British Disabled Fly-fishing Championship 2012

Starting on Monday morning (an unusually sunny, calm one at that) the British Disabled Fly-fishing Championship 2012 ran until yesterday afternoon (Wednesday).
I had arranged to meet the teams from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England at the boathouse on Lake of Menteith, Stirlingshire, for their team photos before getting some action shots of the guys in the boats. I decided to give my new Think Tank Photo Skin set (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ ) an outing to see how it handled the day. I must point out that I am NOT sponsored by Think Tank, I'm merely a working photographer who recognises top quality equipment, which has clearly been designed with the end-user in mind, when he sees it. This stuff is absolutely top-drawer, from the materials used to the 'function-over-form' design ethos.



I had decided on the Skin set rather than Modular set due to the fact that it was easier to store away when travelling and has a flap over the lid to protect your kit from light showers (they both have a rain cover, but still - I felt this would work better for me). My only concern was that it is unpadded and, therefore, offers less protection to my kit. As a trade-off I reckoned that I'm not particularly rough on my equipment, so I should be fine. However, I discovered that with the extra layers of material for the external pockets and the dividers which I velcroed to the inside front 'wall' of the pouches, there's a surprising amount of protection available. but anyway, back to the story...
I've read a couple of reviews where it has been mentioned that the belt pack can become a bit heavy and that it shouts out 'Hey! I'm a photographer! Come and rob me!!!' I can honestly say that I never noticed any weight whatsoever and actually felt completely free to move around with no restrictions. As for 'looking like a photographer and getting attention', for what I will be using it for, I see this as a bonus - when I'm shooting an event or wedding, I believe that it's important to be able to separate myself from 'Uncle Bob' with his DSLR when I need to make things happen. Having my essential kit always on me and being able to change lenses/ batteries/ cards etc. while still maintaining eye-contact with people or guiding them into position for a shot can only help to re-enforce a standard of organisation, preparation and, ultimately, professionalism - right?
As the event drew to a close, it was announced that the Scottish team had won the title for the 3rd year in a row - and the first time in 30 years since they had won on home soil (or water, I suppose?). Shooting the awards ceremony and celebrations afterwards meant the Skin set was even more invaluable as I weaved between wheelchairs, crutches etc. with complete freedom and maneuverability (and, Yes, it did dawn on me the irony of that) to get the shots I needed.
Seeing the way these guys have overcome their own disabilities to enjoy a sport which they love was truly inspirational and I felt proud to be in such company. Having been contracted by the Scottish Disabled Fly-fishing Association, I was even more impressed when it was announced that the MOD have recognised the fantastic work they have done to promote awareness, guidance & help for those with disabilities who are keen to take-up/ keep fishing and the SDFFA have been asked to help with the rehabilitation of some of the UK's troops who are now disabled as a result of injuries sustained in combat. Here are a few shots from the lake:






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