Monday, October 26, 2009

Tassie Wildlife

The organizers of th World Cup 2009 have laid on a number of "social functions" in addition to the race program.  Today a bunch of competitors, coaches etc visited the Trowunna Wildlife park in Mole Creek.  It was a very cool experience, and we all got to hold a young Wombat, an older Wombat (the difference is pretty big!), to pat a Tasmanian Devil (holding those might get a bit painful) see some native eagles etc and witness kangaroos chasing each other around in what looked like a bizarre foursome mating ritual.  On of the coolest things was watching hulking athletes like Italy Mariano Bifano transform into gentle giants when holding the baby Wombat.  I missed a pic of Mariano, but here is the Brit Jon Schofield.

We also learned lots about the animals, such as the viral cancer that is wiping out Tassie Devils, the fact they can smell for over 5km, and the fact that Wombats can stop on a dime, turning the large bone plate in their butt into a weapon that can stun anything chasing them as it runs into them!  Overall a very cool time.

I also practiced on the Lower Upper Mersey course for the first time today (I know, its confusing isn't it).  The course is pretty straightforward, some waves but not a lot more, and is very short - winning K1M may be less than 7 mins 20 sec.  I did a few runs with Tom, trading off lines, and I think e have it dialed in.  I'm feeling better and better, and will hopefully do a good performance on Wednesday, the next race.  I'll try to get some pics of folks paddling up before then.  Also coming,  competition to match the Aussie paddler to his/her mother, with a World Cup T-shirt as a prize.  Aussie residents need not apply....

No comments: