His younger counterparts were awestruck when 60-year-old Ian Vincent, a renowned kayaker and trainer from Australia, splashed down the rapids with his kayak like a kingfisher diving, causing water to splash up in the air.
The way he powered the paddles to navigate the boat and endure the extreme conditions in the rapids while striving to complete the course in the best time was a visual treat for kayaking enthusiasts.
“I just do it for fun as I am too old to win. I am 60 now. How can I beat a 20-year-old counterpart in the rapids who could be of the age of my grandson? I am a coach and I do help youngsters excel in the sport rather than winning the game,” said Mr. Vincent after the final round of his challenging white-water Slalom in the rapids.
He said the slalom rounds were challenging as a portion of his race suit popped up in the impact of diving into the river in some of the rounds, causing interruptions. “I had to put it back and continue paddling to the target,” he said.
For this kayaker who came to India 25 years ago and started working as a coach in Meghalaya, winning the game was hardly a concern. He came to the spot with his wife, who hails from Kerala, and daughter, who is one of the contestants. This is his third time at the Malabar River Festival.
“We are like friends in the kayaking community. We come here from all over the world and different parts of India to feel the friendship. It is really nice to be a part of this community,” said Mr. Vincent.