Yakin for me started one almost sunny afternoon in Lower Hutt back in 2003. Dan, Craig and I wanted to fill in time and, as the surf was flat, we contenplated other activities. Running? Too slow. Sailing? No wind. Skiing? Middle of summer. We realised by some magical chance that our families each independently posessed 1980s kayaks in their garages. These were old plastic boats, which reflected simpler times. Long and flimsy, slow to turn, easy to roll (half way). The monstrosity Criag dug out was actually made of canvas! I doubt we had decks actually. I had some plastic that covered the cockpit, but instantly fell off whenever bumped, brushed or looked at.
We set off to the hutt river with little experience and zero expectations. We were hopeless. Slow and tippy. We were so terrible we spent the majority of the trip chasing our boats, and definitely spent more time out of our boats rather than in.
Fast forward to New Years eve, 2010/2011, and you'll find Ant half sitting in and half sitting on my quickly sinking, micro-sized playboat. A few strokes later and he is swimming. I didn't know this at the time but Ant swimming was to become a very common sight for the next few years!
From that point on Ant, Craig, Dan and I have proudly scrambled, bumped, and swam every rocky inch of the Hutt river. When Ant suggested the apt club name of Hutt River Swimmers, how could we refuse.