The Myall Classic presents many challenges to both uninitiated and experienced paddler.
Those accustomed to paddling longer events will agree that your seat is the most important thing to get right. As you build up to paddling longer distances, ensure that you are comfortable after paddling 30km without stopping. A seat that causes pain or back problems should be modified to make it comfortable, as every person’s anatomy is different. A backrest is not necessarily a benefit, and can prevent rotation and lead to poor posture.
Clothing needs for the Myall Classic will vary with weather conditions and temperature. The first rule of paddling clothing is to avoid cotton. Cotton when wet absorbs body heat, leading to dangerous lowering of core temperature in adverse conditions. Wear synthetic or wool. A Myall Classic rashie is a great starting point.
Prepare for your event by testing several clothing options, bearing in mind that protection from the sun should be a major consideration. Determine what works best at given temperatures so you know what to wear on the day. Wear a hat or cap, and sunblock. And rub vaseline or gurney goo on body parts that are subject to rubbing on clothing or your boat.
Once again, test your paddling food before the event, and under paddling conditions. Have food you can consume while under way, so you don’t have to stop at the river’s edge to eat. And ensure it sits well in the stomach. Paddlers can consume 50g carbs and 15g protein and up to 600ml water an hour in warm conditions. There is a great deal of information in the internet about nutrition. Conduct your own tests and find out what works best for you.
47km is a long way in a slow boat, but even longer if you take a swim. Choose a boat that gives you the best mix of comfort and speed, with just enough stability for your ability. Conditions can get a bit blowy in the afternoon, so a more stable boat could be beneficial but is not essential.
You will enjoy your Myall Classic more if you have done some training. ‘The more you put in, the more you get out’.
As you are working out your food, clothing and craft, begin to paddle longer distances without stopping. You should be aiming to paddle up to 30km non-stop leading up to the event, meaning you will need to carry some food and water with you when you train.
If you are new to paddling, try and get some coaching from a PNSW accredited coach to help you master the best paddling technique.
When you are out training, work on fitness and strength. For fitness, try longer distances maintaining the same speed for the whole distance (so don’t start off too fast). For strength, do a series of shorter sprints at near your maximum effort. Get your heart rate up. Build on that and as you progress enjoy the improvement in your fitness and speed.