Volume 13 Issue 6

June 2013

June Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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Major Trip Reports.…


02/06/13 May Photo of the Month Competition


Liverpool Canoe Club May Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to Jonathon Maddock for his winning photo:

“Sea Kayaks in a cave – Pembroke Bank Holiday trip.”



Runner up Mike Bell:

“Paul Harwood Surfing his C1 at Crosby


Runner up Jonathon Maddock :

“Lunch stop in Pembroke“

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

01/06/13 Major dates for events this year – for more detail check the calendar…….

Fri 14 – 16 Jun     Anglesey weekend 1 - Tyn Rhos - coordinator Frankie Annan

Fri 5 – 7 Jul           Anglesey Weekend 2 at Bodfan Farm Rhosneigr LL64 5XA - Coordinator Jenny Brown

Sat 13 Jul             British Triathlon Championships in Liverpool - The club needs to provide safety kayakers - coordinator John Worswick…..

Fri 19 Jul-4 Aug   Alps Trip to South of France……

Sat 24-31 Aug     Open Boat Expedition (Scotland) - coordinator Ian Bell

Fri 20-22  Sep      Anglesey 3 - outdoor Alternative - coordinate Frankie Annan

Mon 7-14 Oct        Sea touring - Sweden - Coordinator Frankie Annan

Mon 11 Nov          Reel Paddling Film Festival 2013 hosted by Liverpool Canoe Club



01/06/13 Are you getting all the information on club trips and activities – club messaging system
As well as the website the club uses a number of different media to circulate details of club activities to all its members.  You can add (and remove) your own email address to a number of googlegroups to receive information and posts from members on events, courses and activities. (You do NOT need a google account or email) The main group can be accessed here….


30/05/13 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 website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk 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.



20/05/13 Swansea to Llandudno Sea paddle


3 friends are attempting to sea kayak from Swansea to Llandudno in an effort to raise money for the RNLI starting next weekend - they would appreciate any sponsorship!


You can follow their progress by clicking here……

To donate to RNLI fund that they are paddling for click here….


Michael Alexander



20/05/13 Wagon Lane Slalom at Bradford and Bingley Canoe Club

Well done to Isabel Papaspyridis who has been attending both Saturday morning youth development sessions with Richie and Pete as well as Tuesday nights.  She managed 2nd place J12 Div 4 K1W on Saturday and 2nd place in the Ladies Div 4 K1 today.


Wagon Lane slalom site is located on the River Aire in Bingley, West Yorkshire, and is home to Bradford and Bingley Canoe Club. The site is part of the Bradford and Bingley Sports Club complex.

An easy grade 2 river, the course is ideal for beginners and Division 3 paddlers who will find enough challenge and interest to test their skills. The course offers opportunities to try all the standard moves and to demonstrate sprinting prowess on the deeper, slower, sections.

A natural river in an area prone to rapid rises in water level, the water can vary by as much as four feet within a period of days and change from a rocky, boulder- strewn river to a full-on surfers' paradise.


The course begins with a flat, shallow 20m wide clear water stretch before dropping down shallow rapids to the Nibbler - a smaller version of the infamous Muncher at Nottingham. A 20m run then follows taking upstreams in safe eddies left and right on the way down to the "S" rock. As the name suggests, movement around the rock usually takes the form of an S move from either direction. The river then deepens and slows, allowing competitors to show their sprinting skills, and sweeps between downstream gates before passing the club boat store and steps. The final section is on steady and safe water before a final sprint to the line approximately 200m below the start gate.

The annual slalom in May is always well attended and attracts a loyal band who appreciate camping by the river, a good social weekend and the chance to visit some of the attractions in the Aire valley and Dales National Park

19/05/13 Pembroke Sea and Surf Bank Holiday trip

Saturday – Surfing and Dinas Head Sea Kayak trip

I had been looking forwards to this trip and with the weather forecast looking promising I was itching to get down there.
I had taken the Friday off work so travelled down on Thursday night parking on Whitesands Bay car park shortly after 11pm.
After  booking onto the campsite on Friday morning I popped into St David’s for bacon and eggs Emojiand then back to Whitesands for a couple of hours playing in the surf. The waves were plentiful but it required patience to pick out the bigger ones.
Back at the campsite I had time to relax before the first of our clan began to arrive.
Hats off to all those who had to pitch tents in the strong wind that was to plague us all weekend! 

Saturday morning dawned bright and breezy and paddle plans were quickly made. One group were going to go to Abereiddi Bay to play in the surf while those of us in sea boats were going to head to Perrog just south of Newport Sands.

Although the tide was out at Perrog we were lucky to be able to launch into a wide creek at the bottom of the slipway and follow this out to the shoreline where the surf was rolling in. After clearing the surf zone Brian and I decided to catch a quick wave. On turning off a wave I saw one of the boats upside down just beyond the surf line. My first thoughts were "They’re keen practicing recues!"

I then remembered it was Steve’s first trip on the Briny and paddled out to help get him back in his boat. Drama over; we set off along this stunning coastline. It was windy and quite lumpy so while some headed in close to explore and couple of us stayed farther out with Steve trying to avoid the washback from the cliffs. It was clear that Steve was not too comfy (If that had been my first sea trip I don’t think I would have cleared the surf zone) out there and after he took a second swim he decided to return to the shore shepherded by Brian and Pete. I returned to the main group to let them know what was happening the realised Steve had my van keys so had to paddle like a maniac to get catch up and retrieve them.

Back with the group we explored the fantastic sea cave’s and gullies all the way up to Dinas Head.
On our return we began to play in the surf and yours truly had a skills failure and went for a swim.
Pete managed to get me back into the cockpit which was awash and a white knuckle paddle back to the shore through the surf was needed to empty the cockpit. Back out and yes, swim number two (well I forgot to wash behind my ears first time round)

Back at the campsite for drinks and a Barbeque!  Dave Blake  
More Photos…




Sunday Surfing at Abereiddi


Sunday and two groups formed again. The sea boats heading for Porthgain and the play boats heading for Abereiddi.

I decided to join the surf group and enjoyed a great day in the surf.  More drinking back at the site and a late night was had by many of us.  Dave Blake

Report to follow….  Pegrams


SundayPorthgain to Abereiddi and return

With the wind still on the fresh side, the sea kayakers opted for another relatively sheltered trip while the surf crew went back to Abereiddi Bay for some second helping of fun in the froth.


To minimise any driving, Steve Bond suggested we put in at nearby Porthgain and then paddle around to Abereiddi to join the surfers and then head back to Porthgain for the promise of a pleasant afternoon pint in the sun at the well know Schooner Inn.


As you’ve probably gathered from Dave Blake’s account of the Saturday sea paddle, we were a group of mixed abilities and despite his soaking yesterday, Steve Woods opted to give it another go. Hats off to him as he was paddling quite a tippy boat and had chalked up very few sea hours before coming to Pembroke. The wind had dropped a notch from Saturday but there was still a little bit of a confused sea off some of the headlands and in some of the small sounds. Steve Woods had a look of determination on his face and was encouraged on by everyone present. As we were each heading through our first rock garden gap, he said “ I can’t get through there” and within a couple of minutes he was through without mishap, justifiably proud of his achievement. More rock hopping followed and we were confronted by a headland with some slightly lumpy conditions. Fortunately, Mark Steward had noticed an impressive and narrow archway that avoided the headland. All was well and Steve passed through again without any problems. To make it look actually harder than it was, Carole got her paddle well and truly stuck between the rock walls, making it fun to the couple of paddlers who were powering towards her on the waves surging through the arch!


Lunch on a pleasant beach followed where Jon Maddock reflected on the numerous family holidays he had spent in the area. He mentioned that it was likely to be a bit lumpy in the sound between Barry Island and the mainland. It was a bit but all survived and despite being tired out from concentrating intently, Steve Woods pressed on until we all turned the final headland before reaching Abereiddi. The tide was flowing hard against us at this stage but we eventually won through and headed for the beach where some of the surf team helped us out of our boats. Unfortunately the surf had died at this point so there were no dramas to entertain the onlookers.


Steve Woods decided to quit while he was ahead and got a lift back to his car from Dave while the rest of us, with the tide under us and the wind at our backs, paddled back at break-neck speed. I hope Steve doesn’t mind me singling him out but, being a very tippy paddler myself not so long ago, I was impressed by his tenacity and the way his skills had improved significantly on the second day. I hope to paddle with him again in the near future.


Another night of revelry followed as we huddled around the barbee and swopped tales about our day on the water.


Pete Thomas  More Photos…




Monday – Porthgain short boats


On our last morning in Pembrokeshire, tent packed and ready, Lucie and I left the campsite after the other small boaters, with the plan of meeting everyone on Abereiddy beach where we had spent the previous 2 days surfing. I write surfing, more accurately in mine and Lucies’ case we had spent the previous 2 days being dragged under water in the shallows, hauling our kayaks onto the shore to empty them, and catching the occasional wave in between.


On the Monday however, we met everybody driving away from Abereiddy, as the surf was somewhat weaker, they had chosen to set off from Porthgain, a small harbour village a 10 minute drive along the coast.


When we arrived at Porthgain, the sun was shining and the sea an almost Mediterranean turquoise- very inviting. Lucie resisted the charms of sea, and decided to spend the afternoon walking along the cliffs instead, despite Keith’s insistence that it would just be a ‘short paddle round the corner’. I think Keith’s interpretation of the phrase  ‘just round the corner’, is somewhat different to mine, as we paddled for over an hour, being gently lifted by the rolling waves, as the sun scorched down on my already fairly pink face. We all we admired the view into the darkness as we paddled into caves, and the stunning sight of the sun lit sea framed by the cave opening on the way out.


After an exciting paddle through an arch, we discovered a good drop between a couple of boulders, which I only realised was potentially dangerous when Michal donned his helmet. Michal nipped through the gap, then was buffeted up and over onto the higher rocks by a large swell. Keith followed suite and was left high and dry for a few seconds as the water swirled away before being dropped back down as well, and finally Sara showed them both up, picking the opportune moment to shoot through the drop between waves.


We continued across a wide lagoon, and through a gap between a rock the size of a small bungalow and a piece of headland, to a gorgeous little bay where the surf had picked up over lunch and some decent waves were forming. We all caught a few corkers, and after a time we attracted something of an audience of holiday makers on the beach. I am proud to say I had spent substantially less time under water on this attempt at surfing, but after one really dramatic flip on catching my biggest wave of the weekend, I admitted defeat and turned to the beach for a break. Eventually we all decided to come in for a brief rest, sharing tea and chocolate to restore our energy for the paddle back ‘around the corner’. All except Jenny that is, who I think would still be at that beach effortlessly catching waves now had we not persuaded her to join us!


We made fast work of the return journey, with the impressive view along the West Wales Coastline down to lighthouse at Strumble Head, and after avoiding becoming entangled with a fisherman at the entrance to the harbour, we returned to Porthgain, small boats beating the sea kayaks hands down I must emphasise. We met Lucie looking happy from her trek along the coastal path, and said our fond fair wells for the journey home to Liverpool. Some stayed for a pub lunch to fortify themselves for the drive, but Lucie and I decided against this in case anyone mistook me for the lobster on the menu with my by now exceptionally burnt face. Not a bad way to spend a Monday lunchtime!

Sophie  Steventon 


Monday and the two groups formed again. Most of the sea kayakers headed up towards Fishguard but I joined those hoping to surf again at Abereiddi.    On arriving at the bay we were disappointed to find little to surf on so relocated to Porthgain for a spot of rock hopping and cave exploring.

There was a surprisingly big swell out there which made it fun dodging between the rocks and gullies.   It was a nice surprise to find good sized surf waves rolling into the beach at Traeth Llyth.   Game on, let the play begin! I don’t know how long we stayed there playing but any chances of getting on the road home early quickly vanished. After stopping for a bite to eat the play boats headed back to the harbour while Brian, John and I continued to the Blue Lagoon at the edge of Abereiddi Bay.  Here there were many lemmings throwing themselves from the rocks !

After a nice paddle back and a few rolls practiced it was time to pack up and head to the pub to join with the others for a pub lunch.
It was nice to be able to sit outside in the sun for the first time this year.

I think it’s fair to say a brilliant time was had by all. Thanks to Jenny for organising the trip. Roll on Anglesey!
  Dave Blake   More Photos…


Monday – Fishguard paddle – Sea Kayaks


Report to Follow…..




Paddlers:  Tony Bennett, Caz & Pete Thomas ,Mark and Vicky Steward, Tony Doyle, Sophie Steventon, Keith Steer,  Sara Bergqvist, Dave Blake, Steve Bond, Neil Moult, Michal Giezgala, Brian Green, John & Matthew Pegram, John Worswick, Robert Giles, Victoria Howell & Sean Oconnor, Steve woods, Lucie Michaelson, John Maddock, Jenny Brown, Chris Thompson 

8/05/13 White Water Experience - Sunday 5th May 2013 - River Irwell Bury. - report and Youtube video

9 People turned up to paddle the Burrs - some complete novices; some more expert than others – it was all about passing on tips and experience and having fun.


See the video here – http://youtu.be/duN4fGZU9cU


The river was a bit dull at first and water levels were not that great – however 9 people turned up to slide down the weir!  Well done Harvey – Paul has trained you well – what bravery to go down the weir at your age.


A few new members showed up for the paddle.   Mark did well rolling in that murky water – reluctantly at 1st though.


I will look for the levels to rise and arrange a few more of these trips – possibly as discussed; above JJ’s in Llangollen or on the river Irwell again when it gets to 3.5 and above – Will keep you posted


John Allerton

30/04/13 Sufing at Crosby

Karl, Dave, Steve, Brian, Mike, Harvey and I arrived at Crosby at 1015 to see the sea quite far away. Mike had got the tides wrong so we waited a bit before we got on. Harvey had come back to face his fears and was not going to be upside down this week, He was leaving that for Dave, Brian and Mike!

Dave somehow managed to get his boat on the wrong side of the tower and was heading towards the iron men, upside down, Mike was heading sraight for the tower upside down and Brian was stood next to his new Surf Moccasin waist deep watching the first annual swimmers convention unfold.

Harvey and I were keeping away from the madness and he was doing really well. He learned to close his eyes as the wave hit his face and learned to high brace into the wave not away from the wave for instant capsize. He still finds it hard to paddle out which was lucky as I was on hand to drag him out, turn him and push him along with the waves. He thought it was quite easy. I wander where he gets his confidence from?

The waves got quite steep as they came over the sandbank, and as I had decided to bring an even smaller boat than normal I was finding it quite tough getting out over the breakers. My Thursday night Crazy Polo has definitely helped with my Single Bladed Boating and not a low brace in anger was put out. It is doing wonders for my canoe blade paddling.

An hour and a half before high tide the water was on the bricks (a steeper section of the beach) and it was time to go home. Fun was had by all especially by Karl and Steve who decided to hold me upside down in my boat on the beach and drop me on my head.

Paul Harwood

A touch windier than the day before suggested but 7 hardy souls turned up to frolic in the messy waves, and good fun was had by all.    

Paul Harwood C1 surfing at Crosby.
Awesome fun, awful hard work.  Nice colours!


Dave Blake?   Sea Kayak in the surf at Crosby.



More Photos from Mike Bell……….



30/04/13 Greenland or Bust" A talk / presentation by Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer Monday 13th May 2013 (7:45pm for 8:00pm)

Helen will speak about her experiences of the Greenland National Kayak Championships in 2008 and 2010. Along with this, we will talk about our observations about life in the Arctic based on our combined travels to the region as well as Greenland or Bust's first commercial expedition last year.

Our mission at Greenland or Bust is to promote sea kayaking using both traditional and contemporary skills. We provide quality presentations, instruction, rolling demonstrations and BCU certification programs worldwide. Helen Wilson is internationally known for her rolling and traditional skills instruction, while Mark Tozer is equally recognized for holding the highest BCU credentials possible.

Greenland or Bust's website, www.greenlandorbust.org, includes an active blog, a question and answer section and an online store, which features the DVD, Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson


Click here for more information and to reserve a seat……….









29/04/13 Introduction to WW session 2 “A Perfect Day in Llangollen“ – 28 April 2013

After the brilliant Intro to white water in January, everyone was keenly awaiting the follow up session. Mike and Ruth sensibly felt warmer weather would optimise learning and waited patiently for spring to arrive. They waited, and waited some more.  On Wednesday the email arrived. By Thursday everyone had signed up for one of the 3 dates Mike and Ruth had offered. 

Arriving at Mile End at 09:15, it seemed strangely deserted.  I half expected tumbleweed to blow across the car park along with the clouds of dust (seeing the dust, I remembered something about asbestos and a roof falling in at JJ’s…could this account for the deserted car park ? I thought, as I retreated to the safety of the car). Soon enough Chris and Sam arrived followed by Mike and Ruth with news that poor Kathy Wilson wouldn’t be joining us as she was still at home battling with the padlock on her boat. You were missed, Kathy. Hope you manage to borrow some bolt cutters before the May sessions!

We had a quick warm up in the car park whilst we admired Sam’s new kit. This led us nicely into a recap on kit safety, on the water safety, teamwork and river signs. As the Tryweryn wasn’t opening the car park was rapidly filling up, and we managed to get on the water just before the Ladies Symposium jumped out of their vans.

A short ferry glide over the river reminded me how quickly these boats turn compared to sea boats. We enjoyed a much easier portage (without snow) up to the bridge, easier for me that is, not much easier for Mike, who’d kindly offered me the use of his Burn and was coaching us from his open boat! Thanks again, Mike!

We spent a lovely morning practicing ferry gliding and breaking in and out by the bridge whilst the sun shone and the steam train passed overhead.  A lack of edging soon had me taking my first swim of the day, but the water was lovely and the sun was shining.  Mike got us relaxing into the boats  (asking us why elephants fly……) and soon we were pushing out into the gaps between the other paddlers and S-turning in and out of the flow. Sam mastered all manoeuvres quickly and moved further upstream to the faster stuff whilst Chris and I felt it better to give Sam space to paddle, (honest) by hanging back in the slightly gentler water.

As if 2:3 coach:student ratio wasn’t good enough,  we were delighted to see another open boat carrying Ian Bell arriving.  I was now getting a touch too warm, so I over-edged, forgot to use any support strokes and went for my 2nd swim to cool me off nicely before running over the drop to get back for lunch.

After a quick bite and warm up we headed out to try our new found skills playing in the stopper at ?Tombstones. Ruth glided across the stopper with a grace we were keen to emulate and we lined up in the eddy to take a turn. Sam stepped up to the mark first and after a couple of hesitant turns, glided across perfectly. Chris made it look easy and I was eager to have a go. So eager that I lined up before Chris had dropped back and I promptly went for another swim trying to manoeuvre out of the way. Undaunted, somehow, I managed to move into and across the stopper and stay dry! Mike then showed us how to negotiate it in an open boat. Ever the supportive coach, he felt that I may be starting to feel the heat from being the only swimmer. After a confident entry, he faked a few minutes of seeming to be stuck before being sucked into the stopper. Thanks for the camaraderie Mike.

We moved downriver, grabbed an eddy and scouted the 20 metres of fast flowing water. Mike and Ian went down in their opens making it looks oh so easy before we followed Ruth down. It was brilliant!

We carried the boats back a couple of times and on our 2nd trip we scouted from up above and planned our own courses.  Sam quickly mastered his course and finally went river right at the bottom, hitting his green V nicely. Chris managed to bag 3 eddies (Ian decided we can bag eddies like Monroes) and stop for a nice surf half way down.  Mike congratulated me on my dynamic planning as I missed the eddy, but hit the downward V.

It was a brilliant day -  paddling, sunshine, (swimming, for some –the water really was lovely), brilliant coaching from Ruth and Mike (and Ian), great company and new skills learnt and put into practice with a sense of achievement and great encouragement from the group, steam trains and pie for lunch. Who could ask for anything more? When I was able to use my arms again this morning, I went straight onto the club for sale pages and E-bay to check out the available river boats……. Ruth and Mike, thank you for a brilliant, easy to understand, perfectly pitched course! Thank you all for a fantastic day.

Kathy M          More Photos……

May 2013 Newsletter Published
Please open it by clicking this link  May Newsletter…… or via the website   More Archived Newsletters…..

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