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Alpine Paddling – Lower Durance Thursday 27/7/17 by Liam Wong

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Liam on the Rabioux wave

St Clement to Embrun 20km

What an experience, my first river in France! It was certainly one I’ll never forget. After an early morning wake up, we had a quick shuttle to St Clement. While the bus shuttle was happening myself and many others took on the rapids before preparing ourselves for the river ahead (Lower Durance). The shuttle back finally arrived and we all headed off; some headed to the slalom course and others headed straight down towards the Rabioux wave. After a long paddle and many play waves the group finally assembled at the Rabioux wave. First time for many, all the LCC group took on the challenge… it was certainly the hardest I have paddled.

After the safety team had set up, the whole team made their way to the wave. A few swims later, (many less than previous years , I believe) we all came out full of confidence and ready to continue.  A few memorable moments from the Rabioux that may be shown via GoPro from Sarah Gille. We decided to have a lunch stop at the side of the wave which quickly turned into a WWSRT, with some throwline coaching from the professionals, we all felt confident at the end. A huge lesson learnt for me… pack my own throwline before hitting the wave (I had a small telling off).

Anyway, after waiting for Graeme and Mark, we finally continued to make our way down the river, a large group but a very organised and well trained group. Some very good waves and many more rolls followed before finally hitting the Embrun wave. It was another challening wave that many member of the group played and surfed. After playing for a good 30 minutes we decided to head down to the get out. At the get out we had drag up the hill (15 steps!) but well worth every minute. An enjoyable river with challenging parts that I would certainly recommend to any paddler.

The river followed with a shop in Inter-sport and a supermarket run. All members eventually arrived at camp and shared their experiences over dinner.

A great day, that I will always remember.

More Photos…….

Hannah paddling the Rabioux wave on the Durance