Volume 13 Issue 9

September 2013

September Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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News items or reports on club activities should be sent to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk

 

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Major Trip Reports.…

 

31/08/13 Autumn is here
As the club moves into September the sun now sets at 8:00pm (31/8/13) so if you are paddling at the Marina (away from the polo goals) after this time you will require a white light (torch) to show to other vessels.  This can be a head torch or small torch tied on to your Buoyancy Aid.

The Mondy evening pool session at Kingsway now moves to the whole pool (24 places).  Junior Club continues on Tuesdays and Saturday Mornings at the Marina throughout September but the Tuesdays will move to Broadgreen pool from October 1st (New times 6:00pm to 9:00pm).  In addition Thursday night pool sessions start from October 3rd 9:00pm to 10:00pm

Just a reminder about use of the Marina – A key holder who opens up is responsible for the whole session including, running the white board, organising other paddlers and locking up everything at the end!  It greatly helps if all users put everything back where it came from.  If all boats are turned on their side and when a section of rack space is full the wire strop can then be passed through all the end loops ready for locking.  This saves the key holders a massive amount of time and is much appreciated.  Bouyancy aids should be zipped up.

31/08/13 Major dates for events this year – for more detail check the calendar…….

Fri 13-15 Sep       Anglesey 3 - outdoor Alternative - coordinate Frankie Annan

Sun 22  Sep         Club Run Hilbre Island Race and Club BBQ…….

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

Mon 14 Oct           AGM and Presentation of this years Alps Trip

Mon 11 Nov          Reel Paddling Film Festival 2013 hosted by Liverpool Canoe Club Click to book a place.........

Fri 22-24 Nov        Lakes White Water Weekend - Coordinator Fiona Barry

Mon 25 Nov          Erik Boomer Visiting Speaker ”The Honey Badger of Kayaking”. Click to book a place.........

 

31/08/13 Coaches, volunteers, Aspirant Coaches and Leadership Training  - Monday Nights

 

These sessions will continue to run throughout the Autumn on Monday evenings.  There are for coaches, trainee coaches, leaders and key members of the club who run or organise club sessions and trips.  They are totally free to all volunteers and the idea is build up more advanced skills and understanding of paddlesport for the clubs volunteers.

 

So if you’re thinking about how to develop your personal paddling skill, get more involved in leadership or coaching within the club, these Monday night sessions will be a great place to start. With a range of coaches getting involved there is definitely something for everyone, whatever type of boat you paddle.

 

This week we are looking at: towing, rafts, incidents and getting people out of the water.  If you have a tow line or sling / strop then please bring it along.

 

Book your place via the website booking system…….

 

31/08/13 "Paddler of the Year" Nominations

 

Previous Award winners......

 

Each year the club asks for nominations for our Paddler of the Year Awards.  At the moment we are asking for your nominations only.  Once these nominations have been compiled members will then be asked to vote.

 

2013 Awards Please make your nominations here..........

 

31/08/13 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….

 

31/08/13 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.  Club Calendar….

 

 

 

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

 

30/08/13 August Photo of the Month Competition

 

Liverpool Canoe Club August Photo Competition Winners



Congratulations to Claire Murphy for her winning photo:

“Ollies first ever river trip” - La Claree – French Alps 2013

 

 

Runner up Keith S :

“Source to Sea, River Tay” – Ian Bell on

the bottom drop of Grantully

 

Runner up Chris Preston :

Dove Cave - Dumfries and Galloway

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


Criteria for the photo of the month competition…. 25% Quirkiness and framing of the subject, 25% Quality and sharpness of the photograph, 25% Diversity of the subject material (ie not all one discipline), 25% has LCC logo or clothing in the shot.

 

28/08/13 Duddon Estuary, Walney Island to Kirkby-in-Furness, 22/08/13  (approx 9 miles)

Sam, my Dad and I put in at Ferry Pitchings, Walney channel at aproximately 12.00 to paddle north out of the channel during the slack period that lasts about an hour before high tide in the area known as Water Meetings. Like a smaller verion of Menai Strait, the tidal movements here are confusing to say the least but fortunately my dad has access to local knowledge through the Duddon Canoe Club. Kirkby was our destination of choice mainly because that's where dad lives but it is a lovely place and well worth a visit. As noted in Jim's book there is a bunk house at the Ship Inn just near the train station and close to the shore.

 

There was slight apprehension as we had attempted the trip a week earlier only to meet westerly winds of 20-25mph head-on as we tried to paddle out into Duddon Estuary. After a brief time spent paddling on the spot we had decided to retreat and returned home with our damp tails between our legs. On a calm day this trip is an easy, sheltered and tide-assisted sea paddle with lovely views but we had learned our lesson about the wind that day!

 

Our second attempt proved much easier (especially after we fed Sam a Mars bar) and the light wind was in our favour once we had paddled out around Lowsy Point. A slight swell was running and waves were breaking on the point so we paddled out and around most of the breakers but a few cheeky ones caught us unawares, breaking over the kayaks and causing some issues in our beautifully spaced paddling formation! Lunch in the sun on the beach at Ronhead with stunning views across the estuary to Millom, Black Coombe and the South Lakeland fells beyond made us feel lucky to be alive with all that beach and space to ourselves.

 

The paddle back to Kirkby up the Estuary should have been on the flooding tide but we were a little late putting in and had to stay close to the shore, seeking eddies as it felt like the tide had already turned as we paddled across to Askham Pier. One of the more notable landmarks along the southern edge of the Estuary is Dunnerholme, a lone rocky outcrop with short cliffs on the seaward side. The tide really rushes around this small headland and we had to paddle hard against it on this occasion, well done Sam! We chased a flock of Oystercatchers all the rest of the way home and made a last big effort to paddle into Kirkby Pool against the ebbing tide. Once out of the boats my dad stood looking out over the estuary and remembered the day that he and my mum had stood looking at that view and decided to settle there. It was all a bit lovely!

 

At Kirkby one of the easiest places to land is just into the mouth of Kirkby Pool, the tidal river that flows through the village. Just near the train station is the hamlet of Sandside where there is a railway crossing that leads down to the river. This one-way trip can also be extended up to the very top of the Estuary at Duddon bridge which can only be reached on a tide of 9.5m or more. To do a return trip to Duddon Bridge requires putting in at Ronhead 2-3 hours before high tide now that Askham Pier is no longer accessible. If you find yourself up this way and the sea is too rough you can opt for Plan B at Coniston Water about 20 minutes drive away.

 

Chris Preston, Sam Preston and Mr Preston (Senior)  More photos……

 

 

28/08/13 Dove Cave - Easter 2013
 
 This idea came from an article featured in Canoe and Kayak magazine about The Isles of Fleet. Not far from Dumfries, the trip we did offers some spectacular coastal paddling without doing the long drive north of the Clyde. As relative beginners it also sounded manageable and after much deliberation and kind advice from Douglas Wilcox (http://seakayakphoto.blogspot.co.uk) I decided to give a go with my son Sam (aged 13) whenever we could find a calm day. Douglas and others warn of strong northerly winds accelerating down from the Galloway hills into Wigtown Bay and causing problems for mariners, even fatalities over the years, so please be aware of that.
 
 We camped at a decent campsite at Brighouse Bay just north of Kirkcudbright because this offered a great starting point from which to paddle north along the cliffs, featuring Dove Cave, to the Isles of Fleet for lunch at high tide. The weather was kind and allowed us to explore the rocks and caves along the way, it was our first proper sea paddle together and the gentle swell made us both a bit twitchy but our initial nerves soon gave way to the fun of rock-hopping along the bottom of the cliffs. With tidal assistance the 12 mile round trip took around 5 hours but could be done in less if you had to. As a starting point for sea kayaking without driving too far or taking great risks I can thoroughly recommend this trip and you get extra points if you can find Dove Cave which is marked incorrectly on the OS map! 

 

Chris Preston, Sam Preston   More photos…….

 

 

26/08/13 The Tay, Source to Sea by Canoe or “Three men in three boats!”

 

The River Tay is the longest river in Scotland and carries the most water at its mouth of any river in Britain. It is one of the most popular places to go canoeing in the country.

 

The Tay is fantastic for both whitewater kayaking and for canoe touring. There are enough rapids to keep paddlers on their toes, but overall the grade remains a reasonable 1 to 2, with the notable exceptions of Grandtully and Stanley Weir which are normally viewed as Grade 3.   We decided to extend the trip and paddle the River Dochart which flows from Tyndrum (our get in was at Crianlarich) to Loch Tay and then down the River Tay to Perth and the Estuary beyond.

 

Day 1 – Tuesday Crianlarich to Loch Lubhair

 

Ian and Simon met at my house and we loaded our three opens on a small trailer and headed up the M6 to Scotland.  We took the “Stirling route” as we wanted to see how much water was in the River Dochart to determine where we could paddle from.  There was plenty of water despite it being late August. 

 

Arriving at Crianlarich we soon found the get in down a small track immediately before the railway bridge.  After a little persuading, Ian drove the car and trailer down the track to the rivers edge.  Gear and boats were unloaded very quickly; it is very easy to load two dry bags into an open boat and tie them in.  While Ian parked the car in the police station car park we were approached by a local character.  He and his dog apparently earned their living by panning for gold in the streams around Crainlarich.  Apparently small deposits can be found in every river valley around Tyndrum.  There’s GOLD in them thar hills!   After discussing our plans we were off, hoping to get to one of the Lochs to camp before nightfall.

 

After a few miles of gentle flowing stream we passed the castle on Loch Dochart and entered Loch Lubhair where we found a campsite on a small semi-island at the south end of the lake.  We soon had the tents and tarp up and Simon set about lighting a fire.  With a few notes of guidance from Simon, wild mushrooms were added to the evening meal of Thai green curry and rice.  Ian and Keith both had tents but Simon was to bivi out under a tarpaulin.  The midges, although present were not too bad, especially given that it was late August – no doubt kept at bay by the rain and smoke from the fire. Simon “Well as long as you’re appy!!

 

Day 2 – Wednesday Loch Lubhair to the Southern end of Loch Tay

 

It rained constantly over night and in the morning the river was noticeably higher.  This was good news as it would help us swiftly on our way.  After smaller rapids and a few bridges we came across the first major drop, Corriechaoroch rapids.  This was a technical grade 3 with two rocks in the middle that could easily broach an open canoe.  Having survived this rapid we enjoyed the grade 2`s below with shoot after shoot and a few drops thrown in for fun (Lix rapids).  Simon “Well as long as you’re appy!!  As the valley deepened and became more wooded we had to negotiate a rope across the river at neck height near some building work. 

 

We got out at Kilin just above the “Falls of Dochart”.  There is a war memorial just before a steep wall on river right which depicts the run in to the rapids.  These are about 200m long and would provide good fun for kayaks.  We did not want to risk damage to our boats (another group had pinned their open midstream while lining down under the bridge) so we portaged around the main falls to the bridge.  Simon “Well as long as you’re appy!!  During the portage a guy started chatting to us and said “I thought it was 3 men in a boat but you `re 3 men and 3 boats!”

 

Not wanting to carry down the main street and make the portage nearly one kilometre long we put in just under the bridge via some rough land on the river left.  After a short lunch we paddled, lined and walked our canoes down the 200m of rapids below the bridge.  One drop had a noticeable stopper and strong tow back so we all lined down a small ramp on the left.

 

At the old railway bridge the river flows more sedately into Loch Tay.  By now it was about 2:30pm.  We paddled in perfect conditions down to a small rocky island on the left bank and took a second, late lunch break (very late as it was now around 4:00pm).  Suitably refreshed with tea and coffee we paddled on towards to bottom of the Loch and eyed up a few potential camp spots. 

 

Within sight of the bridge at the end of the Loch we came across a perfect campsite; a small shingle beach with flat grass and mature trees.  It even had a small stream running just behind the campsite.   Simon soon had a fire going on the isolated beach, evening meal on and tents up and fantastic view down the remainder of the Loch as the sun went down.  Simon “Well as long as you’re appy!!

 

Day 3 – Thursday Loch Tay to Dowally (6km above Dunkeld)

 

It took less than an hour to paddle across to the bridge and onto the River Tay itself.  A grand hotel overlooks the river here and there is a large caravan park on the left bank.  The river is relatively swift and numerous rapids kept our interest on the way down to Aberfeldy.  There was nothing more than grade 2 (Chinese bridge rapids (Grade 2) but a very enjoyable section of river.  We had lunch on a small shingle bank just below Aberfeldy bridge.

 

The river began to flatten out after Aberfeldy but still had numerous rapids and good scenery.  It was not long before we came across a group of students and kayak instructors having lunch at the top of the white water section of the Tay which marked the start of the Grantully section (Pronounced “Grantly” for those in the know).  The beautiful wooded valley had many interesting rocks which gave a lot of interest on the run it to the slalom site.  There was squad training at Grantully Slalom site with paddlers sporting Welsh and GB colours. 

 

A quick inspection and decision on route choice at the top and we were off.  Simon drifted a little close to a large tree on the top slot but survived the scare and paddled down to break out neatly in an eddie marked by an upstream gate.  We bailed and Text Box:  
Evidence of the European beaver gnawing at trees.
sponged out any water taken on board and headed down through the bridge to the large natural weir below.  We shot this on river right through a reasonably sized stopper and again sponged out in the eddie below.

 

Drawing of beaver swimming From here on down it was grade 1-2 with more and more fishermen learning the dark art of fly fishing.  After a few miles we came across evidence of beaver activity, gnawing at trees to fell them, bark being stripped for food etc.  Our wilderness guide Simon informed us that they were no ordinary beaver but a European variety that had been reintroduced to areas of Scotland.  This species does not often build dams and therefore disrupt the hydrology; they live in holes in the river bank and eat the shoots and trees around the area.  They only emerge at dusk so we had little chance of spotting one; so we after a short time we paddled on.

 

Beaver facts

Did you know that beavers are Europe’s largest native rodent; that they can remain under water for up to 15 minutes at a time and are highly skilled water engineers? More fascinating facts about Scotland’s newest residents can be found below…

Are there different species of beaver? There are two species of beaver: the North American beaver (Castor canadensis) and the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber). The Eurasian beaver is native to the UK and is the species involved in the Scottish Beaver Trial.

European beaverWhy did beavers become extinct? Until the 16th Century, beavers lived throughout Scotland. They were hunted to extinction for their fur and a glandular oil (castoreum) secreted from the base of their tail containing medicinal properties. In medieval times, castoreum was used as treatment for headaches.

How do beavers benefit the environment? Beavers are nature’s top engineers. They are tree felling, dam building champions and a keystone species; that is, one which affects the survival and abundance of other wildlife in the community in which it lives. Beavers create ponds and wetlands which attract other species, provide a food source for others, and even help improve water quality.

How big are Eurasian beavers? Beavers are approximately the size of a tubby spaniel (25–30 kg), measuring 70–100 cm in length. Unusually for mammals, the female beaver is the same size or larger than males of the same age. They are uniquely adapted for a semi-aquatic lifestyle, with a sleek waterproof coat, large flattened muscular tail and webbed hind feet to provide propulsion underwater.

At what age do beavers start breeding and do they hibernate? Beavers can live for 10–15 years, they mate for life and breed from the age of two, with one litter of 2–3 young (kits) each year. They are highly territorial and live in family groups, mainly in freshwater lochs and slow flowing rivers and burns. Beavers are crepuscular, rather than nocturnal, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk throughout the year. They do not hibernate.

What do beavers eat? Beavers are completely vegetarian. They do not eat fish but instead prefer to munch on aquatic plants, grasses and shrubs during the summer months and woody plants in winter. Beavers will often store food underwater so that they can access it if the water freezes over. In woodlands, beavers help to stimulate new growth by gnawing on tree stems and coppicing. This helps to breathe new life into tired forests and creates a diverse age range of trees which greatly benefits woodland management.

Do beavers build dams? Beavers sometimes build dams in rivers and construct lodges in the ponds created by their dams. Both beaver dams and lodges demonstrate remarkable architectural and water engineering talents. The dammed water forms a secure area around the lodge whilst also attracting other species such as frogs, toads, water voles, otters, dragonflies, birds and fish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a few hours paddling we started to look for a campsite for the night.  At the confluence of the River Tummel, Logierat, we spotted a good campsite under some trees behind a small sandy beach.  We had seen several boats with “Ghillies” ferrying clients back from their days fishing and assumed that most were winding up for the day; it was now 5:30pm.  We erected the cooking tarp, two tents and Simon’s tarp for sleeping under.  We were then approached by a Ghillie, Jim McEwen from the local estate.   “You can’t camp here, its private land”.  He was so nice about it and very quietly spoken that although we tried to argue the point it was almost impossible.  He rang his boss to tell him that a group of canoeist had set up camp on his beat.  He redirected us to a site past the next railway bridge, a grey boat and by a deep fishing pool that was not used currently.  Although tired and looking for a rest we started to pack up and make our way downstream.  Simon “Well as long as you’re appy!!   After about 40 minutes we came across the grey fishing boat and deep pool at Dowally and landed on a small shingle beach.  We camped between some young silver birch trees on some long meadow grass (we flattened this using a canoe).

 

Although this site had no view and was very close to the A9 and had traffic noise late into the night, it was not too bad.  After cooking our evening meal we started to pack up for a well earned night’s kip.  Simon then spotted an otter eating a fish on the stone bank that we had landed on.  We watched while he finished his meal before going back into the water and swimming away.

 

Day 4 – Friday Dowally (6km above Dunkeld) to Perth (The woody islands)

 

The next day we paddled down to Dunkeld in a little less than an hour.  The valley sides started to close in and become wooded on both sides.  This was a beautiful stretch of river and had a very nice hotel and immaculate lawns on the left bank.  We then paddled on round many meandering bends to cover the 25km to Stanley.  Here the river went through some constrictions and a couple of weirs which would create some more white water.   The first, Campsie Linn, is a small fall where the entire river flows through a 10m wide gap between massive boulders.  The fall itself is only a few feet high, but the volume of water makes this a tricky place. Even in low water there are large whirlpools below the main shoot. It is graded 3 but the main shoot in very high water is generally accepted to be graded "scary".  It was relatively low when we paddled over – only the main shoot was paddleball.

 

From above the fall, from left to right, the shoots are:

  • The main shoot. This always has enough water to run. In high water a tubing wave forms here and the whole thing gets pretty dangerous. This is the location of the largest inland whirlpools in Britain which can easily swallow paddler and boat.
  • Next to this (and merging with it in high water) is a rarely run shoot which goes under an undercut on the right that is visible in low water.
  • Across the big lump of rock is the middle shoot which rarely run due to needing near flood conditions to be doable.
  • Across the next lump is the standard high water line. A grippy hole can form at the bottom of this.
  • Finally is the chicken shoot, often run by open canoeists as it won't swamp a boat and by scared kayakers paddling during a flood.

 

Below here we met two kayakers in red creek boats. We paddled over the main shoot on Stanley weir before they got on.  Although this is also grade 3 in high water it was relatively easy with just a tail of moving water.  The rapids below gave some more sport; some of the wave trains were quite large and some water sloshed over the gunwales (Thistlebrig Rapid grade 3).  We stopped for an hour below the last main rapid to have a brew and relax a little in the last of the afternoon’s sun.  Simon “Well as long as you’re appy!!

 

We then paddled down towards Perth where we were looking for a campsite just outside the town.  This we found just opposite Scone Palace at the end of the “woody islands” and opposite a fishing club.  We cooked our evening meal and pulled our boats up and watched as the wading fishermen cast their lines in a forlorn attempt to catch a fish.  At dusk and when many had packed up their rods the salmon started to leap in defiance of the fishermen; some right out of the water.  As dusk fell we pitched our tents and went to bed.

 

Day 5 – Perth (The woody islands) to Perth Bridge and home

 

The plan was to leave at 8:00am so Ian got up at 6:30am!!!  We were away by 7:15 and paddled and drifted the short distance down to our egress point just before the first Perth Bridge.  There was a slipway here opposite a monument and gates to the park.  As Ian went to catch the bus back to Crianlarich, Simon and I watched as the tide dropped a metre or so in less than an hour.  This was the limit of the tide and as the gauge shows (see graph opposite) has a high tide every 12 hours.  It may be possible to paddle the tidal section on to Dundee but there seemed little point and Perth would be the natural end point of a source to sea trip.

 

The Scottish City Link bus journey from Perth to Crainlarich is very efficient, cost £10.80 and takes 1hour 37 minutes.  It runs every day at 9:50am from Central Bus station in Perth.  https://www.citylinkonlinesales.co.uk/

 

Ian returned at 1:12pm with the car and trailer and we loaded our gear and headed south.  On the way home we compiled our list of most desirable (source to sea) canoe touring and expedition rivers.  They are ranked in order of white water difficulty.  How many will we be able to tick off in the next few years.

 

1/  The Scottish Dee

2/  The River Tay

3/  The River Wye

4/  The Welsh Dee

5/  The River Tyne

6/  The River Eden

7/  The River Spey

8/  The River Seven

9/  The Great Glen (Caledonian Canal)

10/ The River Thames

 

Ian Bell, Simon (“Well as long as you’re appy!!) Howlett and Keith S    More Photos………..

 

More information…………………

 

 

20/08/13 Sea Coach led trip from Rhoscolyn to Silver Bay and Back

Sunday 11th August was a beautiful day and we all arrived in good time for an introduction by Ian Bell who was leading the trip. Everybody introduced themselves and Ian prepared us all for either helping or being helped.

 

We all got in the water at the beautiful bay at Borth Wen, Rhoscolyn and warmed up. The water was calm which enabled those fairly new to sea paddling to get used to their boats and to learn or refresh what they already knew. This including learning to lift the knee in order to edge the boat and what a following and quartering sea felt like.

 

Now the westerly winds had been blowing for a day or so and although we could see some white tops in what was a force 4 it had not really prepared ourselves for what was to come. With the long fetch over the Irish Sea the wind had built up some nice swell coming on to the rocks.

 

The group worked brilliantly together to support the more inexperienced and everybody did brilliantly with the following sea which was big enough to make the trip interesting especially for those new to it. We paddled to Silver Bay for some lunch. With what can only be described as immaculate timing, Ian had us set off back home at high water slack. Now for those enthusiasts amongst you will note that wind against tide can create some interesting seas and there were times when the next wave stopped you from seeing the person in front. All survived despite one deep water rescue and we all practiced keeping the group together whilst somebody was put back in their boat.

 

We all arrived back exhilarated. We then did a few rolls and falling out of boats. Not sure what they signed up for but two of the crew unwittingly towed everybody back to shore.

 

I had a Garmin in my boat and was hoping to track the whole trip. However, the batteries ran out towards the end of the trip but it does show the track so that you get an idea of the route we took.

 

Thanks go to Ian Bell for leading and Frankie Annan for organising and all those who took part.

 

 

20/08/13 Sea Kayaking Intro day on Sunday 11th August

 

Upon arriving I was welcomed by what looked like the local lodge of kayakers gathered in a circle in the middle of the car park, led by the Grand Master himself, Ian Bell. However once we’d all arrived and introductions over it was down to business.

 

The group consisted of as many experienced paddlers as beginners which was a fantastic start and great for confidence, especially for those of us who had never paddled on the sea before.

 

Borth Wen is a sandy cove with crystal clear water, perfect for learning to manoeuvre the leviathan of the kayaking world, the sea kayak; I had a 15 foot Easky which appeared small by comparison to others, but massive when compared to what I normally paddle.

 

There was a bit of a breeze when we started, but the bay is very sheltered and we soon got to ‘grips’ with the boats. I use the word in the broadest terms as I discovered that certain techniques had to be relearned to make the boat do what I wanted. Sea kayaking also helps immensely with balance and stability which is a transferable

Skill.

 

 

So the morning had us mastering turns, braces, edging, using the skeg,  and the occasional dip in the water. This took us nicely to the obligatory ‘brew break’. Then came the words, “who fancies a trip down the coast?” 

 

Did I mention the breeze? By the time we left the bay into open water, things got interesting with a force 4, an onshore wind, and waves of 3-5 feet, but in the safety of our group it was nothing that the boats didn’t handle in their stride, and with the practice we’d had we all reached Silver Bay upright, dry-ish, confident, and in time for lunch.

 

After a spot of lunch we then headed back, in let’s say, taxing conditions, Still tackling big waves and wind, but with a new found confidence, we set off. We had one dunking (Tony knows who it was) however Peter and Ian soon had him back in his boat and we were off again until we reached the calm of the bay, where for want of a better term, we played.

 

How would I describe the day? Fantastic. Perfect organisation and perfect companions. It makes you realise the benefits of an organised group with experienced paddlers there to help, I would now refer to them as friends. On behalf of those newbies would like to thank Ian and the rest of the paddler’s for what was an incredible day

 

Would I recommend it to others? Definitely, give it a try.

 

About me, I’m a level 1 coach and my normal paddling is rivers and lakes on which I am more comfortable. However I now intend to expand my horizons, quite literally, and get out onto the sea as much as I can.

 

Adrian Emberton         More Photos………

 

 

14/08/13 Surfing Crosby. Sunday 11th August 2013

 

100% Guaranteed surf. That's what happens when a Harwood organises a surf trip. None of that Tattum flat water nonsense.
 
On Saturday I looked at the weather. Westerly wind at 17mph was predicted. Checked High Water.   2pm.   Cool, let’s organise a little surf.
 
My brother Steve has been to the docks a few times and he was coming for lunch, so I decided to take him out for some surf with Harvey and me. The wind was a little windier than predicted blowing at 25mph gusting at 30mph and we arrived at 1130 to find Dave Blake wandering if anyone else was coming. We quickly changes and got on the water. Steve wasn't scared. Harvey wasn't scared. Dave was a bit scared, especially after almost running into the radar beacon and some iron men last time out. Then the lifeguard came out.
 
"You can't do this and you can't do that and you have to get out of the sea or the fishermen will kick off......" That had never happened before so I told him what was what and that we the right to be there as it was tidal waters blah, blah, blah.....
 
 Next Brian, Steve and a few others turned up. It was quite hard to get through to the big waves in the little boats, but when we
did it had to have been the best surf I've ever seen at Crosby. Poor Karl couldn't be there due to work commitments. There were good waves and distance could be achieved rather than the usual quick burst. Harvey did amazing; he finds it hard to get through the waves but surfed and carved across the waves really well. Steve did great on his first go in the sea and didn't swim until he fell into the water getting out of the boat. Dave was happy bongo sliding his sea kayak.
 

Then the lifeguard re-appeared, he was still moaning about the fishermen complaining. In reality we should have been moaning to him especially when Steve Rose got tangled in a fishing line. No damage done, but could have turned nasty. Must start carrying a knife.    Something to think about in the future.
 
I took my C1 as normal, but I did get caught on camera having a go in the kayak I brought for my brother.  Oh no, I have sinned and gone back to a stabiliser paddle, but seriously how much easier was that getting through the waves with two blades?
 
Keep an eye out. There is wind predicted all week. More surf coming soon.
 
Paul Harwood                  More Photos………
 

 

05/08/13 Day 14 Saturday – Lower Gyronde

So as the campers got up and made their last preparations for leaving including that last trip to the bakery, a group of hardcore paddlers decided they weren't done with rivers yet! So with Anthony driving the van (thanks!), myself, Keith, Roy, Michal and Sven kitted up and headed out for the Gyronde. We tackled it from a put in above the luxurious toilet block that is the traditional put in, allowing for a brief stretch of grade 4.  A more difficult river which provided us with a much needed rapid wake up call!

 

The views up river were fantastic as the sun climbed steadily up above the trees. When we reached the weir we dropped down into the pool below the weir on river left, avoiding the weir and avoiding having to scramble out of boats, we hadn't quite woken up enough to want to get out of our boats.

 

The rest of the journey passed pleasantly as we followed the meanders in and out of the shimmering morning sun. Reaching the slalom course we headed down, getting as much practice at eddy hopping as we could (to delay the inevitable end of the holiday) before disembarking. 

Thanks everyone for a great holiday, good luck with the kayaking this year!

 

Michael Brockway            More Photos……………..

 

03/08/13 Day 13 Friday – Lower Guil

 

Today we did the River Guil and the River Durance in one run. There were two groups and in my group was Keith, me, Chris, Fiona and both Michaels. We did the shuttle at the start instead of the end. There was a difference between both rivers. The Guil was shallow and the Durance was deep. The Durance was easier to paddle and didn't have as many rapids. On the Guil I did my first swim. I did it because I went over a rock that I couldn't see until my boat hit it. As soon as I went under I pulled my deck and swam for a bit. Keith threw my paddle at the side and Chris, my Dad, got the boat. I was glad when I finished my swim; it didn't hurt at all and afterwards I seal launched back into the water.


On the Durance there were lots of fallen down trees and Keith showed me the way to go past them. I surfed the waves and it was fun. We got to St Clement slalom course. We stopped at the top and we discussed if we were going to do it or not and I say yes! It was fun going down the slalom course and everyone cheered when I went down the drops. I felt nervous before going down but then I was glad I did it. Then we got out at the bottom and I loved the whole river. It was fun. Next year I hope I'll do more.

 

Ollie Murphy (Aged 9)                   More Photos……………..

 

03/08/13 Day 13 Friday – Durance Gorge Via Ferrata

 

After several days of boating with a few touches on the Via Ferrata a small team of us (Myself, Gibbo, Sven, Roy, Liv, Theo, Lucy, Topo VF gorges de la Durance 1Darren and Michal) decided we would go for what is described in the guide book as the “hardest Via Ferrata in France” the Briancon Gorge.

 

After an early start to try and avoid the sun we met in Argentiere for 8.30 but the shop that we needed gear from didn’t open until 9 so a quick stop at the patisserie for a croissant. We arrived at the start of the gorge and I was to say the least gobsmacked, we aimed as ever to do the hardest course we could, a quick walk down and we were away. Some gentle ground broke us in until we were on overhanging walls at one side of the gorge! A quick nip across a bridge over the river and on the other side, followed by a short traverse and back over another bridge.

 

The team were making good time and the terrain covered was immense brilliant views up the valley and of the river, after a short tight rope style bridge we wandered down to the bottom next to the river and after a short dip and melon break (thanks Michal) we were over one last bridge and onto a vertical climb! This time in the sun with some tricky overhanging ladders and teetery rock traverses we reached the top! All exhausted and dehydrated the final bridge awaited and this was one to not be missed around 300m above the gorge exposed was not the feeling! All in all a fantastic morning with a fantastic crew of people!

 

Mark Young                     More Photos……………..

 

 

03/08/13 Day 13 Friday – Lower Durance

After what seemed like a very eventful morning we pushed on to the Rabouix Wave. Before telling the story I would just like to mention how amazingly well Ollie Murphy paddled this morning. It was fab to see him not only run the St Clement slalom course but also eddie out after every feature like a pro!!!

 

So onto the wave …. This was the third time most of us had attempted ‘The Lady Rabouix Wave’ (as named and chanted by Tony!) It seems that they have changed the shape of the wave this year for the interest of the rafters.  Fom a wave to a huge hole to Narnia! This means that the usual left line is horrific and unless nailed, inevitably ended in a trashing in the hole! The right line caused least problems so this is the line I took, and flew through! Most people also got through but a couple of runs deserve special mention!

 

Sven – He decided (or didn’t) to take the middle line through the meat of the hole. His back end was sucked in and him and his boat submerged and disappeared. The wave then spat him out vertically up in the air, he landed flat, continued to paddle and made it to safety!

 

Lucy – Ooooops! She also decided to take the hero line through the middle. After a complete trashing she hung in and attempted two roles, then throw her paddles away and tried to hand roll. Fail, fail, fail, missed a T rescue and, yes, took a swim!!! She is actually fuming and didn’t speak to us for ages after. Apparently “Lucy DOES’NT swim” Really Lucy!!!!! After a little alone time she was fine and we continued on.

 

Olivia managed to keep hold of her paddles for the whole river!! We went over many wave trains, some of which were huge and great fun!!! The sunshine run certainly lived up to the name, providing entertainment, sunshine and a fab end to a great holiday.

 

Fiona Wrigg xxx                      More Photos……………..

 

02/08/13 Day 12 Thursday – Upper Guil

 

An older person sits, starring off to the middle distance, on a damp plastic chair for 2 hours or more.  An occasional spasm of fear passes his face.  Both whimpers and copious dribbles occur.  Welcome to the world of Southern Alpine Paddling.

 

We are on the Upper Guile, grade 3+ (4) from Abries to Château Queyras.  It starts off an easy class 3 until it reaches the gorge and then there are a series of complicated drops and turns.  All of which I traversed unscathed (he says proudly) with an attendant in front and 2 behind me.  Several perfectly good eddies were joyously waved at as we gamely sailed by.  Having got through the gorge without incident, I had, what is technically referred to in kayaking terms as a swim.  In 2 feet of water, just before a road bridge I collided with a rock and stepped out.  After this it was easy.  No real features until we reached, and ran the weir on the outskirts of the town.  Then an easy eddie out and lunch.  For this, they gave us cold scraps of cheese, bread and paté.  Not even a tarte de framboise.  Several of the other groups had abrasions and bruises at the end of the trip.  They insisted these injuries were caused by rock collisions and the like, but I wonder…

 

Something should be done about it, I think.

 

With thanks to my attendants Michal, Roy and Mike Buckley

 

Dom Buckley                     More Photos……………..

 

02/08/13 Day 12 Thursday – Château Queyras

 

Over the past week or so I have heard a lot of different story's about Château Queyras. People saying about how hard, long and intense it was; none of these magical tales were making me feel any better about paddling it. Myself, Keith, Mark, Theo and Lucy were the first group to attempt it. Keith set off first as everyone followed one by one.

 

I watched Lucy run the first rapid and then I set off as last man. Before I knew what was happening, I got took by the current. Flying down the tiny gorge, smashing off the walls. I dropped down into a little pool, everyone had survived the first section. We all stopped to catch our breath and cracked on. We were only two minutes in and we had already completed the gorge section!

 

Now came some big boulder gardens the first few were easy and every got down no problem at all. As we came too the next one I saw that people were struggling to make a safe line through the rapid. As I approached it, I couldn't see a clear line so went to the left. The next thing I saw was a chest height tree blocking my path. Keith was shouting at me to go right but I couldn't see a clear route through. I was about to pull my deck so I could get out and jump over the tree when I saw a line to the right. I paddled as hard as could to make it and just scraped round. Narrowly avoiding a horrible pin. Around the corner was the get out (a sigh of relief), awaiting us was a long walk back too the mini bus with out boats on our backs. Good fun!

 

Kurt Toulson                  More Photos……………..

 

02/08/13 Day 12 Thursday – Middle Guil

 

 After a great morning of paddling the upper Guil with Michal G and Dom & Michael Buckley and then running Château Queyras gorge with Darren Bohanha, Sven and Michal G, I still fancied doing something else and started to recriut a crew to run the middle Guil which is probably my favorite run in the Alps.

 

It was around lunch when I started this task and the majority of people seemed uninterested as they sat in the sun eating and chatting about via ferrata and going swimming in the booby lake, in fact, there was only Keith and myself who were up for it so I decided to press-gang Michal G (Mickey) into doing the run with us (I’m pretty sure he would have rathered stayed with Kathy and the rest of the girls sunbatheing and sorting out make up) but he eventually manned up and decided to do it with us.

 

We got on the river around 3:30pm and we put on just below Mont Barton bridge. The Guil is an absolutly fantastic river that has excellent water quality and fantastic alpine scenery. From the put in the river is pretty easy until you get to a rapid the is known as “surprise drop” after this the river gets more technical until you reach the most substanstial rapid of the run which is called “the Staircase”. We got out and inspected the rapid which is classed as grade 5. I had run this rapid the previous year but this time in higher water the rapid didn’t look the same, the lines were different also the first drop was partially obstructed by a log and the stopper beneath didn’t look inviting so we decided to portage.

We put back on at the bottom of the rapid and carried on eddie hoping down the river, Keith led with Michal going second whilst I took the rear in case either of them got pinned which they both did on a few occasions but luckily they managed to free themselves without any help, Keith even had to pull off a rare roll when a stopper pulled him back in and capsized him, Michal swore to me at the end of the run that he had seen Keith reaching to pull his deck but the stopper released him just in time!

 

The river continues through large boulders garden rapids and good boat control is required to pick the best lines. The last kilometer or so of the river seemed a lot different from last year with the rapids being more difficult but we all managed to run them successfully, not far from the end we came across a group of German paddlers who were setting up some substantial safety on one of the last main major rapids.  There were around six paddlers out of the boats with throw lines in hand waiting for each of their party run the rapid one by one; we decided to read and run the rapid and blasted on through showing them how to kayak. We finished the run just before 6pm.  All of us agreeing that the middle Guil is probably the best run in the Alps. After that we joined some of the others at the “booby lake” for beers and food. It was a fantastic day.

 

Roy Mchale                More Photos……………..

 

02/08/13 Day 12 Thursday – Mountain Biking to Italy

                                                            

Well almost! After hiring mountain bikes from a local shop we headed out of L’Argentiere up the steep road past the statue of the woodsman and made our way up  towards Briancon. We reached Prellles within the hour and Briancon within 2 hours where we encountered the second large hill up to the fort. Heading past the fort the route flattened out temporarily before giving us an option, northwest into the Claree valley or North East up the pass towards Italy. Our intention was the latter and we began an epic climb up the road to Montegenevre, at the top of the Serre Chevalier ski area. After what seemed several days in the hot afternoon sun (mostly cycling but a good deal of walking) we reached the ski resort. As David said ‘never have I been so happy to see a sign’ as we greeted the ‘Montegenevre’ sign with big Cheshire cat grins of exhilaration and relief, the climb was over, let the descent begin! A relaxed lunch with melted blue cheese sandwiches and gallons of water and pop followed, while we cooled ourselves with the local fountain water, and we were ready for the downhill stretch.

 

On the way down we took a path through the woods on the East side of the valley around Briancon which brought us down towards the bridge overlooking Briancon gorge with fantastic views of the old forts scattered over the hilltops. The cycling was fast and intense on the steep descent on rocky rubble underwheel, with a few slips and sometimes continuing to slide with all breaks on, like cycling over ice but more bumpy!  We made it down to the  road, thinking all the technical routes were behind us, however we took a clever shortcut down another rubbley dirt track where Michael hit a ditch and too late swerved and fell awkwardly. Bloodied and bruised and somewhat shocked but with all limbs intact, we continued on to the bikeshop. A great cycle ride with several wobbles along the way, not recommended for the faint hearted!

 

David and Michael Brockway                   More Photos……………..

 

01/08/13 Day 11 Wednesday – The Onde and the “swim”

 

 After a number of paddlers had made this little section seem quite straightforward, the full faced Roy gave it his best hero line.  Unfortunately on this occasion things did not go to plan.  With gasps of horror from the massed French crowds and the cries of some small children, Roy struck a glancing blow to one of the small rocks, putting him in sideways into the tiny stopper.

 

After what must have been almost Three seconds Roy managed to practice his Siberian breaststroke and self recover his paddle. His boat was picked up and emptied for him by an unknown bystander.

 

Once he had checked his lunch box and limbs for thermal damage, a strange series of high pitched expletives were uttered (more of the children started to cry and a priest was called for).

 

Roy then made an excellent javelin throw with his paddle into the eddy next to me and I recovered it. I threw the line and had to pendulum him across, after a shake that would have made a Labrador proud, the fallen warrior was ready to resume this grade 3 section.

  

All who witnessed it!                 More Photos……………..

01/08/13 Day 11 Wednesday – Upper Gyronde

 

After a heroic endeavour on the Onde the heroes (not paddlers) jumped back into their vehicles and travelled a short distance down the road to the get on of the Upper Gyronde. After a short visit from EDF energy, to explain to Roy what to do when you have swam we set off in our groups below a small dam. After a couple of drops Kathy in the first Group had an unfortunate out of boat experience, culminating in a sore chin after a rock hit her in the face whilst upside down.

 

The upper section was mainly class 3 with nice small drops boulders and lots of sunshine. The tree lined river cut though some gorge sections before arriving in the village of Les Vigneaux. With Michal and myself leading the first group I asked him what Keith description of the get out was before a section of Grade Six. His words were “it’s on the right, after the bridge” which transpired to mean in English “it’s on the left before the bridge!”   Everybody got off the river safely and then had lunch which may have included semi-synthetic cow juice (aka milk in France).

  

Theo Gaussen                 More Photos……………..

 

 

01/08/13 Day 11 Wednesday – Lower Gyronde

 

After loosing some of the group during lunch, some say for a junior paddle; others say because they were too scared, we portaged the grade six down a dirt track. People got onto the river when they felt happy with the grade of the river and the reformed groups set off.

 

The first section was still grade 4 with a large boulder garden to contend with. The river gradually eased with nice sections of grade 3+ and wide sweeping bends. After another gorge section we were soon at the weir which was inspected.  We decided to portage. The river widened as we got lower with shallower sections which ensured that the hulls of the boats were all well polished. Olivia had a “play swim” at a wave before all three groups travelled thought the town and into the slalom course at the campsite. Gibbo had a roll at the top of the slalom course which was a marked improvement on his bid to get the longest swim of the trip on the first day!

                                                                                      

Theo Gaussen                 More Photos……………..

 

01/08/13 Day 11 Wednesday – La Claree

 

Today we went kayaking on the River Claree. Keith, Dom, Fiona, Kathy, me and Chris my Dad all went on the river. I was a bit scared before I got on but when I started I was fine. The waves splashed in some parts and I followed Keith for most of the paddle. I managed to do all the eddies and it was really fun going over the waves.

 

I saw my Mum and brother when we were going under the bridge and at the side of the bank. I really enjoyed my first river in the French Alps.

 

PS I didn’t swim but Roy did on a different river!!

  

Ollie Murphy (Aged 9)                  More Photos……………..

 

31/07/13 Day 10 Tuesday – Upper Ubaye

An early start for today’s paddle the bus left our camp site at 8am for a 2 hour drive to the first of two paddles on the upper Ubaye; the drive taking us past Europe’s biggest manmade lake.

 

After a slight delay waiting for the other cars to arrive at the get in we all got under way.  This section of the Ubaye presented no problems for any of the groups with water levels being a little higher than normal for this time of the year.  Due to the faster flows, we soon reached our get out point at Jausiers.   With this section not being too taxing it allows time to take in the fantastic views and enjoy the river.  This is an excellent grade 3 river through a little wooded valley and gorge; no complaints from anyone on this one.

  

Anthony Vaccaro                  More Photos……………..

 

31/07/13 Day 10 Tuesday – Ubaye Race Course

After warming up on the Upper Ubaye and a quick lunch stop most of the group headed off down the Ubaye Race Course. The levels looked higher than last year so the team was excited knowing that this river can only get better in higher water. It didn’t disappoint.

 

We split into four groups and dodged the rafts getting on to the water. My group which was led by Roy and entertained by Michael, saw myself and Chris avoiding Sven’s lines at all costs. From the moment we launched into the river it was full of big and bouncy wave trains. Nothing much changed for the next few kilometres. There were a few rocky features, which required a little more concentration than the rest of the river, so we re-grouped to see everyone safely through. On the odd occasion our rescue skills were required; a pin by Mark Benson, a bumpy swim from Fiona and a swim from Darren while playing in a meaty hole that tried to eat him.

 

The river ended with more big and bouncy wave trains through a high and narrow gorge, undoubtedly the most picturesque part of the river. We were all buzzing from the river, sharing our cheers and whoops as we heard the dull tones of Michael Buckley singing “we are the champions… of the Ubaye”. The only way I can describe the river is - 100% fun.

 

Lucy Stuart                 More Photos……………..

 

30/07/13 River Tryweryn - 28th July

 In glorious sunshine (who needs to go to the Alps?) we arrived at Tryweryn, signed in and then drove up to the top car park to get changed and launch. Just as we start to get changed the heavens opened, oh well we are going to get wet anyway!

 

Much fun was had on the top site with Ian showing us his best "steep creekin" moves, and it was such a great level (10+rain) that we decided to blast the lower as well.

 

We zoomed down, eventually breaking out just above the drop at Bala Mill Falls. A good job we did as there was a slalom competition on right below the falls. A brief discussion about how to proceed without disrupting the competitors, and it was over the falls and portage (for quite some distance).

 

Back on the river and all too soon we reached the get out. Another great LCC day on the river.

 

Mike, Ruth & Ian

 

 

30/07/13 Seriously Slacking Slackers Summer Sojourn to Hilbre - 26th July

 

I, along with many others, look enviously at the Slacking trips and luckily I was available to attend this Fridays Slacking session. As a bonus, the weather was looking great for a summer trip to Hilbre.

 

I ring Ade, who advised that no-one else had contacted him and that he might be late. So, I headed off on my own with only the seals for company. A beautiful trip, sun shining all the way, a quick bite to eat on the beach, and then an early depart as I hoped to be able to get back at high tide and paddle over the marine lake wall as that would save a carry due to my parking on the lake slip.

 

The return journey was super speedy due to the tide still flooding and having the wind at my back, and all too soon I arrived at the wall where I just managed to sneak over. Fantastic, much less carry.

 

A fantastic trip, but where were all the usual slackers? Probably slacking!

 

Mike A

 

30/07/13 Day 09 Monday

 

We awoke to thunder and lightning this morning.  Heavy rain meant the rivers started to rise and turned colour to a milky brown.  The water poured from the Tarpoline and road way to create a small pond in front of Fiona and Sarah`s tents. Our planned trip to the Ubaye was put on hold and we reconviened at 10:00am to re-assess.

 

At ten the rain started to ease and the cloud lifted but the rivers were still rising.  We evaluated several plans with a number of paddlers opting for a day off.  The remainder loaded their kayaks into the trailer and headed up the hill to look at the Gyronde and its tributaries.  It was bankfull through the town and things were not looking good.  We surveyed the grade 6 and then the get out on the Onde.  It was through the trees and little or no eddies.  We decided against paddling with such a large group and took a look at the Gyr on our way back to the campsite.

 

3 Star White Water Assessment

After realising that my paddling ability was limited to say the least, I thought it was time to forget all that Darren had previously taught me and embark on a 3 star assessment to see if I had what it takes to paddle on a lake. My fellow students were Olivia, Sarah and Scott Gibson all of which had already gained the required skill to progress through the assessment. The assessment started well, Keith had asked that we all turn up ready to paddle the river and having checked through our kit we all agreed that a spray deck would be very useful. Several minutes later I returned with the required deck and we quickly moved on to the assessment.

First up was paddling in a straight line; having spent most of my paddling time on rivers that naturally meander, I for some reason spent a lot of time paddling in circles? We quickly moved on to the ‘interesting’ section of the assessment were we got to see how long gibbo could hold his breath before I managed to T rescue him, 1 min 6 sec is pretty impressive! We managed to undertake a deep water rescue in a fantastically quick 32 seconds but were deemed to have cheated and then took a further minute to complete the rescue. To summarise my three fellow students all progressed to the next level and left me realising that maybe paddling on a lake is not for me.

Sven Till                More Photos……………..

 Football Game

After waking to severe rain and storms and after a quick bus trip to see if any rivers where running, unfortunatley kayaking was looking off the cards.  On the bus back a decision was made to have a good old game of football on the pitch at the campsite.  Yellow vests from the mini bus where collected as a team strip and we split into 2 teams of approximately five or six.

 

The game set off to a good pace and a few early goals where scored by the opposition after some good ball skills. I was in goal and was struggling to get used to the big bouncy ball as my usual weapon of choice would be a hockey ball and full goalie kit.  Soon we set into our flow, it helped as Gibo’s youth soon caught up with him and he soon began to tire.  Taking advantage of this a great cross to Roy and we scored our first goal.  To be honest where were beeing slightly dominated by the opposition but it was all in good jest.

 

The rain started again which helped cool the red faces as Stuart, on the opposition, performed a few stylish reaching saves.  Chris showed off his footballing skills but I managed pull of a few good goals with the help of his team!  At one point I had forgotten I was playing football and stopped one of Chris’s shots with a big stretch to the right leg giving a corner to the opposition. Luckily they where unable to convert this chance.

 

We soon began to catch up and a decision was made to see who was the first to 10.   The winning goal came from Chris with a classis chip over the goalie, performed in style.   We all shook hands and applauded the winners and set off back to camp for a rest before our next adventure.

Good game, good game!

 

Sarah Gille                  More Photos……………..

 

Slalom Course

Slalom course today; it was the game for brave people.  Others due to high water level decided to stay on the dry, solid land and went to play football.  I went on my own having fun on the fast flowing river … my kayak was flying uncontrollably on every single big rapid so I decided to have a look at professional slalom kayakers dealing easily with all waves and tried to learn their tactics.   After watching the professionals I think it would be a great idea to have a few gates in the LCC club and also have Slalom course sesions in the docks as I hope some people would find it intresting.    Michal Giezgala

 

Some of us managed to get in both football and a run on the slalom! After a close result in the football with the two of us, brothers, Michael and David facing off against each other we teamed up again putting our differences behind us (apart from the handball, which definitely was/was not a handball). We were excited to get on the slalom course but equally were anticipating the volume and speed of the water after this morning’s thunderstorm, which had made most rivers a torrent and made the slalom course look like chocolate milkshake.

 

David was so keen; he ran the slalom course twice before I turned up, and then we made a further three trips down. Now everyone knows carrying a kayak up to the top of the slalom can be a slog, but today I found kayaking down the slalom course was really really tough work, with the speed of the water making it difficult to catch eddies.  It required all my effort and concentration to make them, and then finding that the height of the water.  It was pouring over rocks that yesterday sheltered comfortable eddies had now turned them into swirling pools. A great run trying to get across the river and catch the various eddies made all the more interesting by the high storm water.

 

David & Michal Brockway                 More Photos……………..

29/07/13 August 2013 Newsletter Published
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