Volume 10 Issue 9

   September 2010

September Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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Major Trip Reports.…

04/09/10 Paddler and Swimmer of the year Awards 

Every year we ask for nominations and then vote for a `paddler or the year`.  This is given to the member who has either; personally developed the most over the year,  made a significant contribution to an area of the club or  paddlesport  or for any other good reason.  Members have also suggested a new award this year of `swimmer of the year` made to a club member who has taken an unexpected dip or out of boat experience over the year.  Please send any nominations your may have to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk giving the name of the nominee, swimmer or paddler award and the reason for the nomination.

04/09/10 Membership renewal 
Membership of the club is extremely good value as we aim to promote paddling for all.  Over the next year on the date that you first
joined you should receive a reminder email that your membership has expired (365 days from when you first paid your subscription).  You will need to renew on line by loggin into your account via the members tab on the website and click renew.  If you do not renew immediately, the software will add the extra days onto your new membership at a pro rata rate (2p per day) and set your renewal date to the date that you actually pay your subscription.  Full details are available via the members page……  If you have any problems please let our membership secretary know via email (membership@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk) or at a club session.

04/09/10 Club Notice Boards – now up in the entrance to the Marina Club 
Many thanks to Mike Bell, Steve Thomas, Theo and Chris for making and hanging the notice boards which give the club a fantastic presence at the Marina.  You can’t fail to notice them as you leave via the foyer.  We need to keep them up to date with relevant information taken from the website so if anyone with access to a good printer would like to volunteer to freshen the display once a month then please drop us an email website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk

04/09/10 Club Expedition to Alaska (Crossing Prince William Sound form West to East) – Awesome 

Ever since the clubs first expedition to Alaska in 2008 a group of us had been planning to return in order to cross from Whittier to Valdez
using sea kayaks hired from Tom Pogsons Alaskan Kayak School based in Homer.   8 of us completed the journey returning on the Alaskan State Ferry to Whittier on the 29th August.  The group encountered 9 black bears, a humpback whale, Northern (Steller) Sea Lions, numerous harbour seals, sea otters and bald headed eagles.  We nearly got trapped in the ice of Columbia Glacier and paddled through the inner lagoon of Shoup Glacier.  Video and slides are being prepared now for the talk and AGM on Monday 11th October 8:00pm in the main lecture room next to the bar at the Yacht Club.  Our day to day write-ups will appear in next months newsletter.

Brian Green, Theo Gaussen, Frankie Annan, Ian Bell, Mike Alter, Chris Franks, Kirk Williams and Keith S


04/09/10 Club Paddles
If you fancy paddling on any of the proposed trips this year then please consider offering to act as a coordinator. You won’t be in charge of the trip; you just select the date(s) and act as a contact point to give information / gather prospective numbers etc. Contact Keith Steer with offers of help or suggested trips.  All coordinators will take a list of names and contact numbers before paddlers get on the water - please contact the coordinator before the trip.




WW paddling in North Wales - Dee or Tryweryn - Coordinator Ben Mason


Introductory Course for New Members (Week 1 of 4 week introduction to paddlesport) - coordinator Keith S



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)


Foundation Safety & Rescue Course with 2 Star Assessment (Week 1 of 4) Coordinator Dave Reynolds Click for more....



Wednesday Evening Local Paddle - Chester Weir and River Dee flatwater section above CH1 1SD Click for maps.


Polo Training for polo squad members and anyone who has access to a suitable boat - Contact Dinny Davies if you would like to join us



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)


Seaquest and Seatour Races on the River Wyre Estuary - Click for more information


Introductory Course for New Members (Week 2 of 4 week introduction to paddlesport) - coordinator Keith S.


Every second Monday of every month we hold a mini-lecture or talk at the Liverpool Marina 8.00pm start - All those interested in paddlesport are most welcome (you do not need to be a member of the club). Click for details.....Club trip to the French Alps 2010 - All members of the trip



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)


Foundation Safety & Rescue Course with 2 Star Assessment (Week 2 of 4) Coordinator Dave Reynolds Click for more....



Wednesday Evening Local Paddle - Crosby Beach (By Coastguard Station L23 8SY) Click for maps.


Polo Training for polo squad members and anyone who has access to a suitable boat - Contact Dinny Davies if you would like to join us



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)


1 star assessment for members who have some experience - please see syllabus for details of what is involved click for more...... Mike Alter


Coniston Weekend - Staying at Coniston Hall Campsite. Coordinator Karen Devaney. Ideal for beginners, families and all club members. BBQ on Saturday night - bring own food


Sea Kayak Rescue and Skills Day - Sunday on Lake Coniston. (Self and group Rescue Techniques, Towing and Safety Equipment) - Keith S - Coordinator for weekend Karen Devaney


Introductory Course for New Members (Week 3 of 4 week introduction to paddlesport) - coordinator Keith S.



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)


Foundation Safety & Rescue Course with 2 Star Assessment (Week 3 of 4) Coordinator Dave Reynolds Click for more....



Wednesday Evening Local Paddle - Woolston Weir - River Mersey in Warrington WA1 4AG Click for maps.



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)


1 star assessment for members who have some experience - please see syllabus for details of what is involved click for more...... Mike Alter


Camping and paddling on Anglesey - all welcome to join informal family group of friends - coordinator Chris Murphy click for more.....


Isle of Man Sea Kayak Symposium


Introductory Course for New Members (Final Week of 4 week introduction to paddlesport) - coordinator Keith S.



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)


Foundation Safety & Rescue Course with 2 Star Assessment (Week 4 of 4) Coordinator Dave Reynolds Click for more....



General Club Night - Liverpool Marina Harbour Club Car Park 6:30 for 7pm on the water start to 8:30 (or Dusk)


Walney Island Half-circumnavigation with camp on Piel Island - ideal for those relatively new to overnight trips in sea kayaks, navigation and skills - coordinator Keith S


Club AGM and slide show - Prince William Sound (Alaska) Sea Kayak Expedition 2010 - Liverpool Marina Club (L3 4BP) -7:45 for 8:00pm Start



Pyranhafest - Bala - the annual Pyranha weekend for fun, coaches, staff and team boaters - All Welcome


Halloween Paddle - Evening paddle in the dark along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in Maghull. Please bring a torch, Costume or Halloween Mask, any spare day glow lightsticks or similar. Coordinators Jim Slater and Justin Cooper


Bivi style camp on Peel Island. Lake Coniston suitable for all craft; opens, sea kayaks or gp boats - coordinator Keith S


Sea Paddle and Christmas Nibbles Llandudno Beach Cafe - Contact Brian Green


35th Annual Scout & Guide Training Weekend at Bala - Some BCU courses available to members with pre-requisites - BCU Coaches from LCC usually offer to help - Coordinator Alison Bell


The London Triathlon 2011 - Kayak Safety Cover Team - Coordinator John Worswick


Click here for the main Calendar for weekly trips to white water play spots. Informal trips arranged by club members are circulated by the club`s Googlegroups email system.

15/08/10 London International Canoe Polo Tournament

After a midnight arrival on the Friday night at Danson Park where the tournament is held the team were up early to start their campaign in the Division 3 group. This year saw team from all over the World including Australia, New Zealand, France and the Netherlands which provided great games to watch when we were not playing ourselves. After coming third in the group stages on the Saturday the event organizers Meridian provided their legendary evening BBQ setting us up for the day of polo on the Sunday. After two more games on the Sunday the team found themselves coming 10th overall in their group. A great weekend was had by all and the team are now looking towards playing Division 3 in the autumn.

Dinny D, Phil H, Keith S, Catrin P (Transfer from Bangor) and Theo G. Thanks to Katie for coming down and supporting.  More Photos…….

15/08/10 Sun, surf and seals - the perfect antidote to Friday 13th!

Yesterday, 8, or maybe 9 (Ian assures me we were all accounted for on return) met up to paddle out to Hilbre Island - Ian and Brian needing an Irish sea fix before heading out to Alaska. Not entirely sure I was at the right end of West Kirby and with my car shouting at me to give it petrol, I started randomly following cars with kayaks on. Fortunately, a kindly LCC member waved me in the right direction and stopped me wasting the last fumes I was relying on to get me to the garage. The black cloud that had greeted us soon cleared and, after a brief wait for the tide to come in to avoid the trek through the stinking mud, we set off in glorious sunshine.

After initially thinking North Wales was Hilbre island (I'm from Manchester, what can I say?) and having realised that the loss of sensation in my lower legs (having adjusted my footrests for rolling on Tues night) was not going to make for a comfortable journey, I was relieved to turn right and head to the much closer land mass of Hilbre. Relieved that is, until I realised we had turned into a fairly reasonable headwind and against the tide - most of my strokes were serving only to stop me from going backwards. With the company of several seals and the encouragement of Ian, Brian, Mike and Dan, Emma and I dug in and made it out to Hilbre for a spot of lunch. John, Steve and Graham had finished their starters, mains and desserts and were well on to their after dinner coffee by this time.

After their kind babysitting, the boys headed off round the island for a play in the surf. Steve took a swim after being rear ended by a wave, possibly somewhat distracted by the seal leaping over Ian's boat.

Footrests adjusted, tide with us, wind and sun at our backs we surfed home along with several seals. I must have been the only one to hear Steve saying how lovely the water was, as everyone else stayed dry, whilst I seized the opportunity of riding a nice wave and then taking a dip. The swim was a little disappointing owing to the 2 and half foot of water I tipped out in, but the rescue (thanks Brian and Dan) was much easier for this.

Mike was delighted to miss the wall on landing and not have to revarnish his boat for the second time in a week. Dan, who hadn't paddled for years, proved that paddling is just like riding a bike and had a great day, as did we all. Ian pointed me in the right direction of petrol, were a charming old gent dashed over to me to ask if I was a "canoodler too?". He was still getting out to Hilbre on the odd occasion (he must have been knocking on for 80). He recommended reading about the exploits of Barry Shaw who's paddled from Anglesey to Ireland on a number of occasions, before dashing off with a twinkle in his eye telling me what a friendly bunch kayakers are "much nicer than those sailing folk...."

Thanks for a great day. Have a fabulous time in Alaska.

Kathy M
Ian Bell, Mike Bell, John, Dan, Emma, Brian, Steve, ?Graham

13/08/10 New Liverpool Triathlon Photographs published Click here…….

13/08/10 Kayak Safety Cover – London Triathlon

Dear All, I hope you all had safe journeys home and have started to recover from what was a long but hopefully enjoyable weekend.

This is just a very quick email to say a HUGE thank-you to each and everyone one of you for your help and support throughout the event. Although challenging at times, I can't stress enough how much fantastic praise I've received about you all from not only the event organisers but also and more importantly, from the competitors!  For those of you that are already rearing to go for next year the dates are the 30th & 31st July 2011!

Finally, we've uploaded the photos that we're taken over the weekend here….. - if you've got any that you'd like to share with us please pop them over on an email.

Warm Regards, Martin Suzan
Swim Safety Ltd | Event Water Safety Management & Consultancy


13/0810 Hilbre Island – Dee Estuary

Today four of us, Mark Moore, Mike Bell, Daz Hale and Karl Tattum set out on an adventure to Hilbre Island. Although the day was quite blustery we all decided to embark on the trip. Daz insisted he should wear his new E-bay bargain of a short sleeved cag against our advice that he would be cold in the windy conditions, and then spent the day a funny blue colour but assured us he was OK.

    Our paddling soon developed a steady rhythm against the headwind and quickly we arrived at Middle Eye were we all confirmed to paddle further to the main island. This is were the paddle became more interesting and our use of super concentration, and a bit of luck,  enabled all of us to successfully negotiate the big swell and confused sea that challenged us. Mark was the first to land on the island but getting out of his kayak proved a little difficult as he fell backwards into the water with a yell. Lunch was enjoyed on the island whilst watching the local seals and discussing how brave and skilful we all were.  (Has Daz ever mentioned he stayed on the island once ?)

     After lunch we left to raging seas and monster surf trying to turn us and tip us out of our boats, but we all resisted the chance of getting wet until Mark insisted that we need to practice rescue techniques and volunteered himself to bail out of his boat,  what a hero. Daz quickly recovered him and pumped his cockpit out in the surf and we all fought against the waves to return home. At this time Mike noticed his day hatch had worked loose and became full of water, so rafting up in the surf we fixed his hatch and continued our challenge home.

     On our return we all agreed that a great day was had even though it was a hard paddle, and we enjoyed watching Mike being the first kayaker ever to pump out his day hatch.     A great day ......thanks guys. Karl Tattum  More Photos……


11/0810 Use of the Marina Club

The docks sessions on a Tuesday and Thursday are now very popular and we all need to help maintain our good relations with the Marina and especially the residents on the boats.


1/ When using the ramp down onto the Pontoons please only hold the gate open (do not chock it open and leave it unattended) as this affects the security of the boats moored there. Please leave a path through on the pontoons and ensure your kayak never touches or bumps into a yacht!   

2/ When using the showers please do not let any water go onto the floor.  (Please use shower curtains to keep water in the shower trays and rinse all wetsuits etc at home).

3/ If adjusting footrests please ensure all nuts and screws are replaced firmly as several have been found loose in the bottom of the kayak (most full plate footrests have 4 bolts)

4/ Please replace all borrowed equipment neatly. Kayaks on their side on the racks, paddles and buoyancy aids (with zips done up on hangers) in the shed.  Once a rack is full it really helps if the red cable could be fed through each boats end toggle.


Many thanks

Great Orme 8th August 2010
Ian Bell, Mike A and Mike B met at the West Shore cafe for a quick trip around the Orme and back.


Weather was a bit funny, but despite strong wind we thankfully decided on light cags or no cags in my case - I love Reed! We headed out on the last of the flood past the rather nice houses that adorn this area, one even has its own lift to the beach! We were soon whipping around the Orme in the shadow of its towering cliffs with the tidal races and overfalls giving some good fun - Mike B was getting very some good surf moves in his wooden boat as we moved through the unexpectedly lumpy conditions. Despite the overcast weather, we were soon boiling!


We arrived at Llandudno for lunch, Mike B's boat drew some envious glances, and then headed back to West Shore after Ian did his good deed for the day and rescued a childs football. Ian and I used the time to start planning for our Alaskan expedition, and all too soon we were back at West Shore where Ruth was waiting to greet us with a rather handy set of wheels - the tide had gone out!


All in all, a very good trip even though we saw very little of the ever inquisitive seals! Thankfully we also saw very few jet skis - I hate jet skis!


Mike A     More Photos…….

Liverpool Canoe Club Trip to the French Alps Part 2 (Part 1 in last months newsletter) – Briancon Region 23rd July to 8th August

Friday 6th – 40km run from the campsite to Embrun Report to follow……. Mark Moore  More Photos……


Thursday 5th – Verdon Gorge Report to follow……. Mark Moore  More Photos……


Wednesday 4th – St Clement to Embrun Report to follow……. Mark Moore  More Photos……

Tuesday 3rd – Mountain Bike My dad (Mark Benson) and myself started the trail at Le Casset and the trail started of fairly easy, which is how I prefer my trails. There was plenty of downward hills and my back wheel followed my front wheel the whole way down. There where plenty of road sections which where scary since the cars drove on the wrong side of the road, my dad lead us to a path which lead us up to the biggest hill I’ve ever seen, I can always rely on my bike to take me places I really don’t want to go, but my dad forced me to climb up the hill so my feet went beside my bike, it took around half an hour. At the bottom of the hill I started off strong and alive, by the top I was a few steps away from death, but the view at the top of the mountain made my suffering worth while. The path from then on was facile and I cycled with ease along to my On-The-Go playlist which included all my favourite artists. we came to a bridge and then I spotted helen walking with her boat to the trailer, we had arrived at Chantemerle.


My dad did the shuttle to get his car and drop at Briancon. He came back and I had fell asleep on the grass in the sun, I got woken up and my dad and I cycled to his car in Briancon, this trail was easier then the first, no upward hills only downward, which I enjoyed a lot, when we arrived at the car I plugged in my iPod and waited for my dad to attach the bikes to the car, this is when I found a caterpillar in my hair, it was HUGE! So my dad came toward the sound of my screams and took it out. My bike is very loyal it follows behind me wherever I go, because it’s attached to the back of my car. The highlight of my day, for me, would be driving back to the campsite, hours away from civilization. Emilie Benson  More Photos……


Tuesday 3rdUpper Guisane After a delightful lunch, we set off towards Les Guibertes to drop some of the group at the alternative get in, just below the S-Bends. The rest of us then carried on to the La Casset car park. After Keiths arrival from sorting the shuttle we set off in two groups of four. Straight from the get in is a fast continuous grade 3 for about a kilometre before easing off to a fast grade 2. Jim took the lead for the majority of this section, avoiding all the eddies but not all the rocks!!!


After a regroup just upstream of the S- bends, we planned our safety cover and who is in charge of photos. With the whole crew lined up along the bank with throw bags in their hands and Jim in charge of the photos, Keith went first over the top of the S- bends shortly followed by myself. After a few bumps and scrapes Keith S-ed his way down the two hundred and fifty meter long rapid and sat in an eddy ready to watch a perfect run. Off I go, manoeuvring my way round the big boulders with the odd low brace. Everyone watched as I went down, even Steve cheered me on as I went down with ease. Oh and thanks Jim for taking the ONLY photo, luckily it was of me. After reaching the bottom and finding an eddy I turned around to wait for the next victim to enter the rapid. The minutes passed by and no-one came. Keith hopped out to find out what’s happening and if anyone is actually going to run it. Thinking a red boat was on it way down, it turned out to be a raft, followed by another raft, followed by another 6 or 7 rafts. Then a flash of orange appeared on the water and was quickly identified as Steve’s paddle. A quick rescue of his paddle, I was waiting for a blue burn to float down. It turns out he capsized, kept hold of his paddle but then used it in a rescue attempt to retrieve his pinned boat. His knot tying skills weren’t quite up to scratch therefore his paddle floated off down the river. At least I had something to rescue. No-one else decided to risk there life, so they carried their boats further down and got on at the bottom of the rapid. Two successful runs out of three, not bad. Three hundred meters downstream were the rest of the group were eager to get on, not knowing about all the action that happened just above.

The paddle down from here is a fast flowing grade 3 feeding its way through the town of Villeneuve with a fascinating change of character and scenery, with people on the bridges and in back gardens watching and waving as we float underneath there balconies. On the approach to the get out there are a few nice small rapids and boofing rocks, including the David munching weir. With David back in his boat we continued on to Chantemerle for a well earned rest.  This is a nice paddle that keeps your interest through the mountain scenery and is one of my favourite on the trip. Mark (A.K.A The Alpine Guide) Garrod  More Photos……


Tuesday 3rd – Upper Durance So another day starts, everyone up bright and early, the morning run to the local cake shop then all into the mini bus. Everyone was paddling today or so we thought. The Upper Durance was the morning paddle from Briancon to Prelles a distance of 7km of grade 2 paddling on fast moving water. On arriving at the starting point Emily decided she would rather sit this one out and refused to get out of the car, so the rest off us set off on another great mornings paddle. Now being a newcomer to whitewater kayaking I can’t give you a technical description of the river.  All I know is that after paddling for a week now I am finding the whole experience one of the best thing I have ever done, the scenery is breathtaking, the river is clean and blue and the sun is shining. When you start to build your confidence on the river the paddling is superb, the other members of the club have been fantastic in teaching me  everything I need to know so a big thank you to each and everyone one of them. So another morning paddle came to a end.  Lunch was eaten before we started off on the journey to the start of the afternoon paddle.        Mark Moore  More Photos……


Monday 2nd – Mountain Bike (VTT) Report To Follow…...  Mark Benson and Steve Bond  More Photos……

Monday 2nd - Upper Ubaye

Monday morning. The beginning of the second week of our Alpine adventure saw seven of us paddle the Upper Ubaye. At this stage even the most frantic paddlers were beginning to relax in their boats and take in their stunning surroundings. Clear blue skies, hot baking sun and insects delicately perspiring on the Marmots concealed in the bushes. The fairly shallow, swift running river turned this way and that through a stunning valley rimmed on both sides by massive jagged peaks. The river was probably a grade two or easy grade three with less water in it at this time of year.  Shortly after the get in we encountered three massive mechanical diggers excavating the river bed.  After being expertly guided round them by our leader we gradually began to eddy hop and play on the waves and have a bit of a laugh.  While having plenty to hold our interest, the river was well within the capabilities of the group and all the more enjoyable for that.  Though a trivial pinning (DB) and minor capsize (AV) did occur.  All too soon we were at the get out and lunching on baguettes and cheese for a nice change.  Sadly we had no grapes. That afternoon the bigger boys and girls paddled the Race Course but that’s another story.  Another brilliant day, Dom Buckley  More Photos……

Monday 2nd – Ubaye Race Course 

The Ubaye - The Race-course 7km Grade IV

Get in at the campsite and rafting centre by the bridge at le Martinet. This is the best section of the Ubaye. In high water some of the rapids seem to wash out, but what remains is good, and contains some serious stoppers. The river can be almost warm! A new bridge is being built over the river just after the first bend in the river. Well down the section is the slalom site, where the river runs over and round some large

boulders; this is a particularly good section. The river then goes into a gorge with two

bridges, one old and tatty, the other more modern. The get out point is where the river runs past two campsite’s in the trees. The gorge ahead turns left and has two bridges over it. Below here is the Ubaye gorge. Get out on the left by the rafting ramp, into le Lauzet. The race course section is probably the best “warm-up” river in the region, but it is not torrent like, and so is not typical of most other rivers.

A hardy yet reluctant group of lethargic paddlers (Keith, Anthony, Nicky, Michael, David and Helen) headed off to the Ubaye Racecourse and the put-in at le Martinet, after the morning’s paddle on the upper section of the river. Pulses were running high and sphincters were clenching when we hit the first grade 4, “Salle a Manger” rapid where the water was bouncy and the rocks aplenty!  The dark threatening sky made the river look a bit gnarlier than last year and it took a wee while for some of us to find our grade 4 “river bottom”.  The river was continuous grade 3+ with some grade 4 sections thrown in, no time to relax here!  David Brockway proved that the Racecourse can be done in a full bath with a teabag for a spraydeck.

  There were spectacular views of the steep, wooded mountainsides whilst David’s kayak continued to take on more water.  We pressed on through more rapids until we came to the grade 4 Shark’s tooth rapid were Helen banished her last year’s bogey and the memory of a very unpleasant swim. Everyone made it through the Shark’s Tooth seamlessly. 

  The gang soon arrived at the steep-sided gorge where the spectacular sight of the roman bridge high above the gorge came   into view. We all stopped for a photo opportunity before plopping over the next drop/rapid and heading for the get-out at le Lauzet, where we met up with Dom who was staked out in a café with the French Federation of Fly Fanciers.  Helen Siertsema  More Photos……

Sunday 1st  - Argentiere Volleyball tournament With a smart purchase of a cheap fly away ball, the first team game was volleyball. Starting with about four of us, we thought this was going to end as quick as it started. 5 minutes into our friendly 2 aside game, each team grew dramatically including a dog. This was now a full on tournament with rules (who has rules?). The A Team (Nicky, Neil, Steve, James and myself) versus the B team (Keith, Mark M, David, Michael and the Dog). After Keith had finished dishing out all these rules about different servers and so many touches we got off to a good start. Some of us even got a touch when Steve wasn’t diving around the court. After some sweat, blood and tears and a few disagreements on the score, Keith’s team won the first round 15-12. The next round was played well by are team and was looking promising after all the bad serves from the other side. We won the second round 15-9. The last round was the deciding round and we all put 100% in. After some moaning about the difference in size of the two halfs of the court we carried on and unfortunately lost because of some cheating that we let slip plus that dog had some speed. They won 15-11 meaning an overall of 2-1 to Team B. No more volleyball could be played due to the ball being popped assumingly by the dog, but we will never know. That being the end of the ball, we all thought our tournament had come to an end, until Mark B arrived with the real thing. Our tournament had only just begun, let the games continue…    Mark Garrod


 Sunday 1st – The Lower Guil Today’s trip took the group back to the Lower Guil. Me and my brother decided it best to go for a swim in the pool under the bridge whilst others e.g. Nicky sunbathed or e.g. Tony sat in the shade whilst Keith, John and Mark sorted out the shuttle. After the long awaited trip down the Lower Guil the mini bus returned. There were 3 groups that set off down river. Helens first, followed by Keith’s and lastly Steve’s. The lower Guil is quite an enjoyable and relaxing paddle; nothing much hazardous about the river. There is a really good play wave about 1/3 way into the river, and when the group I was in arrived (Steve’s), Keith was playing in the wave. His group set off down river so we got a chance to have a quick play in the bubbly wave. Then about another 1/3 of the way down the river I came across a really good little weir type drop that I could hold myself in easily and I must say that was rather fun. Paul saw me having fun in the little wave so he decided he’d have a go at it, he managed it for a while but then got caught with the wrong edge, nearly tipping him in to the river. The rest of the paddle down the lower Guil was simple as there were only a few small rapids which most boats scraped a few rocks on the way down. The Lower Guil then met up with the Durance which everyone stayed on the river for until St Clements were Sally and Ben got off. The rest paddled down the slalom course playing in both play waves for some time.  We then met up for lunch at the raft get in with the café and rolling pool.  David Brockway  More Photos……

Sunday 1st – The Lower Durance We joined the Lower Durance from the Lower Guil. There was a sort paddle to the place were we practice our ferry gliding  and breaking ins and outs ready to tackle St Clements with its 3 drops in which 2 make very good play waves the top wave being the best of the 3. My favourite wave being the top wave which I tried to surf back and worth many times and also managed to get the nose under so the back end came up out the water. All the groups’ dropped down to St Clements for lunch and this point was also the end of many paddlers journey but 7 of the paddlers braved on to the Rabioux wave and then onto Embrun. 6 of the 7 made it through with ease where as for Keith the 1st paddler down he wasn’t so lucky he got caught out by the wave and had to roll twice, yeah that’s right twice. I myself went 2nd as usual, I went on the line close to the rocks then got dragged across into the wave and with doing that my bow went up and my stern went down but luckily I wasn’t swallowed by the wave. The rest of the 5 got through the wave unscathed and congrats must go to Tony for staying up right through the wave (he’s usually upside down.) The rest of the paddle down to the lake was big and bouncy a real good way to finish off a paddle.  David Brockway  More Photos……



Saturday 31st – The Gyronde A good 10 and half hours sleep was enough to recover from the 30 hour journey south to join this year’s summer Alps trip, enjoy breakfast and be ready for the first river of the day; the Gyronde. Leaving those who preferred a relaxing morning swim in the lake, we headed up the side valley towards Vallouise.  Water levels seem a little lower this year and this was true for the Gyronde, more rock dodging than normal and dragging boats the last few yards to the portage around the weir. Still it seemed like no time before we were playing on the Argentiere slalom course and back to the campsite. Mark Benson  More Photos……

Saturday 31st – Middle Durance We Set Off Just Below The Salam Course ,In A Large Group Of 12 , I Almost Died As I Came Down The Serpent-Taily Like Thingy With Really Big Waves , I Calmed Down A Little Bit At The First Eddie , We Practised Breaking in And Breaking Out, And Did Some 360-Degrees Turns In The Middle Of The Wide River .During One Of The Steepest Rapids I Got Swept Out To The Left (outside of the bend) And Nearly Capsized. I Looked Round And Dom Was Ok. After This We Broke out Into A Large Eddie And In front Of Us Was A Large Concrete Bridge, This Marks The Start Of The Biggest Set Of Rapids. I Tried To Take A Safer Route In between Rapids But Accidently Got Swept Through Some Of The Bigger Waves And One Nearly Tipped Me But I Regained My Balance By Smacking My Hand Against The Water. So Relieved At The Next Eddie I Started A Mud Fight, And Came 1st, Sadly Keith Came 2nd. After A Few More Km We Spotted The Wicker man On The Left Bank, Where The Mini-Bus Was Parked.

Swim at Roche de Rame
After We Got Off The River We Headed Of But Keith Stopped The Bus Nearby, We All Got Out And Went Into The Lake, We Were Cautious About The Temperature Of the Water, But It Was Quite Warm. There  Was A Diving Platform There And Nikki Was The First In, She Got Pushed, After That We All Dived Off The Platform. Some Of The Boys ( Mark.G, Steve.B, Mark m And Jim.S) Started Doing Somersault Dives Off The Platform. We All Tried To Make The Biggest Waves Possible With 3 People At A Time. Afterwards We Dried Ourselves Off In The Sun.  Emilie Benson  More Photos……

Friday 30th – Glacier Blanc We set off up the mountain.  David the mountain goat stormed up the mountain first and enjoyed a hot chocolate in a glass bowl with Michael and Neil who deserved this treat as they made it up to the refuge.  The slower, older more mature paddlers studied the Marmots and made it to the top in a leisurely but not laboured fashion.  We were surrounded by mountain scenery, hanging glaciers, moraine and knife edge arêtes.  It was truly stunning for those who had the breath to look at it. On the way back down we had a picnic followed by photo shoot on a bridge over a raging cataract (see photo).  The descent was a piece of cake and in less than an hour we all congregated in the bar at the bottom.  Refreshments were taken. Tired but happy we returned in our minibus to the campsite, impatient to resume our paddling of the Alpine torrents.   Nicky Pyper  More Photos……

The Team,

Mark Moore, James Orritt, Sally Orritt, Richard Orritt, Jim (dayglow) Slater, Neil Moult, Helen Siertsema, Nicky (the mountain  goat) Pyper, Keith S, Steve Bond, Mark (wide of the mark) Garrod, Ben Cooke, John Cooke, Michael Brockway, David Brockway, Dominic Buckle, Emilie (Bunsen Burner) Benson, Mark Benson, Paul (Jordie) Wilson and Anthony (Headcam) Vaccaro



31/07/10 August`s Newsletter Published
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