Volume 12  Issue 2

February 2012

February Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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Major Trip Reports.…

31/01/12   River Goyt 29th January 2012


A beautiful but cold morning and 49 kayaks all off to the same stretch of Cheshire river. The Goyt was to give a few of Liverpool Canoe Clubs’s newer members their first taste of open water and white water all in the same day.  The plan was to paddle the river Goyt Loop near Marple.


By 10am we had descended on the car park of the leisure centre adjacent to the put in on the canal. Eight river leaders were chosen to guide the newbie’s (myself included) through the day. Each river leader had an experienced no2 to aid them.  After a brief name check each group carried their boats over the footbridge behind the leisure centre.  Our put in was a canal which I was told gave us a 6 kilometre paddle to where the canal crossed over the river below.   Keith and his group lead the way followed by the other seven groups. The highlight of the canal section where a 400 meter tunnel bringing you out close to a stunning 1800’s Viaduct. A head for heights was needed as we paddled close to the edge for the best views.


The river section followed but the journey to the river put in via a mud slide kept everyone on their toes, or backsides in many cases!


Once on the river, the Goyt gave the newer members many opportunities to practice skills we had worked on at the pool.   We also gained new skills such getting into eddies without falling foul of the eddy line, which claimed a few victims. But with only a hand full of swimmers, all first timers and with around 6 or 7 rapids, or sections of white water run, the day proved to be a big success. It was an interesting journey and a great experience for river leaders and new paddlers alike. I hope the River Lune gives us as much fun next month.


Steve Hitchen   More photos…..

Keith S, Al Grantham, Lee Doyle, Tony Doyle, Dave Lynch, nicky pyper, Andy Wrigg, Fiona Wrigg, Richard Quinn, Jenny Brown, Roy McHale, JUDE JONES, Chris Fletcher, tony Bennett, Sarah Gille, Pete Thomas, Carole Thomas, John Allerton, Adam Carey, Dave Barnes, Justin Cooper, Steve Gille, Don Brooks, Jim Slater, Steve Bond, Helen Alexander, Helen Fidler, Cathy Wilson, Steve Lewtas, Keith Jackson, Nick Coughlin, Steve Hitchen, Mark Moore, Dave Rider, John Maddock, John Maddock ( Jnr), Karl Tattum, Paul Harwood, Graham Hudson, Mike Burrows, Mike Blance, Dom Buckley,  Louise Peak, Steve Rose, Wayne Littler


31/01/12   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.



Informal trips arranged by club members are circulated by the club`s Googlegroups email system.


30/01/12   Annual Pool Rolling Competition (Round 1 & 2 Combined)


Paddle Rolling




Hand Rolling












Rolls achieved




Rolls achieved

Danny Byrne




Danny Byrne



Dave Reynolds




John Maddock Jnr


14, 14, 13


Polo Boat



Roy McHale



Sam Hughes

Fun 1.5



John Maddock Jnr



Dave Harrison




John Maddock



Roy McHale

Pyranha  Burn

10, 9


Andy Wrigg



Andy Wrigg

Pyranha S6F

9, 10





Paul Flaherty

Pyranha Varun

9, 8





Chris Murphy


8, 8





Brian Green

Perception Arc






John Allerton

Jackson Fun






John Maddock Snr







John Allerton

Arc Perception






Dom Buckley

Pyranha Flow 300






Sarah Gille

Pyranha Karnali






Fiona Wrigg

Pyranha Burn






We tried keeping the rolling competition a secret to give others in the club a chance but somehow Danny Byrne found out and returned to defend his title in both the hand rolling and paddle rolling categories.


 John Maddocks (Junior) pushed him all the way in the hand rolling while Dave Reynolds use of a Canadian blade enabled him to score 13 rolls.  Danny was able to pull out a great performance and although he is slowing down a little bit from last year still topped the score board.





With a year to go to perfect technique most of us should have plenty of time to prepare for next Christmas’s challenge.



Chris Murphy    More photos……


30/01/12   River Tryweryn Jan 14th 2012


15 of us met up recently on a bitterly cold Saturday morning at the white water centre on the Tryweryn to test our mettle. The plan was for everyone to run the lower with whoever was brave/foolhardy enough to run the upper a couple of times before it got too dark.


As usual there was a bit of faffing that meant that Keith and Mark had already run the upper section by the time everyone else had got on the water. We split into two groups the first one consisting of Keith, Mark, Des, Fiona, John, Jonathan , Justin and Jim.I led the second group of Mike, Adam, Fiona W, Sarah, Jonathon with Andy bringing up the rear.


This section down to Bala Mill is often run by paddlers of limited experience as it offers a great training ground for developing moving water skills. Although mostly grade 2/3, it can on occasion pose a test even for experienced paddlers with Pinball in particularly deserving of your full attention. Sure enough both groups had a few swims each as we slowly made our way down river with Pinball claiming at least one victim.


Eventually after a few rescues and boat chases we found ourselves at Bala Mill Falls.  A few people chose to portage this while the rest of us lined up to shoot the double drop. After giving one or two of the newcomers some expert advice on how to make sure they keep river right as much as possible, I promptly demonstrated what happens if you get pushed left as my stern got swamped and over I went. After a very urgent roll I resurfaced right on top of the left hand shoot just in time to negotiate the drop and even make it look like I meant it!!


Everyone else styled Bala Mill with Des winning the best celebration and best grin awards!!!


After a quick shuttle and a wonderful Cheese & Onion Panini, seven of us made our way up to the chipper to run the top section. Time was now against us so we knew we would have to charge down pretty quick before it got dark or they turned the taps off!


Leaving John and Jonathon Maddocks practicing driving into the eddies on the Graveyard section, Justin, Andy, Mike, Jonathon and myself bombed it down the rest of the way without too much drama and headed to the showers to defrost our fingers and toes. 


Highlight of the day, Des accidentally leaning on the shower button whilst getting changed and soaking his dry kit before he had even got on the river!



Keith Scott, Mark G, Des, Fiona, John M, Jonathan M , Justin C, Jim S, Mike B, Adam C, Fiona W, Sarah G, Jonathon, Andy W and me.


Chris M  More Photos…….


23/01/12   4* White Water Training Weekend 21st to 22nd January 2012


Just before Christmas in the warmth of the pool session on a Thursday night I decided to arrange a 4* White Water Leaders Course with Alastair Randal. My enthusiasm got the better of me and I arranged it for January! As I got out of bed on the Saturday morning, cold, and listened to the howling wind I began to question the merits of asking for the course at this time of year!!  6 LCC paddlers arrived and Alastair, being the excellent coach that he is, began the course with a warm cup of tea and a chat in the café at Paddleworks on the River Dee.


The driving force behind the course was that we have all been taking less experienced people out on to the rivers in recent months and introducing them to white water. We want to make sure that we have the knowledge and skills to ensure that this continues as well as developing our own paddling skills.


The course was based on the section of river from the Chain Bridge Hotel down to the play site known as JJ’s and included the feature called Serpents Tail. I have run this in low water and very high water. This weekend the water levels were medium and we were all finally introduced to the “Tail”. It presented itself as a quite intimidating drop/slide with the flow of water driving the unwary into the wall of rock at the side. We all ran it, “experimenting” with different lines and varying degrees of success!!!


However we were not really at the course to run features. We spent the 2 days running the section of river and looking at Leadership. We covered river briefing, equipment, people, ability levels, river reading, river signals, communication, line of site, avoidance of problems, positioning on the water, safety and rescue. I am sure I have missed some things but as you can tell it was very detailed!


The entire group performed well and we received very positive feedback on our performance and knowledge from Alastair. This has given us confidence that we are doing the right things on the water. It is also a credit to the people within LCC who have given up their time to train and develop our skills over the last two years or so! Thanks to all of you guys!!


We have all come away with an increase in our personal knowledge and lots of things to think about and work to improve. Alistair was an excellent paddler and coach and credit must go to him for the smooth running of the course and the excellent content.

We will be organising a White Water Safety and Rescue Qualification (when it gets a bit warmer!!) so keep your eye out for that. I think that anyone interested in river running at any level could benefit from that course.

I look forward to the 4* assessment course later in the year.



Chris, Roy, Mark, Keith, Justin and Me! Andy      More photos ……….

22/01/12 Division 4 Tournament -  Stockport

 The team won two, lost three. We beat FOA V 3 -0, and beat Dragieu 4 – 0.  It should have been 8 but we has loads of goals disallowed. We should have beaten White Rose but unfortunately lost 2 - 1. We got slaughtered by Welsh Warriors 7 or 8 nil, weirdly it was 0-0 at half time but they put lots of goals past us in the second half (Must have been slope).  The Better  FOA team  beat us 3 - 0, although we had so many shots and had them in their own half most of the game. Unfortunately we just couldn't defend when they broke.


The team is developing fast and will be better next week when we are in Stockport again.  I learnt some lessons in this tournament. You can't ram the opposition as hard as you can broadside as you will get booked with the threat of being red carded. Also the crunch is sickening! We also leant about paddle fowls, and more threats of sending offs for the next foul with a green card.  I must really read the rule book.  Paul Harwood.


www.canoepolo.org.uk/files/Rulebook11_13.pdf This is a PDF File




Olympic festival22/01/12 Echo Arena – Liverpool Canoe Club Stand at the Festival of Olympic Sports

 The Festival of Olympic Sports took place at the Echo Arena on Sunday 22 January, with Olympic bronze medallists Steve Smith (High Jump) and Steve Parry (Swimming) joining World gymnastics champion Beth Tweddle, Senior British Gymnastics Champion Hannah Whelan, table tennis player Mark Palmer who competed in the 2000 Sydney Paralympics and Curtis Robb. The day was packed full with taster sessions and demonstrations which will give people of all ages the chance to try out over twenty Olympic and Paralympics sports including: volleyball, karate, fencing, judo and handball and get them motivated and excited about the Olympics.   Liverpool Canoe Club help staff a canoeing stand along with Crosby Lakeside Centre and Friends of Allonby Canoe Club.


We handed out over 100 brochures for the club and spoke to lots of potential new members.  It was great to see those of you that popped along to say hello.


Many thanks to Carl L, Ian B,  Dave and Josh C and Dave R who helped with the stand.


21/01/12 Division 3 Polo tournament in Newcastle

Our team travelled up to Newcastle to play their 3rd Tournament of the year.  The pool was smaller than usual and only 25m long.  According to Chris B this suited our game as we are often “caught on the break”.  A nervous first game saw us winning 3:2 against a rejuvenated Kingston team.  Our Second game against Team Scotia saw us make some silly mistakes and a couple of refereeing decisions went against us.  To cut a long story short, we lost to our close rivals.


A £1.00 bet saw us play well to draw 1:1 against the league leaders, Tees Tigers.   This was our best game of the night and we always seem to do well as there style of play seems to suit us.  Our last game against Morpeth gave us another win to see us stay in 3rd place overall with one tournament to go.


If you are interested in playing polo and giving it a go we now have twelve polo boats and pitch at the Marina.  Just send an enquiry to polo@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk  saying that you are interested or go down on a Thursday night to join in with the no rules version played for fun by the Thursday nighters.


15/01/12 Fast Waters, Still Moments  Monday 30th January 8pm

A Multimedia Lecture by Deb Pinniger (Twice World Freestyle Champion).  Click here for more information and to book………  Support the club and book now.

15/01/12 Hilbre Island Sat 14th

Today started with over ten phone calls regarding the cold weather and people asking what to wear on their hands to avoid being cold (you know who you are). Well after our LCC club debate led by John Allerton I know all the answers and advised that they should all "Man-up" and wear their "Marigolds".


Nineteen paddlers arrived at the slipway ready to paddle and after a quick de-brief we set onto the water and into the strong wind. As we looked back at the slipway we saw Dave Lynch waving as he had arrived late but he soon caught us which made our total twenty paddlers.


With a following 10mph wind on our backs it soon pushed us along to the island and created small waves to surf on the way and in just under an hour we met the main island although it felt like ages as Peter complained all the way about his cold hands (lets not start that again).


we split into three groups of which one group made way for the beach and another would head around the main island and the third group consisted of just Martin who paddled twice as fast as everyone else in his 'new' old boat. At the beach we all commended Keith Jackson who had made the journey in his General Purpose river boat as he had led the paddle most of the way (although I think Keith was due to join our other LCC trip on the river as he had his orange river helmet and the river notes taped to his deck but he wouldn’t admit that he had typed the wrong postcode into his Sat Nav).


At the beach John Barends made the group stand for over five minutes whilst he got the "perfect shot" but I couldn’t include it with the write-up as he had cut all of our heads off. John does wedding photography at the weekends but if you are under five foot two then I wouldn’t ring him .He did mention that he did photography for the under fives but i thought he meant children not height.


 We knew the return journey would be a lot harder with the wind against us and soon the large group split into three smaller groups of which one group followed the shore back and another went out into the channel but all had to paddle hard against the wind and waves. As we returned to the slipway we knew the last group would have to walk through the thick mud as the tide was quickly retreating. Dave suggested that we call his Coastguard friend who specializes in mud rescues as it was getting late but Adrian and Vicky were well in control and led the slower paddlers to safety with a little walk back to the slipway.


A great days paddle (paddle / walk for some) with great friends.  Look out for our next paddle as it’s a joint venture with Liverpool ramblers assoc.

Thanks Karl. paddlers were :- Dave , John B , Peter , Steve , John W , Tony , Keith , Charlie , Dave B , Alistair , Vicky , Mick , Steve , Wayne , Gordon , Vicky , Martin , Andy , Dave , Karl.  More Photos…..    YouTube homeYou Tube Video of paddle…..

Canoe & Kayak - Britain's best selling Canoe Magazine
13/01/12 Former Olympic Slalom Coach Gives Fascinating Presentation at Liverpool Canoe Club (Article from Canoe & Kayak Magazine)

Dr Hugh Mantle, former Olympic Slalom coach, gave a fascinating talk recently at one of Liverpool Canoe Club’s regular presentation evenings.

At their impressive base at Liverpool Marina, a crowd gathered to listen to what local man Hugh had to say about paddling at the pinnacle of white water paddlesports. Known to many in the Merseyside area, not only as a chartered psychologist heavily involved in our slalom team efforts over many Olympic Games, Hugh is also a keen mountaineer, a highly skilled paddler and a great speaker.

He began his talk with a short film charting the history of British involvements in the Olympic Games. The tone of the film was low key at first but gradually picked up pace and ended in a crescendo of athletic prowess that has the effect of captivating the whole nation each time the Olympics are staged. The hairs on the back of everyone’s neck certainly stood up as they got a taste of what the excitement might be like when the London Olympics kick off later this year!

With typical humour and extensive technical knowledge for the sport, Hugh kept everyone starry-eyed while he continued into areas dealing with the Olympic Course itself at Lee Valley White Water Centre http://www.london2012.com/lee-valley-white-water-centre and he stunned his audience by revealing how many hours it takes to become a decent Olympic Slalom athlete. Think in terms of thousands and thousands and thousands of hours and you’ll be on the right track. Apparently it’s about the same as it takes to become a concert musician; huge dedication!

A veteran Olympic coach, Hugh has known many athletes over quite a collection of Olympic Games and has had to deal with a wide range of issues, not just to help our GB athletes optimise their performance. At one point during his presentation he produced a natty “Team GB” blazer and boater given to him for the Olympic opening ceremony and other functions. The blazer and hat were quite nice and striking in a British kind of a way but Hugh revealed something of the personal psychology he had to work on himself to feel comfortable wearing the rather loud tie that completed the kit!

The evening was a great success and everyone came away looking forward to following our Slalom team as they prepare for and then finally compete in the Games in the summer. If you would like more info about our team visit http://www.gbcanoeing.org.uk/gbc/

Liverpool Canoe Club is a very successful and active paddlesports club that last year earned Canoe England Top Club status. If you want to see what other presentations are in the pipeline visit http://www.liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk/

More information on Talk……..

04/01/12 Farndon to Chester Paddle – 2nd January 2012

The day was perfect, the rain stayed off and I ordered some sun which stayed with us for the full day.


The river was full and fast flowing in places, we had the years first swimmer which was about ½ mile into the paddle, probably too early for a paddler of the year nomination. Nineteen including myself turned up and everyone enjoyed themselves.  Full write-up to follow……


Peter McComasky

More Photos……


Today eight paddlers turned out for the second day of surfing at Crosby to make use of the high winds and surf. After Xmas eves paddle we expected similar conditions with winds predicted up to 26mph but today for some reason it felt much windier than the previous paddle although the temperature was OK. The plan was to catch the incoming tide to make the get-in easier so we planned to meet at 1130hrs and as i arrived Mike Burrows and his friend Tom were waiting in the blustery winds of the car park as they had heroically made the journey via bicycle with all their kit on their backs and Mike even had two paddles taped to the frame of his bike.

After a quick change and the arrival of the rest of the group and equipment we were soon sat on a sand bank in our kayaks waiting for the surf to get to us. Well all except Mike who decided to have lunch from the burger bar and then take a whole hour to get ready. A plan of action was discussed as we waited and areas NOT to be paddled were identified especially with the large stepped wall and the iron men.

As the water reached the sand bank in turn each kayak was lifted and the fight began to stay in position and not get blown back to the beach. Pete Stone and his son Olly were first to get the big waves and began demonstrating 360 loops ,sideways surfing and dumping off waves onto Paul's kayak causing him to be overturned but he successfully managed to roll himself back upright after four attempts.

The strong winds were hard to paddle against and made getting to the larger surf extremely hard work but once on a wave all that hard work paid off as we were hurtled towards the beach at breakneck speed then its turn around and back to getting your head down and paddle like crazy back to the surf. Mike eventually joined us in the surf and enjoyed the breaking waves so much he decided to hop out of his boat and give them a hug then proceeded to wave at all the other kayakers as they surfed past, what a friendly guy. Struggling and fighting against the wind and breaking waves we all found it hard to keep in position and get out to the waves and away from the danger areas so we decided to move further along the beach to a safer area. Paul had a little swim in the big surf and we all watched as he was battered and rolled by the waves with his boat tumbling along side him but we all laughed as he then stood up in waist high water. He was very lucky as Mike was lurking ready to "save" him with his unorthodox method of stealing his equipment first and if he survives then giving it back.

After just over an hour of paddling the water was soon touching the rocky bank at Crosby and a sure indication of the time to end the days surfing. As we returned to our cars Steve Rose arrived insisting that he paddles in Paul's boat even if its for just ten minutes so he quickly changed and because Mike had only been paddling for twenty minutes decided to show Steve were to paddle in the rough waves........or so we thought. As soon as they got on the water they stopped paddling and insisted that we take photos of them to prove they had paddled all of ten minutes. They stopped paddling but the wind didn't stop blowing and soon they found themselves drifting closer to the steps. Both of them at exactly the same time decided to bail out of their boats and swim to the slipway leaving Paul , Peter and I to retrieve the equipment. Thanks guys.

We loaded our boats in the howling wind and then set off to the docks at LCC to play a game of polo which lasted for two hours and then onto the pub for food and drinks. No one spoke at the meal as everybody was too tired after the days kayaking. we'll all sleep tonight.

Paul noted that the weather reports for today show wind speeds of 45mph with gusts of 60mph. Now that explains a few things!


Karl Tattum  More Photos……

03/01/12 Surfing at Crosby Christmas Eve
With the wind blowing around 20mph from the West, Paul, Karl, Mike (the rescuer), Andy, Fiona, Andy's Mum and I arrived at Crosby at 1030 for a couple of hours surfing, Andy said he was doubtful that there would be any waves but was happy to see 5 foot waves smashing onto the broken bricks and rubble. Karl and I brought 4 boats and paddles as Mike was arriving on bike, and Steve Rose was turning up later.

Fiona hadn't brought a boat as surfing is boring. So we offered her and her Mother in law a boat but they declined and set about taking pictures of the carnage that was sure to follow.

5 of us set out from the bricks. Andy was refusing to use his paddle for some reason. It later turned out that this was because it was a carbon fibre jewelled peice from Harrods and was petrified of scratching it. The debate goes on about paddles, cheap or dear? I use a £20 peice and it takes a real beating and I'm not bothered. I scraped the fins of my surf boat through the rubble and finally into the sea.

Now, my surf boat is very small and has no volume in the back, i am extremely tall and weigh around 15 stone, so as you can tell I am rather back heavy. This is great when going down a wave, but quite hard trying to beat the wind and the waves and keep your weight forward. It is also very difficult going through the waves when Andy is completely airborne heading straight for my head. There was no avoiding it, Andy
wiped me out leaving me smashing my forearm against the front of his boats and making me roll as the wave broke over the bottom of my boat. He was full of apology but Karl was shouting for him to do it again.

The waves were very random but quite steep, making very fast short rides. It was great seeing the little play boats literally not touching the water as they took off, and bongo sliding with the waves. Paul was showing off his rolls in his Varun, Karl was showing off his breast stroke. Mike was "rescuing " Karl. Andy was surfing and I was knackered. I came to the beach for a cuppa.

 It was here that Mike decided that the spare boat I brought for him wasn't good enough. So he nicked my surf boat and my favourite paddle and left me on the beach 150 yards away from my other boat. Charming! Back on the waves and my big boat was even more fun side surfing, what was Mike on about? Mike was having trouble staying upright with all those doughnuts he'd brought for a snack inside him. And was the first to swim. In fact he swam 4 times. He was so scared of the big waves that tears were flowing down his cheeks. he said it was sand in his eyes and was trying to wash it out which was why he was lying down in the water. we just laughed at him and told him to walk back to the beach.

After an hour and a half Andy and family and Paul got off and retreated from the wind. While the three of uss stayed on untill We had no strength. As we were just getting off the water Steve Rose turned up for a go on the waves. But as we were done, he went home.
I think he was happy about this looking at the terror on his face. it later turned out that he had been there an hour and saw us coming from the sea so moved his car so it looked like he'd just arrived. I don't think he likes surfing.

Paul Harwood 
 More Photos……

30/12/11 January 2012 Newsletter Published
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