Start­ing his De­scent

Southern Gazette (Victoria Park) - - Front Page -

BEL­MONT lo­cal James Mor­fitt is set to take on the river in the Avon De­scent this week­end.

BEL­MONT lo­cal James Mor­fitt is set to take on the river in the Avon De­scent this week­end.

The 29-year-old is com­pet­ing in the kayak dou­ble marathon with team­mate Mathew Dean, and has done five Avons to date.

“I love the chal­lenge – no two Avons are the same – and the feel­ing of cross­ing that fin­ish line,” Mor­fitt said.

“Ob­vi­ously you’re ex­hausted, but the sense of achievement is well worth it, even bet­ter if you achieve your race goals.”

Mor­fitt was in­tro­duced to pad­dling by a fam­ily friend in his late teens, but said he didn’t start pad­dling com­pet­i­tively un­til his first Avon in 2011.

While this year’s Avon was a late de­ci­sion to en­ter and pushed Mor­fitt into a rig­or­ous six-week train­ing block, in pre­vi­ous years he’s racked up six ses­sions a week for three months.

The Bel­mont lo­cal has taken to the wa­ter at the Aus­tralian Na­tional Marathon Cham­pi­onships, the Fish River Ca­noe Marathon and Dusi Ca­noe Marathon in South Africa, and most of the lo­cal races on the pad­dling cal­en­dar.

At this stage, Mor­fitt hasn’t planned any races af­ter the Avon, but he’s got his eye on a few pos­si­bil­i­ties.

“There are a few ad­ven­ture races and an ocean race called The Doc­tor to­wards the end of the year that I will prob­a­bly en­ter,” he said.

“I’d say the peo­ple I’ve met and the places I’ve been are my favourite part.”

The Avon De­scent kicks off this week­end.

The two-day split race for power boats and pad­dlers spans 124km from Northam to Bayswa­ter.

James Mor­fitt and Mathew Dean at the fin­ish of the Avon De­scent a few years ago.

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