Me and my partner were looking for a boat for us for a long time. Before Võhandu marathon we had an idea about Tahe Wind Duo. There were a lot of conversations, but we ended up with renting a boat from Reimann Retked. The boat was OK, Mart made a good offer and gave one of his best boats. But it is not OK to prepare a boat one day before a competition. We made a decision, that we must finally find something.
It was good luck that Lithuanian paddlers came to the competition and showed how to paddle and which boats to paddle. I contacted them after Võhandu and asked about the possibility to test their equipment. Juoazas (K-2 second place in Võhandu) was kind to invite us for a race in Lithuania and gave their boat for testing.
The event took place on Merkys river close to Polish border. The distance was 32 km, the river was fast and very nice and the weather was super good too. We finished after 2 h 19 min and some seconds (I still have no results). As we expected, the boat was very good and fast. We had enough room for our "average" Latvian bodies. With a Tahe kayak, it was big problem for my partner. Although the boat was bigger, there was not enough space, but OK it is not a competition boat. With Latvians' boat, one problem for both of us was sport seats like in flatwater racing boats. After 1,5 h they were not comfortable for us and last part of race was quite painful. But there was the same problem - the boat was not prepared exactly for us. So, some help from Lembit and everything will work. :) And I can not understand why rudder is not for front paddler? My partner is so close to me (I got a quite lot of hits with his paddle to my back) that he can not see what is happening in front. I would prefer that I can steer, but I am sure that it is also possible to fix.
Start at the competition was individual with 1 min interval. We were one of the first in our group. Somewhere in the middle, young Lithuanian paddlers passed us so fast that we could not follow them. We tried a bit, but my pulse jumped up to 175 and I understood that I can not finish with such a fast pace and we continued in our rhythm. After some time other Lithuanians (K-1 first place in Võhandu & Co) overtook us. We did not try to follow. Finally they got the first place (2 h 08 min), which means that young paddlers could not finish with the same speed. 400 m before finish 3rd place (K-2 second place in Võhandu) passed our team, so we got 4th position - not bad, we were satisfied with our start and most important, we found a boat which we really like.
Pictures are in gallery