Birding Blog Archives

October 23rd, 2010
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Freddie Versus The World!

This has nothing to do with wildlife 😀

My friend, Hut Wade, runs an adventure company called Journeys West. He received a call from England, and agreed to take a British sports star with a film crew on a white water kayaking trip. They were making a TV show about some guy who plays cricket called Freddie. Hut mentioned this to my Kiwi friend Blair, who, like me, is a big cricket fan. Blair freaked out completely – he knew who this must be – and Hut agreed that me and Blair could get involved.

Freddie is Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, the best all round English cricketer of my lifetime and something of a personal hero. The show, to be aired on ITV in Britain next year, is going to be called Freddie Vesus The World. The concept is that Fred, recently retired from cricket due to injury, takes on another sports star at a challenge neither of them have faced, in this case white water kayaking.

We met Fred and the TV crew early one morning in a Phoenix hotel. At this point we didn’t know who the other sports star was, but I identified him as soon as we were introduced to Iwan over breakfast – it was Iwan Thomas, the British 400m record holder and Olympic siver medalist. Iwan is another sporting hero so this was really something.

To cut a long story short, we enjoyed a great day with Fred, Iwan and the team, while Hut trained them and put them through their paces on the river at Fossil Creek in Central Arizona. It was a superb setting, a fast flowing river with dramatic waterfalls. I wasn’t there to see the wildlife but I did find an AMERICAN DIPPER, my first in Arizona. I won’t say too much about the guys but I will say that they were great fun to be with, Fred smokes like a chimney and Iwan swears like a docker! 😀

I couldn’t resist taking a few photos (I wasn’t allowed to use the flash because of the filming)…

We had to change a tire on the RVLunchtime by the riverFredThere's always time for a rub down...Hut reveals his winner between Fred and IwanFred smerkin a tabClimbing to the top of the waterfallFred goes over the edgeWoooohoooo!Fred conquers the fallIwan's turnFreddie-&-Iwan-45SplashdownDebriefingFred explains the plungeIwan takes a wild leap

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