Harry, a veritable spring chicken at a sprightly 76, has competed in endurance canoeing and kayaking events for over 20 years.  A few weeks prior to 4th KOM Challenge from Berry in mid-Nov, Harry 'phoned Scribe, after reading an article about our pending Berry Bash in August "Push On" and September "Push On".  The aficionados of paddling in small boats will know that -
*        in a canoe the paddle only has one side, U sit on a seat and there is no rudder; and
*        in a kayak the paddle has a left and right hand blade, U sit on a lower seat, plus U have a rudder to steer the thing.

Both of these small boats have been around for yonks.  In the old days canoe competition was more popular than kayaking, possible 'cause they were cheaper.  However, scope for innovation has not unsurprisingly been greater for the Kayak, whereupon recently the trend amongst yuppie exercise addicts leans heavily twds state of the art sea kayaks which are much faster and more responsive than the humble canoe.

Harry has paddled in a canoe the -
*        404km Murray Marathon from Yarrawonga to Swan Hill over 5 days with the longest day 96km  -  twice;
*        250km Berry SA. to Morbin SA. over 3 days of canoeing   -  once; and
*        111km Hawkesbury Canoe Classic from Windsor to Brooklyn Bridge over 1 day -  several times.

More recently, Harry has competed in the Kayak Winter Series for Windsor Kayak Club, which comprises 10 x 20km races presented by 10 clubs all over NSW over 10 months from Feb to Nov stretching to Forster in the North and Wagga down South.  Each event attracts between 130 and 170 paddlers competing over 10, 15 or 20km events.  Harry still competes in the 20km events.

7 years ago in 1999 Harry added road cycling to his aerobic exercise regime and has completed the -

*        200km "Around the Bay"  -  once;

*        200km Audax Rail Trail from Wangaratta thru Beechworth, Bright 'et al', and back  -  once; and

*        200 Audax Alpine Classics from Bright  -  twice.

With the above exemplary pedigree, 'twas little wonder that Harry climbed all 11 KOM Climbs, some twice and one thrice.  Harry's front cranks are 50/34 and has a 12/25 rear cassette.  So KayakMan's lowest gear is 34/25 which means for every pedal rev, when slogging up the below steepest KOM Climbs, Harry's rear wheel rotates 1.36 revs which puts a big load on Harry's quads -
*        Fountaindale Rd to Saddleback Mountain, Kiama has a max gradient of 17.7%; and
*        Jamberoo Pass with a max gradient early in the 18.8km climb is 15.18%.

Given the choice of attending a paddle race or a bicycle event, Harry acknowledges that he leans slightly towards cycling “… and there are things still to learn about cycling, including discovering new hills to conquer.”  But that may be because KayakMan eat, slept and breathed paddling for so long before being Born-Again.

Scribe was the only other cyclists to climb all 11 KOM climbs during the 4th Berry KOM Challenge ostensibly because most attendees couldn’t afford a week off work. Phil's lowest gear ratio is a Great Granny 28/28 meaning his rear wheel only rotates once for ever rotation of his pedals which logically is a lot, lot easier. “I wouldn't have gotten up half of those 11 climbs using Harry's 34/27 gearing”, Phil acknowledged. 

A teetotaler, lithe Harry has a very low BMI and would have to rank in the top 1% VO2 for his age.  Harry is an amazing athlete who regularly puts fit males half his age to shame when competing in endurance events.  A key to KayakMan's implacable athletic success lies in his placid friendly demeanor which enables him to assign all his energy to his highly efficient cardio vascular system with zero fuel being expended on nervous energy.

On Sunday 27 Jan '08, Harry completed the 200km Audax Alpine Classic in 11:05 total time, which Scribe understand is the fastest finishing time for a 75 year older.

A year later on Sunday 25 Jan '09, as a 76 year old, Harry completed the 200km Audax Alpine Classic in 12:40 total time where the temp peaked at 35o in the final leg from the base of Mt Buffalo back to Bright.

Harry also manages to squeeze in 3 visits to his local Baulkham Hills Council Pool each week where he swims 32 lengths - a mile.

Read condensed version of above in Push On.

Harry patiently waiting for his younger buddies to get a wriggle on

Tyro and Harry at Cambewarra KOM







Slogging up Tourist Rd during 4th Berry KOM Challenge, where KayakMan completed all 11 KOM Climbs, some twice and one thrice.

Harry aka KayakMan, a sprightly 75 years young, after finishing in Jan 2008 the 200km course in 11:05

Click on:  page 5 of March 2009 Push On magazine titled "Resolute Diehards have earned respect"

76 and still going strong.  The day before Harry chased the Hawkesbury Tri Club in the 60km helter skelter hit-out, and followed up cycling 118km on Sunday to Wisemans Ferry and Cliftonville from his Baulkham Hills home