Re: Turning a pax 180 deg

Posted by Michael Malley on Jan 28, 2006

I raced a Patuxent 19.5 without a skeg or rudder for 3 years before I switched to a Westside Thunderbolt. I found the key to a fast buoy turn was a strong lean(deck in the water). As Stephen reccommends, reach out by your feet on the outside of the turn and sweep away from the boat, while you tip the boat even further at the start of the sweep. You can relax the lean a bit at the end of the sweep and the paddle recovery, but tip the boat for the start of the next sweep. Three or four sweeps will get me around the buoy, then I go back to paddling both sides while still leaning to get back boat speed and finish the turn.What I'm concentrating on in the turn is,lift the inside knee-sweep,repeat. The turn is easy in flat water, and I've been able to turn inside of a tandem canoe on occasion, but have also found that the sides of Kevlar canoes are not Patuxent-bow proof! If you are approaching a buoy turn in a pack of boats, try to get there first. If they can make the turn faster than you, you can still try to catch their wake as they go by. In rough water, you will find yourself at some point in the turn in cross waves just when you have the boat leaned up on its ear. Try to get the boat turned while the middle of the boat is up on the wave, and the ends are out of the water. Practice the turn, and remember the words of a canoe racing partner of mine "lean it like you mean it".

In Response to: Re: Turning a pax 180 deg by Stephen P on Jan 27, 2006