The Moxy, Slough
Most of the Aratika contingent has been staying in the Moxy Hotel in Slough. It has been fantastic for us being just 15 mins from the venue. Thanks to our amazing drivers Norman, Mere & Kathleen who work tirelessly to get us all to the river or the venue. Coordinating the transport for so many crews has been challenging. It has worked seamlessly from our end.
The Moxy is close to great restaurants and shopping. We have everything we need within about 5 mins walk. We are careful to go out in pairs especially when going to the bank to get money. So far only Leon has been asked if he would like drugs:) Not sure what to make of that!
Because of a hotel administration muck up we (the masters 70 women) all ended up with a room to ourselves. I am so grateful. It means I can get up early to write my blog without disturbing anyone else. The breakfasts are great, but one needs to get in before the ‘hoards’ descend. Paddlers have thinned out a bit now the Elite men have left. It was a sea of Kiwis for the first few days. The para paddlers are all staying here as well. There is a gym which I have to admit to only using once!
The Venue, Dorney Lake
We are so lucky at home!
We didn’t realise how lucky we are in Aotearoa with our venue for National Sprints at Lake Karapiro. Access is free except for maybe a $5 parking fee. Here it costs £33.50 per day per spectator. It has put a lot of people off coming down to watch. One of our managers had to pay £131 to get a pass for the whole event. That is unheard of at home.
There are 4 only food stalls, 2 coffee carts and the restaurant upstairs. There are only 3 merchandising stalls; Aotearoa, New Zealand stall (sold out on 3rd day), the official Great Britain merchandise stall (sold out) and one other with some paddles and tshirts. It is very different to home.
The long walk in
It’s about a 0.75 kilometer walk from where we get dropped off to ‘our’ tent by registration.
The paddlers tent is up on the bank with a great view of the course. It has been packed! It is thinning out a bit now as everyone is suffering from the heat. We have appropriated a site much closer to the registration to try to keep away from all the noise and busy-ness (and the bugs as Covid is rife here at the moment).
The best thing is the water spray. They set one up on the main path in and one before we go into the registration tent.
I always travel with sarongs. They are a multipurpose garment and great for keeping the sun off. I’ve been wandering through the spray to cool off and to wet my sarong to keep cooler for longer.
We have had Pene spraying us with water to try to keep us hydrated. Most people are just coming in for their own event, then going home to watch the live stream in comfort as it’s just been too hot to stay out at the venue.