Just thought I'd put up something I'd posted on p.net that might amuse here as well. The topic was "Who are the most famous paddlers or best paddlers you have interacted with, and what happened?"
Here was my answer:
I've paddled with a number of fairly well-known paddlers.*
The one that springs to mind as having the funniest story attached is a morning workout with Bob Twogood. Only, um, it ended up not being WITH him.
I was a business partner with Eric Stiller at Manhattan Kayak for about 3 years. Eric went out to Hawaii one winter, took a surfski lesson from Bob, and came back raving.
Monkey see, monkey do, next time I went home to visit my folks in Hawaii, I too took a private surfski lesson. Also came back raving & ready to race. Unfortunately my surfski rudder picked up every last leaf in the Delaware-Raritan Canal so despite Twogood-tuned racing stroke, I came in dead last (or to use the proper terminology, "DFL") at that race . Oh well.
Anyways - next time I went to Hawaii I got in touch with Bob to see about lining up another lesson. Instead he suggested that I meet him and another racer or two for an early AM workout in Kailua Bay.
So off I went at first light. It was going to be me & Bob & one other person. I was psyched, this was going to be fun.
And then -- I can't even remember what it was but I went to get something out of Bob's truck.
Being a long-time resident of New York City, I automatically locked the door of the truck as I closed it.
Of course, his keys were inside.
It was fun anyways but it would've been a heck of a lot more fun if Bob could've come along instead of waiting in the parking lot for his wife to bring the spare keys...
Mwa mwa mwa mwaaaaa.
I was absolutely mortified.
Actually my other best paddling with famous kayaker (ok, not a famous-kayaker but a famous person who was going to kayak) story also failed to happen - I almost got to be a kayak stunt double for Kim Catrall. She ended up having the usual preconceived ideas of NYC water quality & nixed the paddling episode though. I was bummed, I was gonna get to join the stuntpeople union and everything!
*note concerning paddling with famous and/or good paddlers: I'm not trying to show off with that opening sentence. As was pointed out in the p.net forum, it's not really a big deal to paddle with famous paddlers. Generally the best-known paddlers are not just good paddlers, they also tend to be terrific instructors who spend a good bit of time on the road teaching in various venues. That's one reason they GET well known - they're not just inspiring by pulling off awesome feats of physical skill, they're also spending time teaching others the same skills. The number of serious paddlers out there who haven't spent at least a little time being taught by one of the Nigels or the other folks who populate the magazines has got to be pretty small!