Kayak Enemy #74: Stealthy Coxless Quad Sculls

The offender - caught up with it a few hours after the incident

The offender - caught up with it a few hours after the incident

Ordinarily I wouldn’t class another paddler in the enemy category, however an incident this morning changed all that.

You see, I’d put the kayak in the water at about 6am for a paddle in the pre-dawn darkness, and was enjoying my twilight paddle on glassy waters. Then, from no-where I heard a “whoosh… whoosh… whoosh…” noise from behind and turned to see a four-man scull 10metres behind me heading for my kayak at approx double my speed – its crew oblivious to my presence ahead.

In the split second before impact I was able to do two things: (a) jam my foot down hard on the right rudder pedal, and (b) scream like a terrified little girl. The crew of the scull turned in unison and looked in horror at their oars heading directly for my head, and just managed to lift the oars over me as they came rushing past.

Now, to their credit, the crew apologised profusely, and were probably just as startled as I was. Realistically, an impact would have done more damage to their fragile shell than my tough Nanook. But regardless, it scared the daylights out of me, and earned them a place in the “Kayak Enemy” files.