Distance in: 8.9km
Few rushes in canoeing can match shooting Keith’s Flyover successfully.
When doing it right, it feels fast, deceptively easy, and you hardly get your splashy wet! But when you get it wrong, it will be a swim that you will never forget. It will leave you with black and blue shins, and, in all likelihood, bent or broken equipment.
The portages on the left and right, represent the point of no return. Once you past these you are committed to shooting it, so be positive, bold and decisive!
There are basically two options to shooting Keith’s – left (Shown by Orange dots) or right (By broken red lines).
More and more people are trying the left line, especially K2s and K3s. This requires starting close to the left bank with speed, hitting the big hole head on, and aiming for the centre of the river all the way down.
The traditional line avoids this big water and goes under the willow tree on the right. The first marker is a small rapid, which has a distinctive tongue of water on the right, running to the right. If you ride this small tongue, you will be exactly on the correct line, heading under the low hanging willow leaves, close to the right bank.
You will then confront two sets of waves, rather like sea swells, through which you need to paddle strongly in order to keep the boat going in the right direction. Stay about two meters from the right bank.
Max Hoff has perfected a sneak line to the right of the tree which is shallow, but safe – try to keep your boats speed up along this line!
As you approach the bridge, you will see a strong lateral wave running off the rocky right bank.
Put your nose into this wave, and allow it to carry you back towards the centre of the river as you approach the bridge. Keep moving all the time, otherwise you run the risk of having your nose ramped up onto the left hand bank under the bridge!
That strong right to left lateral will carry you under the bridge and into a short calmer section of the rapid, where you need to pick up speed again.
Stay left at all times, close to the thorn bushes on the left bank. You will now be approaching the main hole at the bottom of the rapid. Hit the main hole square on, aiming back into the centre of the river. With enough boat speed, you will easily punch through the waves, and exit the rapid in the centre of the river. It is vital that you hit this hole square on. May paddlers try to skirt the wave here by hitting it at an angle pointing left. All this does is ensure that you are forced left into the eddy below the rapid. From this tricky position you will be lucky if you are able spin the boat around 180 degrees and exit the rapid backwards. Most paddlers swim once the nose of their boat hits the left bank!