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“The Manga Tour”
A presentation by Steve Fisher
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Wednesday 19th November 2014 (7:45pm
at the Conference Suite - Liverpool Marina Click for directions and map.... Our talks are open to all

Unfortunately Steve Fisher has cancelled his visit to the UK so we are forced to cancel the presentation on the 19th of November.

If you have booked tickets with us using Liverpool Canoe Club's online booking system, we will be organising the return of your payment direct to your card or Paypal account. You should receive the funds within the next two days. If you have any questions please contact bookings AT liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk

I hope that you will continue to support our lecture programme again next year. We aim to have a presentation each month, most of which are free and delivered by club members at our base at the Liverpool Marina. http://www.liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk/talks/

Steve FisherElectronic Tickets £8 in advance - Spare tickets may be available on the door for £10

Steve Fisher has been touted as one of the “world’s best kayakers” by media and paddling leaders alike, his history as both a competitor and a leading exploratory kayaker has more recently been dwarfed by his film work.

About Steve Fisher: Since turning pro-kayaker in 1999, he won countless freestyle competitions and downriver races and invented many of today’s freestyle moves.  He’s been called the “World’s Best All-Round Kayaker” but now focuses on expeditions and filmmaking.  His list of first descents includes such greats as the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar, and Tibet’s Yarlung Tsangpo.  But in one way or another, all of this had simply prepared Fisher for this expedition on the Inga Rapids, the world’s largest whitewater, and its first descent he lead.

Adventure: The Inga Rapids are firmly rooted in the history of exploration. These were rapids that explorer Henry Morton Stanley first reported on in 1877. This was the only section of the 2,900-mile-long river that Colonel Blashford-Snell didn’t navigate on his descent of the Congo River in 1974 and 1975. The last party led by French adventurer and TV host Philippe Dieuleveult disappeared. People have been trying to navigate these rapids for more than a century.

Steve Fisher: I started learning the history 17 years ago. When you are adding to the history, you’ve got a responsibility to those who came before you and to those who will come after you. I read through Stanley’s journals, Blashford-Snell’s notes on the 16 cataracts of the Inga, and about Philippe Dieuleveult’s expedition, even with seven of them dying. I felt like I had a duty. I felt like we had to show we were adding to history, not replacing it.

A: In your film, Congo: The Grand Inga Project, it’s clear how dangerous these rapids are. You nearly drowned. Is it as extreme as it looks? SF: Sometimes as a viewer, kayaking can look like an apparent disregard for your own life. It’s not as dangerous as it looks. When we peel out of a rapid we know the consequence of failure and we are confident that we will succeed. The big difference with the Congo is here we are, a group of the best, and we got on the river and immediately realized you can’t see where you’re going. The river is blocking your view and the next wave is blocking all the other waves. Getting lost is the biggest mistake you could make on that river. We had to recalibrate our entire process of scouting the river.

A: So in this case the danger was very real? SF: All four of us would be at the top of the rapid knowing full well we had zero confidence in the move we were about to make. In fact, we wouldn’t even know exactly what the move is, the rapid is so layered. We also knew that if the river surged at the wrong time, based purely on luck, or if we ended up in the wrong place, we could all die in the same rapid. We knew that. That feeling—maybe we had all felt that once or twice but now we were feeling it multiple times per day. One of the things I learned on this trip is that I do care about dying. I thought that I didn’t.

A: What’s next? SF: I’m not looking to paddle bigger rapids because they don’t exist. I got to a point in my kayaking career when—wherever I was, say looking for waterfalls in Iceland—I would want to be at home planning this expedition. Now I’m at the point where I can ask myself, What else is on the bucket list? I think I may do smaller things, but be able to enjoy doing them.

Steve Fisher

 

Steve Fisher - Pro Padder

 

 

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