race especially, you have to be able to do the swims. If you’re going to be struggling to meet cut-offs you can’t afford to add distance for the sake of comfort. Yes it will be uncomfortable for a few minutes but past that it’s no big deal.
Would two people shouldering the boats have been a better option instead of the solo with the center yoke? No fussing with packs/paddles and overall easier in everyone.
If you practice portaging around your neighborhood with your canoe, you’ll be a beast with the Kevlar AO canoes ;).
If my neighbours don’t have me committed first.
'Bent included portaging in his training - 1-2 km on hilly trails in our area. Although it's specific training for portaging, it's also great training for carrying loads, climbing hills, etc.
Since I'm usually the racer carrying the gear, I focus on getting efficient at exiting the canoe and grabbing all the gear quickly - not much different from a regular canoe trip, actually. In AR when I'm usually in the bow, this means that I have attached all the gear I need to carry to the thwart behind me in the canoe. We typically have our packs in lightweight drybags clipped to the thwart. The bailer and throw rope can be attached there too. The only thing I need to grab after I get onshore is the other paddle and I can head up the trail with the portager behind me since it's easier for me to see where the trail goes without a canoe on my head. It probably goes without saying but I never try to keep my feet dry in a race; that's the biggest thing that slows some teams down. I doubt that applies to anyone who made it through the WT long paddle course though.
I'm not how the tone will come out; my teammates were fantastic, plus I didn't contribute to keeping the transitions on both ends relentless either. I'm not trying to place judgment or lay blame.
We failed to pre plan a portage procedure (or if you work in administration, establish the right portage norms). Once moving, the boats got from one end to the other at an acceptable rate (more less as fast as teams ahead or behind). It was the stopping and starting that padded the time out.
Should be more like, roll up, jump out, grab stuff, boat up, start walking.
Was more like:
Ease up, front passenger disembarks, pull boat up, rear passenger disembarks dry, various adjustments, gear accumulated, eventually boat up.
Similar on other side - it wasn't toss boat in something wet jump in start paddlin', it was get into a nice spot, disperse gear, etc.
Sounds stupid, but I easily see +two minutes on either end. Not a big deal if there are 2-3, a big deal when there are a dozen as you are talking a free hour of wasted time.
If I ever check my SCREENLESS gps logger, I can demonstrate with the elapsed time for the one super micro portage if it was able to track from the bottom of the dry bag. Should have been...90 seconds of not paddling? Ours likely struggled to stay in the single digit minutes (again, not blaming the team, I took a nature break there, and we didn't discuss our portaging enough but should have and you know we will for next year).
There were one or two instances where the team could have benefited from more time with boat on shoulders to better embrace some of the sketchy footing, but dwarfed by the procedural sluggishness I think.
Yes, once we got going, we were going. I did much of what you did Bash, but we took too much stuff, so it would have been nice for one of the guys to be able to take a break on a portage. I did a quick review on each end of a couple of the earlier portages from my track and it seems we used 5ish? minutes (or so, kind of hard to tell on the track) on each end times 13? We had a hard time with the first, 15ish there, then a half hour on the one around the 55m mark and another half hour on the last one. Ouch.
I remember the sinking feeling I had on the bike when I realized after chatting with Jens that we didn't have a solid plan. And at the TA, I think we spent time talking about what would be best. Definite lessons learned. No blame for sure, just need a better plan.
You guys made me curious so I went back to my GPS track from our course test. It's not an easy comparison because Bob and I weren't racing and we tend to mess around taking photos and checking out extra trails or possible CP sites. But we do carry full AR packs and then some, since nobody knows where we are. Without knowing we were going to be timed, I'd estimate the average "transition" I'm seeing for boat/trail or trail/boat is around 90 seconds at each end with a range of 1-2 minutes.
The instant we touched the shore, I stepped out into the water (usually) with the dry bag containing my pack, my paddle and my map case. I think Bob clipped his map case to his PFD. If needed, I held the boat while Bob maneuvered to a place where he could get out. I think he actually kept his feet dry for the first while - wimp! I put down my first load and took Bob's dry bag/pack and paddle from him as he stepped out of the boat. Our boat kit was light enough that it could stay attached while he picked up the canoe. I put the two dry bags and map case on one wrist and grabbed the paddles in my other hand. We started walking immediately.
I think maybe the problem with portages is that one can get into the habit of treating them as a rest. That's true of a lot of things in AR. I remember Ian Adamson saying, "You may not be able to race as fast as I do but you can learn to change your shoes as fast as I do!" I'm a fast portager but I'm guilty of being slow with simple things like changing clothes, and there's no reason for that. I keep needing to remind myself that transitions are not a break from racing; they're another discipline.