Volume 12  Issue 7

July 2012

July Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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30/06/12 June Photo of the Month Competition



Liverpool Canoe Club June Photo Competition winners


Congratulations to Mike Bell for his winning photo

from the Surf at Crosby. 

“Karl Tattum and Paul battle it out amongst the waves.”

Runner up Rob Peckham: “kayak sunset at Crosby


Runner up Carole Thomas: “Scottish Raasay and Rona

 Inner Sound Expedition”

Not found your photograph ? – see all the entries for this month………..



28/6/12 River Weaver – Wednesday Evening Paddle

I met Simon at Runcorn Rowing Club; we had both knocked off early and waited in the sunshine for any others that might turn up.  Slowly our numbers grew and we got on the water for 6:30pm, Kathy then arrived asking if we’d wait. “Of course – but hurry up”. 


The Weaver Navigation is a very wide canal, about 30m wide.  We paddled up underneath the M56 to an old swing bridge.  Everyone had a go at the slalom course between some old wooden posts, some with more success than others.  Those in sea kayaks only managed about 2-3 gates while those with shorter boats made 6-8.

We passed low fields, trees and several swans and ducks before finding an off-shoot to the right.  There were many signs directing boats away from this branch (“No Navigation” etc).  We ventured down to find a weir with two sluices on the left and a number of shoots to the right.  This weir would be lethal in high water but although higher than last year it was still relatively low.  The shoot was grade 2+ but the portage back up was grade 4.  Fortunately Simons boat was used as a step to get up onto the sill and we were able to clamber back.


We paddled back up the navigation to a second off-shoot again to the right.  This led to a very low bridge.  Unsure if it would lead us back to either the weir pool or navigation we reluctantly made our way back to main canal and return to cars at the rowing club.  This is a great place to paddle provided you are not put off by the bright green algae bubbles which I am reliably informed is due to the eutrophication (Eutrophication is when the environment becomes enriched with nutrients. This can be a problem in marine habitats such as lakes as it can cause algal blooms.) by all the farmland runoff.


Paddlers: Simon, Keith, Danny, Nicky C, Phil F, Jude J, Kathy                   More Photos………….



Next Wednesday we are at Chester Weir (or you can paddle up the river past the boat houses etc)


30/06/12 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.




27/06/12  'Raasay and Rona - Sunny Skyes Scottish Expedition'


After much planning and a short list of three ideas the decision was made to paddle the area of the west coast of Scotland to the east of sky and west of Applecross covering areas around Raasay and Rona. Unfortunately Frankie could not make it at the last minute so nine of us left Formby for Scotland at around 9:45am on the Saturday.  We met up with Helen Siertsema at the Green Welly Shop and finalised the plan. 


We decided to head of to Kyle of Lochaish to find a suitable bases camp and starting point. We found a camp site at Balmacara and did a deal on camp fees and went to the pub. An uneventful journey but did have a slight delay at loch Lomond.  We did observe the warning signs detailing the route of the Olympic torch and made a plan to miss this area on the way home down the A82.


Ian B








Sunday 3rd June Via Skye bridge, Crowlin Islands to Applecross 

Report to follow……….


John P






Monday 4th Aplecross to lock Torridon


Report to follow……….


 Simon H


Tuesday 5th June - Day 3 – Open water crossing to Rona

Watching the weather develop each day, it looked like most of the stormy stuff was happening much further south and Tuesday was predicted to be light winds in the Inner Sound – perfect for our open water crossing to the island of Rona.


After camping for the night just before the mouth of Loch Torridon in a pristine white sandy bay called Ob Chuaig, it was Springs and all of the sand had disappeared under high water as we cooked our breakfasts. We decided to launch an hour or so after local high water when the tide had receded enough to allow us to put the kayaks on a bit of sand and load up. Anything before then would have been decidedly risky on the awkward and slippery boulders that fringed the beach.


The night before, Tony had decided to camp alone so as the tide continued to flood, he paddled up a small freshwater stream that emptied onto the west side of the beach and with his chosen camp spot managing to escape flooding by a mere 3” in the morning high water, he launched early and waited patiently for us beach lubbers to get on the water. With the rest of us stranded and waiting for the sand to appear, he seemed to fall asleep in his boat at the edge of the bay, but at least he didn’t have to dress in the SAS outfits, like the rest of us, to defy the ravenous midges. Eventually the tide receded and we all got on the water, at which point Tony needed a relief break and landed, just as we all set off!


I normally get on the water and, unless I’m one of the last, I turn around to watch everyone else launch, with the result that I am facing the wrong way as they all speed past me. By the time I have turned around I am at the back of the pack. I thought today I would start paddling slowly away and get a head start. It was a lovely day and with light North Easterlies cleaning the air, the visibility was fantastically clear and the sea state good. It was easy to see Kilt Rock and the Skye shore and even the Outer Hebrides were visible in the distance. With some friendly swells but no surprises, I could clearly see the crossing to Rona with the white lighthouse, Fl12s69m19M, guiding me towards the northern tip of the island. It was a very enjoyable paddle and I wasn’t overtaken until Ian put a spurt on about ¾ of the way across.


We rounded the top of Rona with some of the swells crashing onto the rocks and, passing between Cow Rock and Limpet Rock, we entered Loch a’ Bhrouge, 57 34’5N 5 58’W, for lunch. This is a natural harbour used by the Admiralty and NATO. It has an unattractive quay with MOD signs telling visitors to Keep Off. Kathy’s early morning SAS guise would have done us well. as we landed discretely on the small rocky beach and filled up with water courtesy of a tap provided by the MOD on the top of the slipway.


We carried on down the west side of Rona with spectacular views of the Quiraing on Skye and the pear shaped pinnacle of the Old Man of Stoer came into view. Eventually we turned into a well known anchorage for yachts, Acairseid Mhor 57 32’N 5 59’W, where Pete and I had sheltered many years ago while sailing in the area. On land is a bothy and cottage and even showers are available (or they certainly used to be). You can camp here but I believe you may have to pay. Tucked into a small inlet in the SW corner was another small wild camp spot but this was already occupied by another group of kayakers so we decided to move on to the south of the island.


On reaching the south end of Rona, we crossed the swift running tide to Eilean Tigh on the northern tip of Raasay which is an island only at high water. We stopped briefly at a small cove and Helen B hopped ashore to do a quick reccy, thumbs down but a better option was just around the corner. It was low water, so we landed unpacked our boats and carried the gear up onto a grassy knoll where we pitched the tents. Pete and the lads lassoed the boats together with tow lines and, to avoid carrying them over slippery boulders, waited for them to float up towards the camp as the tide came in. Pete tended them like a prized flock of sheep and eventually they were close enough for a short lift to dry land.


After dinner walks of different lengths were taken, H going the furthest to the top of the highest peak on our little island. On returning from his walk, Ian saw a brief flurry in the Sound, but not distinct enough to identify, Simon saw it too. Perhaps it was a whale so we all gazed outwards for 15mins or so hoping to catch a glimpse, but to no avail. We eventually retired to our tents to close our eyes against the light nights of the high Scottish latitude. Will this good weather hold?


Carole T


More Photos…………..


Wednesday 5th June - Raasay West Coast


Report to follow……….


 Helen B


Thursday 6th June - Scapply and across to Uags Bothy 


Report to follow……….


Kathy M


Friday 7th Uags Bothy to Balmacara - Friday - Final Day!


A cloudy day today and the white horses breaking in sound over towards the Crowlin`s suggested a stiff north - easterly breeze. The plan was to head up the north side of Loch Carron and ferry over to Plockton with a notion of procuring some ice cream.

We knew that it was going to be windy but when we came round the headland we were straight into a fiercesome, funnelling force 4 wind headwind. We had to work hard in order to progress at arthritic snail's - pace and the thought of reaching Plockton seemed fanciful. We had to pull in for a refuel on the side of the Loch and decide what we were going to do next. We angled our boats and paddled like stink in order to make the crossing to Plockton. Conditions were lumpy but nicely so, however the wind was spoiling our fun and we spent nearly two whole hours paddling like loonies only to run out of puff. The decision was made to forget and Plockton and just to head in where we could and have a much deserved lunch on the south side of the loch.


After lunch, the gang pressed on for the final leg of the trip towards the Kyle of Lochalsh and then onto Balmacara. The post lunch paddle was a nice relaxed affair compared to morning's struggle and on the spot paddling that we were doing. The Skye bridge came into view and we were soon mooching into the Kyle of Lochalsh.

Another of those lovely headwinds again as we paddled up the Lochalsh. The last leg to Balmacara seemed to take forever as we all seemed to be running out of energy. As we neared the vehicles, the Waverley steam paddle boat past us and provided us with a final photo opportunity before we had to haul our stiff and smelly bodies out of our boats.

The final faff with boats and then onto the campsite where we stayed on the Saturday night for a much longed for shower. Bodies nicely scrubbed, then onto the Balmacara hotel for beer and fish and chips.
A lovely end to a truly fantastic week! Many thanks to Ian for looking after us all. These Scottish sea kayaking trips just get better and better.


 Helen S    More Photos…………..


Saturday 8th June The drive home avoiding the Olympic flame    


Report to follow……….


Mark P


Paddlers : Ian Bell, John Pegram, Pete Thomas, Carole Thomas, Kathy Morton, Anthony Vaccaro, Mark Pawley, Helen Sierstsema, Helen Bolister, Simon Howlett



26/6/12 Surfing at Hall Road - Crosby.





More photos………..



22/6/12 French Alps this Summer?  Informal Lilo Race for club members.


Why not try our Lilo race on the Slalom course during this years summer trip to the French Alps.












































21/6/12 Wednesday Evening paddles – Chester Weir


23 club members turned up at the River Dee in Chester to paddle.  Some went for a paddle past Sandy Lane while others dropped over the fish steps to paddle on the weir.  There were several other groups out at the same time and with the river level high most of the steps were partially washed out.  Dan arrived in his OC1 like open, it was interesting to see him try and roll it.


For many it was their first time on moving water and with the tail at the bottom producing a strong current this was ideal to practise breaking in and out and ferry glides.  The last of us eventually got off the water at 9:30pm just in time for a pint and “Hickory burger”.




Videos taken by John Allerton…….


19/6/12 Mini-Olympics at the Docks – Sunday 17th June


As part of the BCU initiative the club with the help of the NW paddle development officer (Dave Cook) decided to put on some example Olympic disciplines.  We had two Ergo paddling machines, borrowed another Ludite sprint / training boat and used our white water racers and other kayaks to hold a short sprint event.  Dave Reynolds supplied his pool slalom gates to allow us to set up a flatwater slalom course.


It all started off friendly enough but soon some members started getting a little competitive and we knew it turned serious when Michal turned up with his all carbon Kevlar slalom kayak (purchased second hand for £52.00).


Many members had numerous goes at each of the disciplines with there best time counting.   The 100m Sprint event was very competitive with Paul and Michal fighting it out to get shorter and shorter times.  Many of the juniors tried competition boats to lower their times, Manon and Jack both trying sprint boats in an attempt to post the quickest time.  The slalom competition evolved an element of luck as the pontoons and house boat drifted slightly which caused the slalom gates to rise and fall a little.  Competitors were known to delay their start if the poles were not in the optimum position.

Thanks to all who took part and to Chris and Dave who volunteered to act as pole judges and time keepers.


Ergo Challenge (50m Sprint)





Dave Cook



Andy Wrigg



Michale Giezgala



100m Sprint C1





Dave Cook



100m Sprint K1





Michale Giezgala



Paul Flaherty



Keith S



100m Sprint K1 (Juniors)





Manon McCoy



Jack Gille



Jay Kuchemann-Scales



Slalom K1





Keith S



Steve Rose



Michale Giezgala



Slalom C1





Dave Cook



Keith S



Paddlers - Matty P, Keith S, Jack and Sarah G, Andy W, Josh C, Phil F, Dom B, Paul F, Michal G, Dave C, Steve R, Manon M, Martin M, Jay K,  Wren K, Rob S, Chris F, Dave C, Judith J.

More Photos……..



18/6/12 Kayaking Adventure in the New Zealand Wilderness - Video


 A breathtaking, 35-day kayaking expedition, spanning both islands of New Zealand, featuring some of the world’s best whitewater kayakers, Ben Brown, Rafa Ortiz, Rush Sturges and Jared Meehan, exploring some of the remotest and most demanding kayaking locations...  Click for video…….


15/6/12 Crosby to the River Alt – Wednesday Evening Paddle


An offshore and very light wind greeted us at Crosby.  The water was mirror calm and the overcast sky was moody.  Twelve paddlers turned out with an assortment of boats including a number of sea kayaks.  We launched onto the sand and paddled out past a small sand bar with a 6 inch breaking wave.  The group head down the coast towards Hightown and picked up the channel markers.  A line of posts with Red Cans on the top for Port(left) and Green Triangles on top for Starboard (right).


As we made our way down the channel the Sea Cat left the river and the associated wave broke on the sand bar out to sea.  As we wound our way past the moored yachts we passed a group of Shell Duck, one family with a dozen very small babies in tow. 


We passed our objective of Hightown Sailing club with its new sea defences and paddles on past Rangers base and slipway on to the pump house in the middle of the Alt Car Riffle range.  This was as far as we could paddle on tidal water.  On our return the tide aided our progress and we quickly made our way back to Crosby.  If we were only 30 minutes later we would have still be on the water with  an incredible sun set.  We viewed this from the car park to round of a great paddle.


Next Wednesday we are at Chester Weir (or you can paddle up the river past the boat houses etc)


More Photos………….



15/6/12 Leeds to Liverpool Canal Trip by Gary Mcfarlane


Little update.

Monday evening travelled up to Leeds. Transport and kayaks kindly locked in local police station, Etap hotel very basic, Food an pint in bar next door, Went down great, came up before had finished pint, not good.

Set off from Leeds wasn't long before the LOCKS started appearing, biggest of the day at Bingley. Nice caravan accommodation for night an transport back to canal.


Wednesday, Cononley south of Skipton. Long day but ticked off some miles.


Thursday today.

Skipton to Adlington

Not long got in to digs for night, am beat, food pint shower and bed. Another long day.


Friday plan, early start then continue on to Melling, how ever that long that may take. Any body up to paddling on Saturday morning from Melling to Liverpool.

Please let me know.



15/6/12 Operation “Run the Conwy” (Afon Conwy 09/06/12)


The upper section from the put in to the village of Ysbyty Ifan


A group of us from LCC for the last 6 months or so have been talking about getting out and running some rivers that we’ve never done before in either North Wales or the Lakes. The difficultly we’ve had is that there’s been a bit of a drought going on, don’t get me wrong, there has been rain over this period and the rivers that we’ve been talking about running such as The Wnion, The Prysor and The Conwy have all been high enough to paddle on numerous occasions but unfortunately they seem to have only been at these decent levels during the working week and due to the rivers running off so quickly by the time we get there at the weekend they’ve always been running on empty and it seems we always miss out. (It’s a shame we don’t live closer we could go and run them during the week after work).


When Saturday arrived, I eagerly checked the rain chasers website and we are in luck. North Wales had had lots of rain overnight and most of the local rivers were running at high including two of the rivers on our hit list, the Wnion and the Conwy. After a few phone calls we decide to all meet at the Tryweryn car park and then head over to the get in of the Conwy which was our river of choice. By 11am phase 1 of operation “Run the Conwy” had gone to plan, (albeit slightly behind schedule, due to the usual faff associated with kayaking) and 7 LCC paddlers in two cars were making their way across a bleak and rain swept North Wales to the get in of the river.

Now on the UK Rivers Guide book website the description of the river is from the village of Ysbyty Ifan which is up a turnoff from the A5 to the take out on river left just before Rhydlanfair Bridge. It gives the section a grading of 3/4 and it says it’s approx 4 miles long and recommends around 2 hours is required for the run. We decided to put on the river about 3 miles higher up than the village to make the run longer (well you’ve got to make the most of the levels haven’t you). Chris and Andy dropped us off at the entrance to a farmer’s field occupied by sheep. While they did the shuttle and checked out the get out with our chosen river leader for the day Mark Garrod, the rest of the crew (Fiona, Paul Flaherty, Steve Hitchen and I) carried all the boats across the field to the get in.

While we waited for the shuttle to return we scouted the river from the bank for a few hundred meters or so, straight away you could see the difference between a commercially used river like the Tryweryn and this wild natural river. For a start no cafe, also no other boaters around, large trees blocked the way of the flow, rapids leading straight into overhanging branches and the banks in places steep and inaccessible. It felt as if we were on a proper adventure. We were descending a river that none of us had had ever run before and whatever happened over the next few hours, I was positive it would be an exciting experience.


When the shuttle returned we discussed how we were going to run the river agreeing that safety had to be paramount. We sorted out the order in which we’d follow each other down and Mark made sure everyone knew which river signals he would use and what they meant. Mark led followed by Chris, then Fiona, next was Andy who guided the up and coming Ste Hitchen down the best lines, while Paul and I brought up the rear.


The first section of the river was narrow and overhanging trees were the main hazards. After a short while though we encountered a few more technical rapids and in places, some moss covered rock slides. One of these was river wide and Chris decided to go surfing in the wave that was created at the bottom of it. His face was a picture when he realised the wave was holding him and didn’t want to let him go! He eventually got away from it unscathed after plenty of shouts of advice from the side.


Suddenly in the distance the river visibly dropped and we got out to scout. The river went over a drop approximately 3m deep, into a churning pool which then immediately flushed past a boulder, sitting in the centre of the river. Right of the boulder was the smoother line whilst the left line took you close to a rock wall which didn’t look too inviting. We set up bank safety and Mark and I ran the rapid first. Mark decide to ease himself over the lip of the drop into the pool then took the right hand channel whilst I on the other hand decided that a boof into the pool would be a better option. I built up speed and hit the lip of the drop, slightly flaring off a rock on river right. I planted a left hand boof stoke below the lip, and landed nice and flat in the pool below. I landed a bit too far into the pool to make the easier right hand channel, and tried a quick right turn that only ended up spinning me around, and I ran the left hand shoot backwards. This flushed me into the still water below with no problems. Andy and Paul ran the rapid next with Paul taking the exact same line as I did.


Directly after this drop the river went through a small gorge section the water here was deep, dark and smooth but this only lasted for about 30 meters or so before the river dropped suddenly again. We all scouted the drop which again was around +3m. This time there was no clean lip into a nice pool, as here, the river dropped through a nasty slot which wasn’t much wider than a kayak. “Maybe at higher flows” was the conclusion and we portaged the drop. We continued down the river for another few hundred yards until the river dropped again. We all got out on river right and scouted. This time the drop wasn’t high, only a meter or so, but as it was very messy with no clean lines, we decided to portage. We carried our boats along the midge infested riverbank. The midges were out in their thousands and this portage wasn’t the most pleasant experience I’ve had and drove home the need to take insect repellent on summer paddles. The river then eased off for half a mile or so and we made it down safe and sound to the village of Ysbyty Ifan. By this time we’d been on the water for around 3 hours it was turning out to be a great day. Over to Chris for the next section of River.

Roy McHale


Ysbyty Ifan to Rhydlanfair Bridge


The River takes on a different personality after you leave the village and near the A5 and a big left hand turn signals the start of a very pretty gorge section that continues right down to the get out at Rhydlanfair Bridge. The sun came out as well at this stage too, making the scenery that much nicer. This section is mostly read and run as before, but given the fact that none of us had paddled it, we treated each rapid with the utmost respect. The river is generally wider than the section above the village and less tree strewn as a result. However the river gets progressively more technical and the rapids come thick and fast. We ran a few of these one by one with Mark leading and got down most without too much trouble.

I was breaking in my new Burn and was more than happy with the way it was performing and was particularly impressed with the way it helped me drive into the eddies. I must have got over confident though as I missed one eddy and ended up running a drop backwards. I span round only to see Fiona frantically signalling for me to go river right so as to miss the slot that she had come a cropper in. With no time to adjust my line, I had just had to power and hope for the best. Luckily for me I managed to get through.


This wasn’t the end of the drama though as shortly after we had to employ our recently honed white water rescue skills when Fiona’s boat got pinned in the centre of a rapid. Mark managed to pull Fiona to a place that I could get a line to her and then we both pulled her into safety. Mark retrieved Fiona’s paddle from where it was wedged and we set off once more

The next “S” bend rapid, Bryn Bras Falls was one of the more testing on this section of river and again we ran it one at a time. The best line was river right, turning across the flow after a big rock and down a drop to river left. Then it was around another rock and drop to river right again before the run out. What none of us had seen form the top though that this run was three or four drops on the run amongst big waves and we were all grinning from ear to ear by the time we had made the eddy at the bottom.


Steve, who had been having a cracking paddle, made it all the way through this rapid only to succumb on the last wave as he was spun backwards into a rock and went in. His sprits weren’t dampened though and he was as stoked as the rest of us as he self rescued into the eddy. This was a brilliant technical rapid and probably the best on the river.

Two or three more rapids followed before we eventually reached the get out some five hours we had started our paddle. We had carefully scoped the get out earlier in the day as not far beyond Rhydlanfair Bridge lies “The Gobbler” (a nasty grade 5) and as UK Rivers Guide puts it, “The appalling Conwy Falls”. Maybe we will leave those for another day! We got changed whilst being attacked by the most ferocious midges in the kingdom before heading home to reflect on a great days paddle. The River Conwy is definitely worth waiting for and we will be back as just as soon as it rains. (As long as its not midweek!!)


Paddlers; Mark Garrod, Steve Hitchen, Andy & Fiona Wrigg, Roy McHale, Paul Flahety and Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy

Photos to follow……………

12/6/12 Last Evenings talk on paddling in Alaska was well received.

Chris Franks presented slides about the 2010 crossing of Prince William Sound.  He described the route and problems encountered.  Many members asked interesting questions about the logistics of such a trip.  The tide water glaciers, Stellar Sea lions and Bald Headed Eagles were outstanding but the many encounters with black bears stood out as the highlight.

To see the full 12 minute YouTube Video of the whole trip please go to http://youtu.be/xUgA2jYnUOw


For details of next months talk, go to ….


Alps 2011 Video  For those of you that missed Chris Murphies Video of last years Alps trip at the last talk........  it has now been uploaded to our movies section.  Click the link above to play it.

12/6/12 Googlegroups Message board and Emails

We have now introduced an automatic sign-up page for all the message boards and email groups within the club.  If you have changed your email address or want to re-join one of the groups you can now do this yourself by entering your email address.  Go to the message board page for more information……..


11/06/12 The 23rd Liverpool International Canoe Polo Tournament 2nd and 3rd June 2012

As part of the John Hulley Olympic festival, the Liverpool International Canoe Polo Tournament was held the morning after the Olympic torch arrived and departed from Liverpool. For those of you who don't know who John Hulley was here is an extract from www.liverpoolheartbeat.com

"In 2012 the Olympic Games will be held in London; 150 years since Hulley masterminded the 1st National Olympian Games in London in 1866.

Hulley was a maverick. Whilst some questioned his sanity, others answered he was as "sane as a lawyer". He pushed boundaries through a way of life he knew. As a gymnast he knew the benefits of sport to achieve a healthy lifestyle; his grave is inscribed with the latin phrase "Mens Sana in Corpore Sano" which means "A healthy mind in a healthy body". He was doing "The Big Society" 150 years before the current government adopted the concept. He began to define Olympism long before the formation of the International Olympic Committee. History showed his thinking influenced his two friends, Dr Penny Brooks and Ravenstein, to think on a much larger scale. The result of his ideas and their work influenced the thinking of the young Coubertin to create the International Olympic Committee. Imagine what he would have achieved had he lived longer. He is one of those people you know you would have loved to have met and whose presence must have filled a room. Whilst we can guess he was physically strong there is no doubt he was mentally immense. His untimely death and passing of time shouldn't prevent the recognition and accolade he so richly deserves being awarded.

If there is one lesson to be learnt from John Hulley's life, it is what can be achieved with clear vision, a steely determination and raw passion. These key life values supersede social backgrounds, education and age."

Countdown to the tournament.

With a week to go we had a team of eight players. On Friday night we were down to six. On Saturday morning we were down to five, with the promise of another player for Sunday. No problem, we only need five for a team.

Saturday 2nd of June.

We arrived at Dukes Dock, by the big wheel, to find four pitches all set up for two days of polo. It was a little chaotic as nobody knew which pitch was which, a few teams had failed to arrive and everyone was trying to get on the water at the same time. Our first match was aginst a team called Redrose. After a good start, we made a silly mistake and I gave a penalty away and we lost 3-1. At this point Pete defected to FOA as his son’s side was a player down. We were down to FOUR players, Olivia, Gibbo, Josh and myself, Paul. Our next match was against Lakeland. We were only a four and this team was powerful, they were happy pushing Olivia in over and over. We lost this game 8-0. Our next game was a no show. We still had to line up for the start and get the ball from the halfway line to collect the victory and a 3-0 win. Our forth match was against Wildcats. We managed to get Pete to play again as we had not long been battered. We won this match 9-0. For our fifth game we were down to FOUR, again. We played a youth team from FOA. We played 4 out and no keeper as we were all as bad as each other in goal, and after a quick two goals by us, the extra man made a difference and annoyingly, we lost 4-2.

At 5pm we were rather cold and wet and it was time to go home. We checked the fixture list and found that we were playing Trentham at 10am and Josh was refereeing at 9am.


Sunday 3rd June.

We got to the Marina Club at 8am, loaded a canoe up with bags, helmets etc. and waited for our extra man, who failed to appear. Still only 4 players. Josh paddled round to referee, and Gibbo and I plodded round after a brew for our 10am match against Trentham. We arrived at Dukes Dock at 945am to find that we had missed our game which was against London Uni at 9am. Hold on. 10am against Trentham the fixture list said. No. The organisers had changed the running order and times overnight without informing anybody. A few teams were affected by this mysterious event. No amount of arguing with the organisers was helping. Our next match was against Trentham. This team looked like beasts and had battered everyone so far. Fortunately, Pete was coming off after his game with FOA and agreed to help us. We played probably the most physically demanding game I have played in. We scored a great team goal and were in the lead for most of the game, but the beasts overcame us and we lost 2-1. It was a great game and very enjoyable, although I was T-boned so badly that when I was hit, the boat went straight through my kayak, splitting it and bruising my leg. I didn’t even get a foul.

The organisers came back to us after the game and said that they would replay our missed game if London University agreed to it. They said no. The points that they gained, placed them above us. If they had replayed, they may have been below us on points if they lost. That was nice and sporting of them wasn't it!


Somehow we were in the play off for 3rd and 4th place in division 4. We were playing Kingston C. We were back down to four again. We managed to loan the best player from FOA's beginner team called Jordan. He is doing canoe polo as part of his GCSE PE course. We asked Kingston not to push him as he was a sometimes roller and they agreed. The game was good. Jordan went up front and had a few good shots, but with goals from Gibbo and Josh we won 2-1 and came third in our league. We won a Bronze trophy and Bronze medals (Olympic theme) for each of the team. I think Jordan was happy and we were glad he was there making up our winning team. I have a spare medal which I'll get to him somehow.


The tournament was enjoyable if a little cold. The pitches were really well laid out, and the spectators all had a really good view of the action. I look forward to competitive polo again soon.


Paul, Olivia, Josh, Gibbo, and Pete


Hopefully there will be some photos to follow.



10/06/12 HILBRE ISLAND SUNDAY 3RD JUNE - Rudder Hell

Only three paddlers arrived on a wet and windy morning to start the journey to Hilbre Island at west Kirkby as winds were predicted between 17 and 30 mph. Peter and Graham were already at the slipway when I arrived so we formulated a plan to cover all possible scenarios with the weather conditions, tides and visibility and discussed various problems that we may encounter.


Peter only had one big issue, he asked us whether he should use his rudder on the outward journey or wait and put it on at the island for the return. Well, my boat is an old Pyranha Orca with no hatches, skeg or a rudder so from my point of view "you don't need them Peter". Well of course you do with a following wind and Peter moaned all the way there as he tried to stay on course but did an excellent job as we arrived at the main beach in a record time of thirty minutes even with the crossing between the two main islands being extremely windy as we battled to make the landing.

I recommended that Peter should fit his rudder now .........his reply is not printable.

Graham was testing a demo boat from North West Kayaks, a P&H Cetus which he expertly manoeuvred into the rocks - sorry - onto the beach.  We stopped for a breakfast of coffee and whiskey cake. Peter insisted his camera should be used as he would like to enter in the photo of the month competition and as you can see the photo of Graham and I is surely a good contender! Click here for Photographs submitted so far……..


The return journey was hard work as we all put our heads down and battled against the headwind but amazingly completed the journey in just under fifty minutes. At the slipway Peter and i had a go of Grahams Cetus and all vowed we would buy one some day. This is a great trip as it presents different conditions each time we paddle but if you want a peaceful journey then make sure Peter has his RUDDER down.


Another great well organised trip. Karl, Peter, Graham.   More Photos…..


10/06/12 Please do not touch or force the electric gates at the Marina

As you are all probably aware the gates at the Marina are operated by the use of a proximity (chip and pin) swipe card.  If you touch or force the gate, the motor locks-out and Jams.  The Marina is getting a little tired of this happening and have positioned a camera directly at the gates to try and identify the culprits.  Please only use a swipe card and do not try to slip through at the last minute, force or hold the gate while it swings.

If you would like to purchase a swipe card they are available to members for £11.00 and provide access to the kayaks, access ramps, changing rooms and showers and give you 10% off all food and drink purchased at the Marina. Click here for more information and to purchase……. ****

01/06/12 Brittany 2012

Well we have just got back from a fantastic week in Brittany organised by Dave Lynch and what a week it was. The coast of Brittany is stunning with beautiful beaches, clear blue water and wonderful scenery, there were plenty of trips out into the bay visiting some of the many islands that are just off the coast and a great journey up a river estuary. The sun shone for most of the week which made our walks into the local towns a pleasure. 

A game of hide the passport kept us up until the early hours one evening with Andy finally winning it by finding it under his kayak the next morning.  Dom introduced me to the delights of red wine and sea food while Dave introduced me to the delights of Lidl chicken curry.  All in all is was really a great week and one I wouldn’t hesitate to repeat.  Many thanks to Dave for organising it, Andy for doing the driving {Plymouth to Liverpool in 4 hours}and Dom for looking after me when the sea turned rough. I am now off to book into the Betty Ford clinic for a few weeks. Check out our YouTube clip of the trip below.


01/06/12 Olympic 2012 Sprint and Slalom Race Day - Coordinator Dave Cook

Sunday 17th June 10:00am until 1:00pm

To celebrate 2012 Olympic Year Liverpool Canoe Club will have 3 separate mini-Olympic race events for club members to try:

  • Dry land Ergo Challenge
  • Flat water slalom event (Club slalom kayaks are available or you can use your own boat)
  • Sprint event (Club WW racers, Luddites or sea kayaks etc are available or use your own boat)


They are all timed events so just turn up, register and have a go at 1, 2 or all 3 events.  All 3 events run from the Marina so will be ideal for non-paddlers, spectators and those just wanting to drift around for a Sunday paddle.


Ergo Challenge

Flat water slalom event

Sprint event

31/05/12 June 2012 Newsletter Published
Please open it by clicking this link June Newsletter…… or via the website   More Archived Newsletters…..

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