15 years on the Peak UK Team!
The 2019 season sees me celebrate my 15th season in the PeakUK family, a perfect opportunity for a trip down the memory whitewater course!
I remember my first piece of Peak UK (Peak Performance as it was back then!) gear – a faded pair of second hand shorts picked up at a Div 2 race in Ironbridge. I was so excited as THIS was what “the big guns” wore! The excitement grew when I made it to the GB Junior Team in 1997 and I received my first Peak “GBR” cag; yes cag, there was no such thing as a cagdeck back then! It was a red and white number with fabric that was pretty stiff by the standards these days!
Soon after this my parents treated me to the must-have, a “Pertex” long sleeve cagdeck; this was what Lynn Simpson and Paul Ratcliffe wore so, if I had one, I was definitely going to be a better paddler! Eventually, after a small hint in my speech at the 2004 Canoe Slalom Awards, Pete bestowed upon me the honour of membership to the Peak UK family. I’ve seen innovation upon innovation over the years. The Racer cagdeck holds strong throughout, becoming lighter and more flexible as have the various iterations of the Semi (winter) cagdeck. A short spell with the “Neoskin” cagdecks came around in 2007, the start of bigger (or should that be smaller) things to come!
Two years later, the Speedskin was born – the Peak UK Slalom Team really had it all….but not quite! Peak UK found a way to print onto this fabric and suddenly all sorts of designs were going down the course. Then in 2016, Peak UK brought to the water one of the biggest innovations the Canoe Slalom world has seen – the Racer ST.
As a member of Team GB for the Rio 2016 Olympics, I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the first made; the flood of orders hasn’t stopped ever since! Rumour has it that I’m probably coming into the twilight years of my career, but I can’t wait to watch what happens in the Darley Dale factory for decades to come…..apart from endless cups of tea and requests for cake!