Since the first British University Kayak Expedition to Kyrgyzstan back in 2005 some of the best student kayakers have been chomping at the bit to secure a place on one. Running every other year, 2007 saw them off to Mongolia and Siberia, and then in 2009 to Vietnam. The aim? To explore and search for the best white water in the world and this year they will be heading to Venezuela. So the 2011 team consists of Rob Moffatt, Sandra Hyslop, Jonny Hawkins, Joe Rea-Dickins, Arthur Norton and Sam Sawday. They will be heading off on the 15th July and we are pleased to be supporting them on this trip as they go in search of 1st descents and look to promote the area as a destination for other groups to get out there. On their return they will be giving a series of lectures throughout the UK, but we’ll also be looking forward to posting up some updates on how they get along.
Sandra dropped us a quick mail.
“With under a month to go until we jet off to the exotic rivers of Venezuela the British Universities Kayaking Expedition (BUKE) team 2011 are trying to get plans finalised and to reign in our excitement. With most of us finished Uni for the year (or for good in some cases :-) :-)) then we can finally get down to concentrating on what’s really important…kayaking!
It’s definitely been a bit too dry over the last few months, and we’ve been struggling for water in the UK (and pesky things like exams and dissertations keep getting in the way also). As a result the team members have been making the most of University holidays to visit more exotic (and wetter) places like Corsica and Uganda.
One of the most important parts of preparation for this trip has been acquiring all the relevant equipment. We are planning on spending most of the trip camped outside next to the river and so need high-quality gear that can withstand 2 months in the Venezuelan jungle. Therefore, we are delighted that Alpkit have been able to offer us great discounts on some of their most sought-after products. We will be keeping warm and dry at night in lightweight, waterproof Hunka bivvi bags. Whilst on the river our kit (including toasty warm Skyehigh 800 sleeping bags) will be kept in lightweight, waterproof Airlok or Gourdon dry bags in the back of our boats.
To keep up with the adventures of the team follow the blog on our trip website We will try and keep our website and Alpkit updated with our adventures throughout the expedition, so look out for stories and photos over the next couple of months. For now though, here are some photos of the team in action in the UK and further afield.”
Arthur Norton hucking a waterfall in the pristine waters of Corsica.
Joe Rea-Dickins enjoying the best of Welsh whitewater.
Rob Moffat dropping into some great whitewater in SW England.
Sandra looping her way to the finals of the National Student Rodeo.
Jonny Hawkins paddling an iconic waterfall in Glen Etive, Scotland. Ph. Sam Roberts.
Sam Sawday paddling one of the many amazing slides that Norway has to offer.