White water veteran powers his way towards another descent

Champion Avon Descent competitor Darryl Long is in training for next month’s race. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au 404318
Champion Avon Descent competitor Darryl Long is in training for next month’s race. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au 404318

With 31 Avon Descents under his belt, the Ashfield resident is gearing up to face the frosty morning start line once again.

‘You can turn up on the start line and it still be zero degrees in Northam,’ Long said.

‘Even though it might be freezing, you still don’t put on lots of warm clothes because you don’t get a chance to change. Any clothes you put on you’re wearing the whole way.’

The white water veteran said the average speed for top contenders was about four hours on the first day and up to five and a half hours on the second.

‘For that period of time you’re physically not stopping ” you might stop long enough to grab another drink to throw in the boat or stick in your life jacket,’ he said.

‘To me, it doesn’t feel as long as it used to ” I think through familiarity of where you are the whole time.’

Despite contesting a younger field of world champions each year, Long is determined to make the top five in the single kayak event.

‘I won my first six (races)’