A group of 6 kayakers from the UK have recently returned from a successful expedition to explore the white water in Sri Lanka. There have been a couple of previous trips to Sri Lanka before, but this one was the first to be held in August, during the heart of the monsoon
The expedition, lead by Dave Burne, saw the team searching out rivers in the Southern Central mountain range. Some rivers, such as the world class Kokmole Oya, have had previous descents. However, there is still so much to discover on the island and the expedition claimed numerous first descents. There was another major aim to the expedition though - to leave a lasting legacy in Sri Lanka. This was achieved with the help of Borderlands, a Rafting and Outdoor Education company.
Amongst other things, the team ran coaching and safety sessions for the raft guides and safety kayakers. These sessions helped change the attitudes of staff from that of kayaking being a job, to playing the river and enjoying kayaking as a hobby.The training also raised their awareness of current safety and rescue techniques. The highlight of the expedition for the team was paddling the Goorook Oya, a probable first descent, with Thilack, one of the Borderlands staff. Not only was this was the first time any of the team had completed a first descent with a kayaker from the host nation, but it also turned out to be an amazingly clean grade 5 steep creek which (aside from the green rainforest scenery) wouldn't be out of place in California. And the best thing? Thilack nailed it. His third ever river and his first taste of waterfalls - this guy has got bottle!
more info coming soon
Pictures: Dave Burne & Nick Roberts