This event and associated tour has been cancelled due to Steve Fisher being unable to meet the planned schedule.
Pro-kayaker Steve Fisher will be talking at a special presentation at the Savoy Tup, 2 Savoy Street WC2 0BA on Sunday 30th November. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session and a screening of a recent kayaking adventure film.
Steve Fisher has been touted as one of the “world’s best kayakers” by media and paddling leaders alike, as both a competitor and a leading exploratory kayaker. Since turning pro-kayaker in 1999, he won countless freestyle competitions and downriver races and invented many of today’s freestyle moves. He now focuses on expeditions and film making. His list of first descents includes such greats as the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar, Tibet’s Yarlung Tsangpo and the first descent of the Inga Rapids.
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 says: “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.”
“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 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
Places are strictly limited due to venue capacity size. Drinks are available onsite through the bar. However, there will be no food service.
For more information and to book tickets: http://stevefisherlondon.eventbrite.co.uk/
Image © Red Bull Media House