Volume 12  Issue 12

December 2012

December Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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30/11/12 New equipment for the club


We have just purchased 7 new Pyranha kayaks, 10 new spraydecks to replace the oldest blue ones and 10 new Ainsworth paddles.  The boats include two Karnarlis, 2 z-ones, 2 acrobats and a G3.


For a list of club equipment and how to borrow it for club paddles click the link in the members section of the website or click here…..

27/11/12 Christmas Presents from our online shop


booksThe club has a number of branded items at very reasonable prices.  Many members support the club by purchasing items of clothing, year books and Calendar from the club.  The orders are taken online using PayPal or a debit / credit card.  Chris Murphy delivers them to the pool or other sessions for collection.  Items take anything from 3 days (Books) to 2 weeks for clothing.  Why not consider a purchase now in time for Christmas.



27/11/12 November Photo of the Month Competition


Liverpool Canoe Club November Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to Keith Scott for his winning photo:

 Roy paddling the waterfall on the Afon Gamlan.”



Runner up Joanne Fisher :

“Halloween Paddle held in Liverpool Docks”


Runner up Paul Harwood :

Harvey Poling on River Ribble “

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




27/11/12 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 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.


Canoe Polo Division 3 Tournament 2


On Saturday 6 of us headed down to Stoke to play our first tournament of the new season.  Our squad had been reduced a little with Phil taking a holiday to Thailand, Dave being busy at the Canoe England Coaching conference, Theo had been called into work over the weekend. This left us with a team of 5 but Dinny`s arm had not recovered from injury so we were more than a little concerned.  After trying several other players Ben agreed to play for us.  This proved to be essential as Dinny`s arm did give up on him during the first half of the first game.


 We were two nil down to Derby rammers at half time but managed to fight back to draw two all. Phew!  Next up saw us battle against Manchester B (Wildcatz) where we managed another draw – one all.  Our third game was against Viking E.  We scored 3 and were always in control of the game. 


With our new found confidence and beginning to play like a team, we took on Dave Brown`s “Welsh Warriors”.  They had narrowly beaten us down in London 3 – 2 over the summer.  This game was end to end with both teams wanting to win.  We fought back to 2 – 2 having given away a penalty in the first half.  After some desperate saves we managed a break on the wing and Joe scored the winning goal to win 3 – 2.  Our last game was against FOA, again an end to end match.  They scored an easy early goal and although we tried everything we could not hit the net despite several really good chances in the second half.  Well done to the team, especially the three relatively new and younger players.  Many thanks to Dinny for both running both the league and the team.


Dinny Davies, Joe Boote, Keith S, Kate Mather, Josh Cook and Ben Waller.   More Photos…..


27/11/12 The Afon Wnion and Afon Gamlan Saturday 17th November


Although the Rainchasers website said the River levels in North Wales were low me and Keith Scott decided to take a chance and go and run the Afon Wnion which according to the UK Rivers Guide Book is a closely Guarded Game Fishing River in North Wales that runs through Dolgellau into the Mawddach Estuary. The section we wanted to run was the upper section which runs through a steep sided gorge and is classed as grade 4.


We had never run the Wnion before and met up with a couple of other kayakers we know who were familiar with the river and we ended up being part of a group of seven. Straight away the river flows into a steep sided rocky gorge and even though the river is never more than a few hundred metres away from the A494 road which runs parallel because your paddling through a gorge the river feels quite remote.


The gorge section is approximately 1.5 miles long but there are a good amount of rapids and drops spread across its length which makes it an exciting run. The water level was low and this made the drops quite technical but not too hard, in higher flows though this would be a very committing run and is more suited to a small experienced group this isn’t a river to take a large group of paddlers on not only because of the confined nature of the gorge but also because of the potential trouble with local fishermen and farmers, access and egress needs to be quick and discreet. Due to the short distance of the run we decide it to run it 3 times on the last run the water had dropped even lower and a fallen tree just near the end of the gorge had turned into a hazardous strainer that needed careful avoidance.


After the third run we headed over to the Mawddach and Gamlan confluence where we carried our boats up the Afon Gamlan for a bit of North Welsh steep creeking were the highlight of the run was a 20+ foot waterfall into a nice pool.


In conclusion a great day boating, even with the low water levels. Roy McHale



27/11/12 Play y Brenin Rolling Course Sunday 24th November

Following on from the report of a recent Greenland rolling course held in a cold, Welsh lake, twelve less hardy LCC members took part in a rolling course/clinic in the indoor, heated rolling pool at Plas Y Brenin. The course was arranged by club members but run by the very competent, enthusiastic and very patient Andy Grimes (and Ian) from Fluid Combinations kayak coaching.


I was in the morning session with Alan Peachment, Dave Hughes, Robin Preston, Sam Preston and Jay Quinn and the afternoon session was made up of Nicky Corbett, Sian Hill, John Vogler, Mick Ripley, Kirk Williams and Peter Diamond.


The objective of the session was to start to construct a solid, safe and practical roll suited to each individuals paddling requirements. Although we had a variety of abilities represented, I think it's fair to say that everyone made significant progress during their session and a few people managed their first ever unaided rolls. I split my time between my Fluid Detox river boat and my Nemesis playboat, both of which have very tall, very flat sides which makes setting up a little more challenging but the biggest lesson of the session for me was that of not coming up over the back deck of a playboat because when you do and the water clears from your eyes you find that you are staring at the ceiling just prior to having to set up again!!

A special mention needs to be given to young Sam who, by the end of the session, was hand rolling the little green Jackson boat very consistently (although, in an attempt to keep him a little grounded, he does need to work on keeping his body forward when rolling with a paddle :p Andy's comments, not mine!) A follow up session is now on the cards so that all the "nearly", "not quites" and "just abouts" can be consolidated.  Richard Quinn

25/11/12 White Water weekend in that Lakes – Thorny How.

Saturday – River Greta
Just wanted to thank Fiona for organising a great week end away in the Lake District last week end - I hadn't done any white water stuff since the Alps trip in 2011 so I had a few reservations about getting on the white foamy stuff - but confidence boosted from just returning from the 4 Star sea training it was time to test the waters again.


I'm not good with names but we planned to paddle a grade 3 river that sounded like the place you run off to in order to get married on the Scottish boarder (River Greta).  Anyway, the get in looked OK, a nice wide river with no obvious bumpy bits - but it felt so weird - being used to 18 foot of carbon fibre to point me in the right direction.  It just didn't seem right to be sitting in a 9ft plastic tub.  Fish out of water came into mind.


15 or so minutes later I began to relax, thanks to the guys who were leading our group you did a great job.  Some say, (Stig Style) it's Magnetic, some say it’s a Surprise. I’ll just call it a B****y Big rock that sits in the middle of the river, preceding a 3 foot drop onto another ledge a veer right and then some bumpy stuff before a safe break out.  Most of England was on flood alert but this river was apparently running at medium flow.  I’d hate to see it when its high - to get past Scary rock one had to ferry glide half of the river which was 'stonking' through to a eddy - break out and paddle to the far side bank so you could get in the tongue of water cascading down onto a second ledge - a hanging draw to the right to miss the boulder (one of our group failed to do so a dropped sideways into the soup below.  A bit of a swim) and then paddle like some cartoon character about to realise some strange force was about to take over.   Looking back up stream I thought "Whow that was great" (can a feeling have speech marks !) and it was after this I had fun.   Only, I switched off a bit thinking I had conquered Scary Rock and hit a few more on the way down by not focusing on where I was going.  The technical term is called 'Boofing'.  My best one was a massive bolder in the middle of the stream which I hit head on.  My boat went vertical and then cleared the thing completely and landed on the other side.   I seemed to be paddling up to my armpits for a moment before proceeding on.  The Pot noodle ad seemed to come to mind several times, "how can something so wrong feel so right".  


So thanks again to every one again for helping people like me to have a go at something I would never do on my own. John Pegram

Saturday – River Eden

Having had a great run on the Greta and it still only being early afternoon a conversation took place regarding option for a second river for that day. The Eden was obvious choice and only about 30 minis away. So a plan came together in which a vehicle would be put at the get out as the rest of use made our way to the get in. We all duly arrived and waited for those who had gone to deposit the shuttle car. Just as we were starting to get cold and wondering where they were they arrived, having had to do some unplanned boat reties, as one kayak was trying to escape down over a car bonnet. We also got chatting to a couple of local paddlers who were also running this section of the river and knew some of our party.

The river is generally grade 1 to 3 and at the level that day was likely just to be a big bouncy run down with most rapids well washed out and forming big playful wave trains. With high levels and a very muddy get in it took time to get us all on but once we had set off as a mass group; all 20 or so off us. As expected the river was just a serious of big bouncy wave trains with a flat bit in-between flowing fast.  Our progress was swift. We passed a couple of fishermen and a shooting party without any incidents and soon we arrived at the carved rock above Armathwaite weir.


After one or two photos’ we stated to think about the weir.  With the group congregating in an eddy some of the group jumped out to take a look. One or two of us decide not to bother - big mistake! Mark was the first to drop down to another eddy to take a look and came ferry-gliding back over saying something like a tight line if you boof the edge of hole.


Maybe I am getting complacent or just plain lazy as I have shot this weir a number of times before I decided to take a look from my boat. I dropped down the eddy saw the hole and a line I was thinking of shooting. I then tried to ferry back across. Then reality hit; I was not making any ground.  In fact I was moving backwards towards the weir. ian"What happened to my two safe eddy rule"? So I decided I had only two choices; run it backwards and hope I was on the line I wanted or Spin and try and pick up speed and the line to get though the hole below.   If I did this it would look really good but if the hole got me I would be in trouble.


Well you know what happened. I dropped straight into the hole and stopped dead. I was able to sit and scull quite happily.  This was no problem until I tried to find that exit point. So after a couple of quick tries and knowing everyone else was still up stream I felt the best option was to swim. The best thing to do would be to let my boat go and swim out of the stopper as hard as I could. Just as I did this I saw a line appearing from above but was unable to grab it so swam out about 6 yards downstream.   By now Mark and a couple of others had run down to help.  After checking that I was ok Mark and Roy went off downstream and successfully chased and retrieved both my boat and my paddle just as the local paddlers turned up.  They showed the rest of the group a safer line down the far side of the river and I was left running down the bank to the get out.


Thanks to all who came to my aid, it was most appreciated. From my point of view; nothing damaged apart from my pride and the loss of my swim free record for 2012 and of course a very early nomination for next year’s AGM.

Ian Bell   

Sunday – River Rothey (Playwave heaven)

Sunday was slightly warmer, which lead to a very pleasant paddle down the scenic Rothay. A pay and display with cameras monitoring our time keeping stepped up the paddling pace as the meter was ticking - thanks for the shuttle Helen! Lead by Stuart, 6 of us (Keith, John, Sarah, Gavin, Chris & Jenny) followed the river under the autumnal trees overhanging the water line and glided over the friendly rapids. A little stopper nearly forced me to take a long overdue swim, but thankfully the cold slap in the face shocked me in to defensive action, luckily I remembered how to roll and kept my bum dry!

Next stop a friendly play wave. Keith showed us his moves; Sarah made notes and then impressed us with hers while John got a bit dizzy working on his 360’s (flat spins and the underwater variety!). It was a quick dash over Windermere for the last leg of the trip, I was left standing. My penalty for being slow….being rapidly driven out of the car park before getting my shoes and socks on! Thanks for leading the adventure Stuart, it was a good paddle for a Sunday morning, I’ll be definitely returning to master that stopper. Well-co-ordinated Wriggs - it was a great weekend with an excellent selection of rivers.

Fiona (& Andy) - thanks for organising this, we had a great weekend.

Cheers, Jenny  More Photos…….

Sunday – Great Langdale Beck


Report to Follow……..  More Photos……

Sunday – River Kent


Report to Follow……..         More Photos……


24/11/12 Junior Club returns on a Tuesday – Broadgreen School Pool


After having secured a new venue with early start times we are starting the junior club again on Tuesdays.  We have a number of junior paddles and kayaks stored at the Broadgreen pool.  Parents are more than welcome to come onto the poolside to watch and support their youngsters.  Indeed some parents help by getting into the water to teach rolling and capsize drills.  If you are coming onto the poolside you are advised to wear indoor shoes (a change of shoes or bare feet) and to consider shorts and t-shirt as it is very warm.  A cold drink is also advisable.


The session is subsidised and only costs £3.00 for the hour.  Club coaches will run the session. Sessions are every Tuesday evening during term time 7:00-8.00pm. 

Booking details are available via the club’s booking system…..      Further details of the venue and maps are available from the menu on the club website or click here………


More Photos……..





24/11/12 New Canoe Polo Venue – Halewood Leisure Centre

We have just started at a new pool at Halewood.  We have a number of club polo boats stored there for use by any club member interested in playing canoe polo.  We have up to 15 paddlers in three teams of 5 playing each evening.  Each team plays two games of 10 minutes before swapping so we all get plenty of pool time.  The team off the water referees or watches the others. 


You need to have reasonable boat and paddle skills to play a game which is similar to basketball.  If you have never played polo and want to start why not pop along and watch a session to find out more.


Sessions are every Monday evening starting at 9:00pm.  Booking details are available via the club’s booking system…..


More details and maps of the location……..


23/11/12 The River Ribble – Open Boating Sunday 18th November

Having recently completed Anthony Brockway’s excellent open canoe skills course along with fellow paddlers Dave Collins and Steve Lewtas (Thanks for a great course, Anthony), and developing our J-stroke, C-stroke and various other new and mysterious skills, I spotted the upcoming Ribble open boat paddle on the club website, and decided it was the ideal opportunity to debut our now undoubted excellence to the world.

The paddle is described as a nine mile descent from Edisford to Ribchester, grade one to two, with one portage round a weir.  


First task of the morning was to pick up a pair of the club’s open boats from the Marina, then on to Sunny Lancashire. I say sunny: the journey up the motorway done under clear skies, bathed in bright, low sunshine, but we arrived at Edisford to find a slate grey raincloud parked directly above the put-in.  Time to meet the fellow paddlers: as well as me, Dave and Steve paddling solo in a boat each there were three doubles – Co-ordinator Paul Harwood and his young son Harvey, Mark and Vicky paddling their customised blue “Bob Special” (no, it’s not the wacky races), Sam and his friend Fred (who later admitted he’d only paddled once before – at Sam’s stag do), and Jim, who arrived with a Pyranha Karnali, which my keen detective skills identified as not being an open boat, but a strange kind of vessel called a “kayak”.  This turned out to be rather handy for scouting out features as we paddled.


Car shuttle sorted, and all paddlers back at the put-in, it was time to, err, “put in”. This was an easy to manage gently sloping stony beach into a gentle current. Within 200 yards we encountered two sections of gentle “rapids” which my boat simply rode over with barely a murmur of complaint. My first experience on “white water” “Dave!” I shouted. “Dave! Was that grade two?” “Nowhere near” came the reply.

OK then, onward down the river.

The Ribble was very low, and there were plenty of rocks showing midstream, left, right, in fact pretty much anywhere. Some of them were very easy to spot, big, upright and clearly marked with attendant eddies and foam, some simply lurked below the surface with very little indication of their existence until my boat found them. There was a stiff breeze blowing up the river, necessitating a centre kneeling position to trim the unloaded boat properly; sitting at the rear caused the bow to rise, and catch the wind, the boat insisting on seeking the riverbank. The Ribble twists hither and thither, so sometimes the wind disappeared, and I could change positions to avoid cramp.


After a few further slightly uneven bits, we reached the portage: Mitton weir. It was slightly disconcerting to arrive at it without seeing a single warning sign. If you didn’t know it was there it would be easy to find yourself in it. Fortunately for us, Paul knew all about it, and had us out of the water in plenty of time.  Next feature: Mitton Bridge. Three spans, we all took the centre span. Jim in the yak went through ahead of us to scout it out, and found that with the low river level, the exposed rocks just past the bridge provided a bit of a challenge, as he bounced sideways and showed us all that the line was a few yards to the right of the one he had taken. We all bumped through successfully, I managed to employ a daring “sideways” technique, finding one sneaky rock which bounced me off the seat and into the bottom of the boat. “This is more stable” I thought, quickly followed by “Yeah, but you can’t see much”.  So I got up again, and paddled on. “What about that then Dave? Grade two?” “About one –and-a-half” he sniggered.


We passed the confluences with the River Hodder, and then the Calder, immediately after which we stopped for a bite to eat.

Setting off again, we encountered more of the same, the odd rock, shoal and small rapid punctuating some lovely flat, lazily moving stuff that provided time to relax (a bit) and take in the scenery.

The shoal before Dinckley footbridge proved to be more of a challenge at a low level than if the river had been running higher, and provided Sam with an early opportunity to wrest the coveted “swimmer of the year” from Paul, as Sam and Fred took an impromptu trip over the side after finding a particularly sneaky rock which shoved their boat sideways from under them. They were only in about two feet of water, but Fred wasn’t wearing a drysuit, and took a soaking. No video or photographs, but signed witness statements are available at reasonable rates.


After the bridge, another shoal and a rapid. Heads up, everyone passed through ok, even with a bit of panache. Most of the group went for the “easy centre shoot” described in the BCU notes, finding myself to the left, I spotted a fast, narrow shoot close to the bank and went for it. Whoosh! Surely that was grade two!  “Nope.” said a laid-back Dave.  Steve spotted a salmon making its way upstream. Shame they’re out of season, or I’d have dived in after it.


Through the gorge at Marles Wood. The final rapid was perhaps the most dynamic of the lot. Let’s see now: watch everyone else’s line, slightly left of centre. There’s Dave going through now, why’s he turning tight to the left immediately after the shoot? Ah, that’s why. OK, set the boat up on the correct line, three or four power strokes, into the shoot, two steering strokes with plenty of sweep to go tight left and avoid the rock, steer right and enjoy gliding over a few small standing waves. Exhilarating.


Another half mile and it was all over, Ribchester bridge hove into view and there was nothing left to do but haul out. The trip had taken just short of three hours, not including lunch. Surely that last rapid must have been grade two! “Mmm, probably”, Dave admitted, grudgingly.    Many thanks to Paul H for co-ordinating the paddle, it was a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to the whole “white water” thing – I’m beginning to see the attraction.    Dermot Miller    More Photos…………..



18/11/12 THE TYNE TOUR 2012


IMG_0514.JPGThe Tyne Tour is the biggest recreational paddling event in Europe and is held over the Bonfire weekend in November each year.  As my son Kurt had only ever attended the event and paddled for one day I thought it was time that he experienced the Full “Tour”.  We arrived at the Tyne green in Hexham just after six in the dark; this is a long narrow grassed area that borders the river South Tyne.  We collected our pre booked tickets found a suitable pitch and proceeded to erect the tent with the help of head torches and car head lights.  The site was starting to get busy now with lots of university mini busses and club trailers navigating the access road.  We located our companions and helped them set up tents etc, before walking into Hexham for some food and a few drinks.


The rivers in the area are brought into condition for this weekend with a release from Keilder reservoir, so after a hearty breakfast and considering the group we had we decided to paddle the North Tyne.  Following the shuttle and the minimum of faf we arrived at Wark.  The group consisted of two opens and eight kayaks, which we split up and put on at 10.30, the river starts very gently therefore giving everyone a chance to warm up and hangovers to clear.  After a few miles the sun came out through the mist and bathed the valley in rich autumn hues, we continued on passing a few grade 2 rapids until Barrisford came into sight. 


Here as the river divides we got out with the group to inspect, the river right route is a straight forward gentle grade 2 sweeping turn, so some of the group were sent off to run this.  The river left grade 4 route can at some levels be quite vicious and is known to eat up open boats.  We walked to inspect the route only to see a paddler run it starting with one paddle and end with a swim and two paddles.


Kurt followed me down and after eddying out just above the drop I took a slightly bumpy but dry line and waited for him at the bottom.  His line looked good but after catching some air he was flipped and momentarily held capsized against a rock, a few moments later he broke free of the rock and rolled.  The crowd that gathers by the rapid clapped and cheered and took some photos.


Having regrouped we set off for the next challenge Warden gorge, once a group gets on at Barrisford this section is a must run with no portage allowed.    

At the entrance to the gorge you are met with three possible signposted routes, river left and river right are both grade 2 with the centre shelf drop being grade 3.  This leads into the gorge proper, a sloping rapid with large wave trains, boulders and the odd stopper.


Every year University clubs bring their freshers for some “character building” / white hot screaming death!! Thanks to the gorge, this year we spotted Lucy Stewart leading some very wide eyed students safely down. https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/599016_275384329231202_1384240660_n.jpgLeaving the carnage of the gorge behind, we paddled on toward Hexham and calls of are we there yet!!  Reaching the get out at 3pm having found our tent and sorted our kit out for the next day we ran the shuttle then had a walk around the many supplier marquees, with second hand boats and new kit of every description for sale.


 That night having changed into our least muddy dry gear we walked into Hexham turning down the firework display and decided to treat ourselves to a Chinese meal.  As is traditional on the tour, after we had eaten we made our way to the leisure centre for the famous Scottish dancing (what happens on tour stays on tour)


During the night the temperature dropped way below freezing, meaning that although we had slept well we didn’t hang around the next morning, after eating breakfast and saying good- bye we lift the site on time at 9am.  We had arranged to meet one of our friends James to run the river Tees from high force to low force, this being a very popular run over this weekend we had discussed meeting early before the crowds arrived.


Having got on we discovered we were not the first group, we met a group from Suffolk at the Dog leg rapid, most of them had run it so I asked if we could run it whilst they had safety in place and we would return the favour later on.

This section gets more technical as the water levels drop and the levels were low, I ran first pulling off a nice creek boat ender through the bottom IMG_0519.JPGstopper, and then managed “an old skool” pirouette just before the pinning rock.  James ran the same line got endered and just missed the rock. Kurt got back looped in the stopper and following a lightning quick roll missed the rock.


Thanking the other group we headed off downstream getting out to portage the evil middle force then continued down to low force.  James got our and set up the camera with some of the other group and IMG_0524.JPGwe inspected the drop.  We ran the drop one after another and paddled to the side to get the boats out.  It being very icy I decided against carrying the two boats back up the side of the drop so after I climbed to the top. The throw bags were deployed as a hand line and to pull the boats up.


At this point one of the other group decided to run the centre of the middle force in his play boat, with obvious results, as I was half way pulling a boat up the slope I glimpsed out of the corner of my eye some movement to my left.  The paddler was flipped over a number of times in his boat and then pulled his deck.  I quickly lowered the boat and had it unclipped, coiled the rope and told Kurt to get back on the water below the force.  Although the guy had exited his boat he was now being recirculated with his boat, luckily the other group switched on and got a line to him before I got to them.  His boat was not as lucky though, being swept over the fall, river left (the Jacuzzi chute) Kurt managed to recover his paddle and Jackson Superstar, now with a six inch dent and hole in the rear corner. We stayed to cover the other group over low force then walked back over the suspension bridge to the cars.


Kurt Toulson, Stuart Toulson.  James Lakey (stcc)


13/11/12 Halloween Paddle at the Docks - 31st October 2012

About 15-20 of us headed to the docks on cold and rainy Halloween evening, for a little spooky paddle in the dark. Early birds turned up to decorate the marina with ghosts, skeletons, spider webs and banners surrounding the kayaks. Even though it was Halloween, the main theme of the evening seemed to be eating! Paddlers started on their travels in search of a bright orange flashing pumpkin and green lit up spider. In good old “trick or treat” style, here they had a tamer version of a bush tucker trial and if they wanted sweets, they had to fish them out of boxes containing different slimy/coarse ingredients (aka jelly, spaghetti and popcorn). This proved to be no trouble at all for our tough LCC crew who took it a step further and had a bit of a cross kayak food fight meaning the underwater life lurking in the docks also got fed (responsibly may I add). After a chat over some cake we made our way back where we found a few extra paddlers who’d gone astray (or the wrong way…….Justin 😉).

Finally we gobbled up the remaining biscuits before heading into the bar for more refreshments, reinforcing the theme! At this point we were joined by a few extra individuals, mainly in the form of skeletons and spiders. Prizes were awarded to those with the best costumes, Sarah and Julie won out of the adults. However, as all the children had great costumes, it was too hard to choose so Nicole, Jack, Regan and Will all got a prize too.

It was a fun evening and thanks to all who took part.


Jo, Jeanette, Steve & Keith     More Photos………


11/11/12 Greenland or Bust ~ http://www.greenlandorbust.org/


Having spent a few years perfecting my very own special roll formula consisting of head up first, followed by great grunts and gasps, followed by frequent failure and straining most of my body parts in the process, it seems I’ve at last discovered a rolling technique much better suited to my lithe and athletic frame.


Llyn Padarn, Llanberis was the venue for our Greenland Rolling course ~ “Simplifying the Roll” with Greenland guru Helen Wilson and her husband Mark Tozer, a level 5 sea kayak coach who is also now a member of LCC. I arrived suffering from a very stiff back resulting from a fall while carrying two boats a couple of weeks ago and I wondered if I would manage to do even the very basic exercises. Carole and me had enrolled on the afternoon session but arrived half way through the morning session in order to have a sneak preview of what lay ahead. Already in the water and doing well were Kirk Williams and Mike Bell and about eight others. Although the sun was shining and the lake was sheltered from the wind, it was obvious from some of the cyanosed lips that the only subtle difference between the lake waters and the Greenland seas was the absence of icebergs and polar bears although the water was certainly cold enough to sustain a few of each.


Just before we started the afternoon session we were joined by Jon Maddock and, wrapped up well against the cold in our dry suits with multiple fleece layers underneath, our afternoon session began with us spending five or six minutes loosening up with a number of yoga poses. My back made a few cracking and crunching noises but gradually relaxed so I felt happier about trying to roll.


The course was structured so that each individual could move towards achieving what they had signed up to try and do and for me, this meant the beginning of a journey involving a completely different set of rolling techniques to those I had been attempting in the past. Rather than try to explain what Greenland rolling is all about, if you’re interested in it, take a look at Helen’s and Mark’s website shown above and also take a look at http://youtu.be/LiNi-FKvvgA. Both links will show you far better than I could explain.


Throughout the 3 hour session I worked gradually to achieve an unaided “balance brace” which is a way of actually relaxing with the head, shoulders and torso floating in the water with the kayak semi-capsized but kept in a controlled balance so that it acts both as a counter-balance and an outrigger. With most of my bad habits removed by this completely different approach, it was time for my first “Standard Greenland Roll”............... and yes, I did manage to do it and managed a couple of more times too. Just before you ask the most obvious question - no, you don’t have to have a beard or use a Greenland stick. Greenland rolls will work without either.


I’m certainly looking forward to practicing some more of these grunt free rolls over the winter months and if anyone is interested in heading down this route, either just as part of the fun of paddling and rolling or even to move on to the competitive aspect of Greenland rolling, then Helen and Mark plan to hold another course in Wales next Spring sometime so keep an eye on their website for dates. Helen is one of the best Greenland practitioners around and if I can use her methods and manage to do the basic roll without too much of an effort, the technique might also help others.


Mike, Kirk, Jon, Carole, Pete


11/11/12 The River Dee – 10th Novemebr 2012

Sunny day at the Dee 6 paddlers turned up of all experiences - decided for a bit of Serpents tail and some play.  Chris thanks for taking the helm - who needs new boats -amazing paddling !

Mike - another wealth of knowledge - you nailed Serpents no prob.  Jonathon - respect mate - well done for having a go of Serpents - we are all but between swims.   Graham - good roll well done came up trumps.  Mick - for a sea kayaker you took it in your stride keep at it.  Thanks all for the show.


I enjoyed my swim too.  Perhaps I will get to know a new boat first before hammering down serpents in a bathtub...


I may well see a few next Saturday - or week later in Lakes.


John Allerton


11/11/12 Liverpool Canoe Club Alps trip 2012 (Shuttles Blow My Mind)


Chris has put the club video of the Alps trip this summer online at YouTube.  You can view now.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5nApF9F6yk&feature=channel&list=UL



11/11/12 Scouting the River Duddon – 28th October 2012


As the rain started falling on Saturday evening a few LCC paddlers decided to go and check out the River Duddon deep in the Lake District. It has been on my radar for a while but is difficult to catch in a good condition as it runs off quite quickly after rain. None of us had done this river before so we were also going to check it out with future LCC trips in mind. The river is split into three sections which offer something for different ability levels. When we arrived we hooked up with 2 Leeds Uni paddlers and shared a shuttle in return for their knowledge of the river!!!


This river is great as you have a feeling of being very remote with great scenery all around. 500 meters after the get on for the upper we reached Troutal Farm Falls. This is a challenging grade 5 fall that improves as the river is higher. The river was rising rapidly whilst we were on it but the fall looked very uninviting so we shouldered our boats to walk around and leave this one for another day. Next followed a few km of continuous grade 3 before Wallbarrow Gorge. This is a grade 4 test piece. It is a few hundred meters long and gets progressively harder the further you go. Bank inspection is easy from a path on the right. Having watched the Leeds guys make it through, just about unscathed Roy, Paul and I decided to give it a go. We negotiated the top 2 thirds of the gorge successfully and were left facing the most difficult part, the exit rapid. Roy went first got a little unlucky and swam down the most difficult bit. He had to chase his boat and lost his paddle!! Luckily he retrieved the boat and his paddle surfaced about 5 mins later having been stuck in the falls underwater!! Happy days!!


Then it was mine and Pauls turn. I can’t tell you much about it but I remember a couple of rolls before paddling out of the gorge!! Job done but by no means styled!!! Similarly Paul went over the crux of the rapid sideways but also survived in his boat! It must of looked amusing to Chris and Mark who provided the safety cover on the bank!


We all regrouped and then had a great paddle through the middle and lower sections to the get out. As the river continued to rise with the rain, big bouncy wave trains formed. Just as you thought the river was easing off there would be another tricky little section to negotiate.


Great day out and the river definitely lived up to expectations. We have added another river to the list which we could put out club trips.


Paddlers – Roy McHale, Paul Flaherty, Chris Murphy, Mark Young and Me



01/11/12 November 2012 Newsletter Published
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