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On Wednesday last week, as the Epic representative I was invited down to Bournemouth to meet Mike Bushell, known for his BBC Saturday morning sports show. Mike trys different sports and in return gives them a few minutes airtime on mainstream TV which is something that does not come along nearly often enough.

Unfortunately I wasn’t told exactly what I was to expect and thougt it would just be a local BBC guy doing the usual 1 minute piece. Had I known I would have taken Mike a more suitable ski to try out!

On arrival at Sandbanks a few of the locals had turned up to be part of the piece but, as usual with TV the pushing back of the start time meant most had to leave before they arrived or half way through. Chloe Bunnett who had been the driving force behind getting Mike to come down took him out in a doublke ski and I have to admire her courage, it did not look easy as anyone who has taken out beginners in a double will know, especially if during the paddle you are expected to hold a recorded conversation. The conditions were disappointingly calm (luckily for Chloe) but Mike, I think did get a feel of what the sport is like. On his own insistence he also took a turn on my ski and as you will see if you watch the show actually did a pretty impressive job of keeping it upright for a few seconds. A more suitable beginner boat may have sold the sport better!

A beautiful afternoon tempted me to paddle out on the ocean for a few K and altogether a productive day was had.

More needs to be made of these opportunities though and it was a shame that there were not more people there with informed input. I did my best but what do I really know? All credit to Chloe for pushing Mike until he came to do this piece and I have to wonder why the BCU cant get these guys down to take a look at each discipline of racing.

The more publicity we can get the better, as it is the surfski guys are thinking of joining the ICF which I guess would mean the UK surfski would join the BCU. You have to ask whether it is a forward move to join an organisation who are so bad at self publicity that people still think we are rowers after all these years! With all the paid staff on the books now surely we can sort this situation out.


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