Oscar Chalupsky - Miller's Run on the Nelo 520

Wednesday, 27 December 2017 18:32
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Miller's Run on the Nelo 520 Oscar Chalupsky

So...  the big O is in town.  I haven't seen him yet, on the day we were supposed to paddle, he was delayed, playing golf!  But I left his Nelo 520 at the club and he did a Miller's Run by himself...

What's interesting about this?

  • Oscar did the run in 43:25.  
  • He wouldn't tell me what he weighs at the moment.  "Too heavy after Christmas" was all he'd say.
  • My all-time best run (done a couple of weeks ago) is 44:26 - on a big day with much stronger wind.
  • My times when I paddled the 520 were all over 50min

I found the 520 quite tricky to paddle downwind.  Not because it's tippy, it's one of the most stable boats around - but it's short - over a metre shorter than my Think Evo II and it has much less volume in the nose.  And that means that it nose-dives at the drop of a hat.  It comes with a spray deflector as standard (as do all the Nelo skis) and it needs it - if you're me.

I've done 77 Miller's Runs this year so far - somewhere between 500 and 1,000 over the last 15 years - so I'm not exactly a total novice when it comes to going downwind.  (Old, yes, and my technique is still improving, but I'm at least competent.)

But I found that I had to concentrate all the time and lean right back whenever I started down a run so as to keep the nose up.  The boat is extraordinarily maneuverable - thanks I suspect to its short hull and you can treat it something like an overgrown surfboard - but it really requires concentration.

But in this video you can see that Oscar, at probably 20-25kg more than me, hardly ever lets the nose go under - and his heart rate seems to hover much of the time at between 120 and 130 bpm which for me would be almost standing still.  Absolutely amazing.