wizard's boat and they raced off upriver after Sabrinha, leaving Tranny man wondering what on earth he should do next. After driving to Over and back, he went home! Not much upriver, as the high fresh was causing to much counter current and the bore was backing off. Wizard and Toes scored a shoulder tight to bank in No-Man's Land and Toes got trounced by a tree. Wizard paddled like the wind to pick up Cloudbreak which didn't run very far. Dunc decided it would be far more fun to drive very fast through the tide nearly losing Toes out the side in the process!
As the winds increased and the heavens broke, they decided to call it a day, and headed on home.
Copyright Bore Riders Club MM