Volume 15 Issue 2

February 2015

February 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.…


29/01/15 Junior Club Session at Broadgreen School on Tuesday evenings 7-8pm

Broadgreen School Pool Junior Club 1 (7:00-8:00pm)

Parents or Guardians are welcome to book a session at the same time as juniors. However. if it is busy it may be better to take the later session and have your children watch on the pool side after they have paddled.

Boats and equipment are available on the poolside or bring your own.


Please note only small and medium boats stored at the pool.

Coaching is available to help with gaining confidence, support strokes and rolling.

NB Entrance for boats is now around the left of the building through the side door opposite the covered bike shed. You may need to enter the building from the opposite side and hold the door open.

To book a session Click here…..


This is a short Video of the session from Chris Murphy http://vimeo.com/117839159


Major dates for Club events – for more detail check the online Club Calendar…….

14 -22 February 2015

2-6 April 2015

7-17 April 2015

1-4 May 2015

15-17 May  2015

5-7 June 2015

26 June – 6th July 2015

5 July 2015

10-12 July 2015

17 July–2 August 2015

25-27 September 2015

Skiing and Snowboarding trip - France.  Coordinator Fiona Barry

Scottish Easter paddling weekend Based in the Blackwater Hostel – limited places so book early.  Click to book a place.........

Costa Brava paddling trip Sea Kayaking trip on Spain’s Mediterranean Coast.  Coordinator Peter Thomas

Pembroke Weekend (First Bank Holiday)    Coordinator Jenny Brown

Anglesey Weekend 1 (Tyn Rhos Trearddur Bay)    Coordinator Peter Massey

Anglesey Weekend 2 (Pen-y-Bont Farm, 4 Mile Bridge)    Coordinator Keith S

Lofoten Island Sea Kayak trip (Norway)    Coordinator Andrew Garland

Hilbre Island Sea Kayak Race & Club BBQ Clubs major annual Sea Kayaking Event.  Click for more.........

Anglesey Weekend 3 (Bodfan Farm, Rhosneigr)    Coordinator Jenny Brown

Alpine Paddling Holiday Week 1 Bovec, Slovenia, Week 2 Briancon, France.  Coordinator Keith S

Anglesey Weekend 4 (Outdoor Alternative Rhoscolyn)    Coordinator Peter Massey



27/01/15 “Photo of the Month” Competition


Liverpool Canoe Club Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to Christine Fay for her winning photo:

“John Fay - A sunny day at the Liverpool Marina”


Runner up Bob Hamilton:

“Robin Emley practising his rolling at the Kingsway pool”

Runner up John Fay:

“Tony Bennett – Cold day for the New Brighton Drift”

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

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


26/01/15 River Swale Kayaking 24/01/2015

This is a video of an awesome day where three guys discovered there is more to Yorkshire than Tea and puddings.
We had an awesome day with a great run through the Keld Gorge. We even managed to sneak an 'early evening' run of the Kent in on the way home.

Unfortunately the level was quite low but I WILL BE BACK

YouTube Video…….

Joe Sheppard




26/01/15 Liverpool Canoe Club Ladies Polo Team

Ladies polo yesterday
Great result 3 out of 4 wins.
Well done everyone!!


YouTube Video…….

Sarah Gille  More information of how to join one of our teams…..

Canoe Polo is one of the eight disciplines of canoeing pursued in the UK, known simply as "polo" by its aficionados. Polo combines paddling and ball handling skills with an exciting contact team game, where tactics and positional play are as important as the speed and fitness of the individual athletes.

The game requires excellent teamwork and promotes both general canoeing skills as well as a range of other techniques unique to the sport. Two teams each with five players on the pitch at any one time (and up to three substitutes) compete to score goals in their opponent's net which is suspended 2 metres above the water. The ball can be thrown by hand, or flicked with the paddle. Pitches can be set up in swimming pools or any stretch of flat water.

Boats are specifically designed for Polo and are shorter (3m) than typical kayaks which gives them fantastic manoeuvrability. Paddles are very light weight and designed with both pulling power and ball control in mind. Body protection, helmets and faceguards are all compulsory.

There are internationally agreed rules for the game, World and European Championships are held every two years. Great Britain is one of the world's foremost nations, with the British men the current World Champions.

Within the UK there is a National League structure, with categories for Open, Women's and Youth competitions, with many regional events held throughout the year.

During the summer months a number of canoe clubs host very large outdoor tournaments which attract teams from all over the country and some international teams, and many British clubs compete at similar tournaments around Europe and sometimes the rest of the world

12/01/15 Liverpool coastguard co-ordination centre to close this week

Blundellsands and Coastguard station from the air

Liverpool coastguard co-ordination centre to close this week


Many sea kayakers may not know that Liverpool Coastguard will close down completely on Friday and their well known building at Crosby is currently undergoing demolition. Since 2011 Liverpool coastguard has been threatened with closure as a cost saving and streamlining measure. Many of us joined a campaign to try to save them but it is still going ahead with some of the staff / volunteers  being redeployed while some are losing their jobs.


All maritime radio traffic and 999 calls from the public will now be handled by Holyhead Coastguard who are a very capable station but now overseeing a much bigger area.


Just thought it was worth marking the occasion!

Pete Thomas


This week will see the closure of Liverpool Coastguard’s co-ordination centre at Crosby.  Dedicated volunteers left behind are keen to reassure people they will still be on hand to help those whose lives are at risk off Merseyside’s coast.  The centre is being axed by the government’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency with a similar facility at Holyhead in North Wales to take its place.  The closure on Friday, which brings with it job losses, follows a Save Your Liverpool Coastguard campaign which raised fears the service could suffer because of a lack of local knowledge. Crosby’s coastguard base currently sees staff answer 999 calls from people who have asked for the coastguard in the Merseyside area. It co-ordinates rescue activity in communication with police, fire and ambulance.


The people who answer the phones at Crosby will no longer be there after this month but the team of volunteer coastguards who carry out the rescues will be. Liverpool coastguard station officer Steve Mee says there has been some confusion about the changes with some Merseysiders fearing rescuers will have to travel across from North Wales every time there is an incident. He said: “Instead of the service being co-ordinated next door it will be co-ordinated from Holyhead or Southend depending on the scale of the incident. “They will hear exactly the same Mayday calls and 999 calls as are heard in Liverpool now.


There will be no loss of coverage “People have an idea that we will have to come out from Anglesey but that’s not the case.” There are currently 11 volunteers split between the Liverpool and Crosby coastguard teams, with additional teams in Southport and Wirral. The kind-hearted and committed team have their pager on hand 24 hours a day in case they are alerted to a potential rescue by the co-ordination centre.

Read the full Liverpool Echo story - http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-coastguard-co-ordination-centre-close-8421186


03/01/15 Surfing Crosby Friday 2nd January 2015

Karl Winrow, Paul and I met at Crosby early to venture out into the predicted 20mph winds but Karl and I knew something was amiss when we met Paul who today hadn't brought his 'Mojo'. Normally he gives a lecture to all paddlers prior to starting with a 'technique session' and 'best practices' but today he was nervous and unwilling to get started as he had just read the actual wind speed at Crosby which was 55mph.


Paul spent the next ten minutes Surfing the Internet, without falling in, and came back with a calculation of what we needed to achieve to get out into the Surf.

He stated that if we can paddle at 3 to 5mph with an outgoing tide of 0.3mph against an onshore wind of 55mph and with the pull of the moon then our progress will be 49.7mph backwards!


 "Waves are waves - wind is wind - we can manage that" said Karl.

Paul was easily convinced and before we knew it he was on the water.

"I was only joking" said Karl.


Karl and I were first into the Surf zone and found the only manageable wave of the day and rode it back to shore. Just as we exited the first wave Karl un-sportingly pushed me into the icy water and forced me to walk back to the beach. At least I had the wind behind me on my walk/swim back as Paul kept his visor down throughout the session to hide his tears, which was down to the 'salty water'.

We spent the next couple of hours paddling with all our effort just to stay in one spot but most of the time the wind was forcing us backwards, but not at 49.7mph.

One ride, two trashings and a swim later we conceded our defeat to the Crosby wind and waves then joined for coffee and stories of how we survived.


More 'Easy Surf' next week.


Karl Tattum


01/01/15 Leeds - Liverpool canal (Morris Lane to Burscough Wharf and return)


John Fay and Julie Brooke's met at Morris Lane at 10.30am with a plan to paddle to the Running Horses Hotel in Lydiate. We wrapped up warm and set off towards our destination. As we approached the Saracens Head in Halsall we encountered a problem. Ice was covering the entire width of the canal.


We decided to carry on hoping that we would hit clear water but after breaking through several patches of ice it was clear we could not continue on this section. We turned around to head the other way towards Burscough hoping this would be clear.


Sure enough we were able to make it all the way to the Burscough Wharf helped by the fact a canal boat passing us on route had broken the few patches of ice blocking our path.

Along the way two very inquisitive Shetland Ponies rushed to the canal side to see what these strange floating creatures were. After a few minutes of stroking we were off again.


Ducking under two low road bridges we steadily progressed towards our destination. Soon we reached Burcough and enjoyed a brief snack break before turning for the trip back.


We have seen some great things on our canal journey's including snakes swimming, terrapins sunbathing on tree branches, lots of Kingfishers and a whole array of other wildlife usually pointed out by Tony Robinson. After just over five hours on the water our trip was over. We arrived back at Morris Lane a little cold but so glad we had made the effort to paddle.

John Fay   More photos……….

31/12/14 Boxing Day - New Brighton Drift

It all Started at the Christmas meal when Chris Fletcher mentioned a possible Boxing Day paddle from New Brighton to Egremont. Sure enough the trip appeared on the club website and at 12.30pm on Boxing Day we arrived at the car park at Fort Perch Rock. Soon a green Eskey moving along the promenade announced the arrival of the first paddler Robin. This was followed by the familiar red Micra of Julie Brooke's loaded with kayak, several bags of essential equipment, homemade Christmas cake and the infamous box of biscuits. Donny, Tony, Andy Garland and Corky completed the group and boats were transported to the launch site just right of the Fort.

The plan was to drift on the last hour of the incoming tide down to the Egremont Ferry pub, stop for a warm drink and then return carried along by the outgoing tide. Robin's family, Chris and myself along with Chris Fletcher were to walk the distance along the promenade and meet the group at the pub. This sounded like a superb plan.


So six paddlers launched; each moving out into the Mersey. Unfortunately Donny at the sight of the first wave had to return to shore. Due to experiencing a dizzy spell his drift down the Mersey was over before it began. There seemed to be a lack of sympathy for the stricken paddler and shouts of " big girls blouse" and similar could be heard from his companion paddlers.


Chris signalled the group to go and off they went with our small group walking the trip always keeping the paddlers in sight. Although a drift was planned it was obvious that some effort was being exerted as they paddled against a strong headwind. However, the group was making steady progress and all was well.


Walking along the promenade we noticed another familiar face walking towards us. Out for a Boxing Day walk was John Worswick who expressed his disappointment at missing out on todays paddle. After seasons greetings John also joined the group heading for the Ferry Hotel.


Sure enough stage one of the trip was completed as both paddlers and walkers arrived together at the Ferry where Julie provided Christmas cake and biscuits whilst others obtained welcome drinks from the pub. It was clear by now that the tide had changed and also the weather. The wind had picked up and the rain was falling. The group needed to move.


Tony, Julie and Andy moved off first whilst Corky hung back for Robin who needed a last toilet visit. Tony, concerned about the two smaller boats headed off sure that the two faster sea boats of Corky and Robin would soon catch them up. This however was not to be the case.


As our group walked back it was clear that the changing river conditions was causing difficulties and it wasn't long before we had a paddler in the water. Corky had capsized. We felt helpless as we looked on hoping that Robin would notice and turn back. Relieved was saw Robin's Eskey turn and head back to Corky but would Robin who's total paddling experience was a recent Puffin Island trip and being a regular attendee of Pete Thomas's Intro to Sea Kayaking Course be able to perform a rescue?


Watching from shore we looked on as sure enough Corky's boat was emptied and Robin managed to reunite Corky with his kayak. On shore we hoped that all was well but judging from Corky's body language it wasn't. As Robin entered the main flow of the river and was propelled away from the recovering Paddler Corky capsized for a second time. Things were getting serious now. Could Robin get a very tired and very cold paddler back in his kayak a second time? We had grave concerns and decided that a call to the coastguard was the only option. John Worswick made the call but it was clear that other onlookers too were concerned and we could hear calls coming through car radios echoing our distress call.


Out in the Mersey Robin has indeed managed a second rescue. As the coastguard arrived the two paddlers were heading to shore rafted up for safety. As their boats landed we ran to assist the tired paddlers. Chris Fletcher was waiting with a heated car to receive a very cold and bright red shaded Corky. The remaining two sea kayaks were carried on the final leg of the journey back to perch rock where Tony, Julie and Andy had safely arrived earlier.


And so the New Brighton Drift was over. Not all had gone to plan but everyone was safe. Commendation has to be given to Robin who was no doubt the hero of the day. The group had paddled the river but conditions had changed so quickly and the river had changed character. On the way home we reflected on the words of John Worswick....." They don't call it The Mighty Mersey for nothing."

Report by John Fay   More photos……….

29/12/14 January 2015 Newsletter Published 
Please open it by clicking this link Janaury Newsletter…… or via the website   More Archived Newsletters…..

To check your membership details go to Login button on website or click here….      If you have forgotten your password click here….. to have a new one emailed to you. (Please note that some ISP`s may block our automated system so please contact membership@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk if you have problems)


29/12/14 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 Google groups in order to receive information and posts from members on events, courses and activities. (You do NOT need a Google account or Google email) More information here….