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Paul returned to the eddy with a wide smile on his face. He’d managed to carve up the wave and not flip upside down in the process. This is what surfing at the wave on the Lower Mitta Mitta is all about, pushing yourself a little bit more each time, having a go at ‘the move’ and doing endless rolls. It was the Labour Day long weekend and we were at the Mitta Mitta for one more surf before the water was turned off and the wave disappeared. Geoff, Rod, Paul, Brandon, Miriam and I had driven up to Mitta Mitta on the Saturday morning. It turned out that this was Mitta Mitta’s biggest weekend, the Mitta Mitta Muster, with whip cracking, wood chopping and show jumping. We managed to camp well away from the crowds and then headed up to the river for our first paddle.
We met up with some other paddlers on the wave and spent the afternoon getting its feel. The wave was shorter and steeper than usual but still provided lots to play in. Then it was down stream to the famed Shark’s Tooth rapid. Shark’s Tooth is a solid rapid; it’s long with numerous sharp pointy rocks. At high level you can just about get away with any line but as the level drops the pointy rocks appear, the line becomes more technical and the consequences of mistakes greater. We inspected the rapid from the bank. The level was medium and the line more technical. We headed down one by one until it was Brandon’s turn. A mistake near the top and he was over and swimming the length of Shark’s Tooth. Not a pleasant experience but no damage done, except to pride.
The pub beckoned but we weren’t the only ones. Fortunately Brandon supplied the alcohol as we waited over an hour for food. But we did get to participate in the Horse Pats Lotto. This was a fund raising event for the local primary school. The event involved a horse, marked squares in a paddock and bodily functions.
Sunday and as the Muster started to gather pace we headed back up to the wave. Paul Hooley joined us. After the morning on the wave we headed down to Shark’s Tooth. Paul hadn’t seen the rapid and chose to follow me down. But nothing beats inspecting a rapid for yourself. He went over early on but managed to roll up before the main drop, over again but also another roll. After another session on the wave we headed to the Dartmouth Hotel for a quicker meal.
Monday and our final session on the wave for this paddling season. We were all looking relaxed and were carving it up. After one last surf it was downstream for the last run through Shark’s Tooth. It didn’t disappoint! Brandon once more got intimate with the rapid but it was Paul’s run which was the most dramatic. He flipped over near the top, rolled up, dropped over into the biggest stopper, got trashed and finally rolled up again. The crowd applauded