Father and son dedicated ahead of arduous Descent

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Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Cimon and Byron Albertsen will be hopeful of a positive showing at the Avon Descent this weekend.
Camera IconCimon and Byron Albertsen will be hopeful of a positive showing at the Avon Descent this weekend.

Cimon Albertsen will participate in his 27th consecutive Avon Descent this weekend with son Byron.

Operating in a double craft, the duo will be part of a big South West contingent which will tackle the arduous, two day 134km event.

“It’s a big community event,” Albertson said.

“And for us it’s also very much about family. I’m doing it this year with my son and my daughter is also doing it as an individual.

“But the lack of rain is going to make it a very difficult event. It will be one of the lower water levels that we have done it on over that point in time, which will make it a very tough race.”

The father and son combination will be competing in their third Avon Descent together, with preparation imperative prior to the race.

“You just prepare the best you can every year,” Albertsen said.

“You really can’t tell what the water level will be until the last week before the event. Either way, because it’s 134km, you need to have a very good level of fitness and good white water skills.

“You just have to accommodate the water level on the day.”

Albertsen says he enjoys the chance to paddle with his son, with the double craft having several advantages.

“Paddling in a double you always have that other person there with you for company, support and which way you should be heading at any particular time,” he said.

“There are different challenges when you are doing it by yourself, but it’s certainty good doing it with someone and with a family member is definitely a little bit more special.”

The race course can be unforgiving at times, in particular flat stretches of water which require maximum effort and strong mental application.

“There’s some long sections of shallow flat water, especially on day one,” Albertsen said.

“They are going to be particularly shallow this year and we’ll probably have to get out five or six times to drag the boat or pick it up and run with it.

“Then get back in and go again, so that makes it very tough. “I’d certainly rather be paddling.”

Albertsen is optimistic that the duo can finish strongly.

“Ideally, we’d like to finish in the top five of the men’s doubles,” he said.

Other South West competitors involved this weekend at the event include Dave Burton and Paul Smaniotto (team pairs), Kiera Albertsen (single craft) and Paul Pavlinovich (single craft).

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