In 2011 Mike Dawson(NZ) was selected to represent New Zealand in the London Olympics for Slalom kayaking. In this project he has teamed up with Czech national Vavrinec Hradilek in his pre olympic selection training in a quest to prepare for the games and progress the sport of slalom kayaking beyond the imaginations of the bravest slalom racers. Whitewater Sessions on the Kaituna was a project designed by the pair to showcase slalom kayaking to the world in a different light and also help them on thier quest for gold at the London Olympics. This section of whitewater is commercially rafted at restricted flows of between 200 and 500 on the gauge but they set out to race down it in composite (carbon, fiberglass) kayaks 3 times the maximum commercial rafting level known to the locals as "Open Gates". One obstacle at the end of the race course is called Trout Pool Falls, a rapid outside the scope for commercial rafting at any flow and seldom run at this flow even by the best whitewater kayakers in plastic kayaks designed for this sort of whitewater. These two stepped up and ran the falls at the end of the mentally and physically draining course. A big thanks go out to RedBull CZ for making this project happen as well as all the people involved in set up, camera operation and safety.
Project design - Mike Dawson, Vavrinec Hradilek
Directed by Josh Neilson
Camera - Josh Neilson
Additional Camera - Dylan Tompson, Martin Hammer
Editing - Josh neilson - Southern Southern Underground Productions
Still Photography - Kenny Mutton
Safety and set up - Cole O'connor-Stratton, Michael Tayler
For more information on this film of other film projects please contact Josh Neilson
+64 27 4233 730
Thanks and enjoy.
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