Volume 15 Issue 3

March 2015

March 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


Archived Newsletters… 
Major Trip Reports.…


27/02/15 Major dates for Club events – for more detail check the online Club Calendar…….

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
13-20 February 2016

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

Skiing and Snowboarding trip - France.  Coordinator Pete Thomas


27/02/15 “Photo of the Month” Competition


Liverpool Canoe Club Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to John  Fay for his winning photo:

“Foggy morning followed by A sunny day at the Liverpool Marina”


Runner up Dominic Fahey:

“The collection pool below Backbarrow Bridge on the River Leven”

Runner up  John Crutchley:

“A murmaration of Knot before leaving for Hilbre Island

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.

28/02/15 White water and Sea kayaking trips for Improvers / intermediates.  These are club led trips and are only open to those that have booked on (including leaders).


In order to develop our leaders and paddlers we are now putting on many improver and intermediate trips which require both the participants and leaders to book on.  These events often involve 35-45 people and the club and organisers need to ensure suitable groups (less than 6) are arranged with qualified and experienced leaders.  To allow this to happen these trips are ONLY open to those that book on.  If you are a leader or aspirant leader then you need to have registered with the club by sending an email to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk briefly outlining your experience and qualifications to date.  Once on this approved list of leaders you will be given a password to enable you to volunteer for trips as a leader or aspirant leader.


Please note: you can not invite others onto these trips as the groups are all arranged before hand.


The above does not affect the bulk of our trips which are non-coach or peer led trips.  For more details on the type of club trips please see our guidelines on the Events page of the website or use the direct link below:



24/02/15 LCC Ski Alpe D’Huez 2015


I guess there’s a lot of similarity between terrain sports such as white water and tiderace kayaking. You read whatever comes at you at speed and line yourself up to ride the next feature or you try to avoid the next wipe-out. It’s pretty much the same with skiing and it wasn’t a surprise to discover that the 2015 LCC Ski Holiday attracted people intent on fun and adventure.


Being school half-term I was anticipating that our resort in Oz, adjacent to Alpe D’Huez would be crammed with spotty kids clogging up the uphill tows but, because we had chosen somewhere with extensive pistes, there was very little serious queuing. We also aimed to get on the hill quite early each morning when most of the runs were also fairly quiet. By taking different lunch breaks to the majority of other skiers, we managed to avoid the worst of the crowds and frequently had many sections of the plentiful runs to ourselves. Fears of premium half-term prices were unfounded although our flights might have been cheaper had we booked outside this period. All-in-all, the total cost was very reasonable and great value considering the amount of skiing we enjoyed


The formula for a successful ski trip is easy – good snow which is topped up with a fresh dump now and then, a high resort with inexpensive accommodation, a mixture of challenging and easier runs, good rental kit that fits properly, sunny weather with good visibility, good uphill transport and most important of all ........ good friends who enjoy pushing themselves a bit further, even though the outcome might be a spectacular wipe-out. It’s all just good fun and our holiday this year had spades of it.


By the end of the week, most of us had skied most of the runs with only a couple of nightmare blacks still to tick ( we would probably have done these too if they had been in condition ). Although some of us left quite large impressions in the snow here and there, thankfully there were no injuries and even Fiona, who travelled out to the Alps with an injured shoulder, managed to do most of the runs in style without further injury.

Dom Buckley and his clan have been instrumental in getting a lot of club activities off the ground and, if it wasn’t for Dom’s son Matt, who teamed up with Fiona to arrange the whole trip through www.sunweb.com , we wouldn’t have had such a good time as we did. Dom’s long-suffering wife Rosaleen was also recruited to save our bacon when our return SleezyJet flight was cancelled, leaving us in the middle of a cold a chaotic Grenoble Airport amidst a few hundred other SleezyJet victims abandoned at the last minute to fend for ourselves. With no WiFi to arrange alternative flights, our hopes fell on Rosaleen who, at the other end of Matt’s phone, performed like a hero and managed to get all of us on a Jet2 flight the next morning to Manchester. Big chunks of France ground to a halt when a huge dump of snow very quickly closed major roads. We were very fortunate to escape the worst of it by blagging a taxi to a hotel ( a 30 minute drive that took us almost 2 hours in the nasty conditions ). We all slept well in our comfortable hotel beds knowing that Rosaleen had skilfully arranged our escape.


Watch out for the 2016 LCC ski trip which is now on the calendar.  Saturday the 13th to 20th February 2016.  If you are interested please add your name via the booking page or contacting me directly.
Click here for details……..


Skiers – Dom and Matt Buckley, Fiona, Bev, Keith, Ian, Caz, Pete  More photos……


24/02/15 Sunday Morning Docks Paddle – 8th February


Julie Brookes paddling Freddies

Chris gazing out on a misty morning

Chris Fay


24/02/15 British Canoeing Bimonthly Newsletter – Read February one here…


24/02/15 Ladies Development League Tournament 4 Results and League Table


Liverpool Canoe Club ladies are currently in 3rd place of a competitive league which takes place at Cheadle pool.  If you are interested in trying canoe polo why not come along to a Tuesday session at Halewood pool.  You will need to be quick to book on as there are only 12 places each week.  All the equipment (Boat, paddle, spraydeck, helmet and Buoyancy Aid) is at the pool.  You will pick up the rules and skills as you go along.  Lots of help available is you need it.  More information……



22/02/15 The River Tees Barrage 21st February

Saturday 21st February 0830 and seven of us met at the pool on a very cold morning for the first planned trip to a white water centre this year.


Plan was to travel up and join John Mackin and Nick and the three boys from St Helens.

When we arrived there was no sign of the guys from St Helens so we reckoned they had gone off to do a river whilst there was water about.


Once on the course it was noted that a few changes had been made, most noticeably a small drop had been introduced just before Acid drop so this was now a double drop which was actually more fun!


Plenty of rolls and the odd swimmer (not me for once) and it was time for lunch.  Back on the water and it was soon noted that the level had altered and Acid drop was now more Knarly and had to be run with force to make sure you punched through. 


John Mackin had a bit of a moment and took a whack to the face whist exiting his boat and called it a day to be on the safe side. A couple more laps were put in and it was time to head off.  A great day out with a good group of paddlers, everyone enjoyed it and said they would return again. Keep your eye on the calendar for the next time!!!


Nick Mackin`s Photos…..



John Allerton, John Mackin, David Brockway, Stuart Toulson, Christian Scullion, Astrid Aregui and John Cooke. 

Papparazti for the day, Nick Mackin


John Cooke

Chris Scullion

David Brockway on the travellator


Good day at Tees - bit early in the season yes - considering the water speed and temperature. However good to get back in to it Well done all and JC for organisation


John Allerton   More Photos……


14/02/15 River Leven Saturday 7th February


Upper section 2km( the Race course)

You very quickly come to the brick chute weir – watch out here as the main current when in flood quickly pushes novices towards the left-hand side of Mill Force, a 2m drop just below. The fall is quite straightforward but is easier on the right. A few playful stoppers follow the flat section and lead into four rocky drops interspersed with shoots and stoppers. Take out in the field on the left.

We ran this section twice and it enable many to practise their white-water skills and build confidence.


Lower section 2km

From here the difficulty increases with a large sloping weir then fast water into the fall underneath Backbarrow bridge (Gd 4). The drop is always powerful, with a large pool below to collect the pieces.  Most sensible paddlers will take out here, because below lies a nasty weir (Gd 6). 30m downstream is another well worthwhile fall. However it is difficult to access. Portage on river left just above the weir.  Inspect the drop, because once on the water it is hard to see the line. Standing waves then lead to a low footbridge, which you can normally limbo under. Immediately below is a small weir down into some huge waves then a small rocky fall lying in wait under the A590 road bridge. Below lies yet another large weir then easy water leads to an island. Ensure you take the rightr-hand channel as the left is often blocked by trees and can be fatal in high water. More islands lie below and the river eases down to the egress on river left below the bridge. (I prefer to get out on the river right just above the bridge as the path is far better here.


More photos…….


Playing on the top weir

Carole paddling the “brick chute”

Mike Hughes just exiting Backbarrow bridge



14/02/15 Hilbre Island Sea Kayak Race & BBQ

Next Race - Sunday 5th July 2015


Hilbre Island is the largest of a group of three islands at the mouth of the estuary of the River Dee, and lies about 1.6 km from Red Rocks, the nearest part of the mainland on the Wirral Peninsula.


 The Start is at Dee Sailing club (CH61 0HN) START TIME 13:30 pm with a beach (Le Mans style) mass start (Seeded start line). The finish will be a buoy on the water in line with the causeway.


Prize giving and BBQ will be in the club house after the event. The main Hilbre Island Race goes clockwise around all three islands (13km) while a shorter race for General Purpose and touring boats goes clockwise around the Little Eye (9km). A novice and junior course (4km) to West Kirby will also be available.


 Conditions can be very rough on the northern end of Hilbre and anyone entering the Hilbre Island Race needs to be sure that they can cope with the conditions on the day.


 If conditions are too rough then modified courses may be used. We have a number of safety craft covering the race. Several kayak rescue teams will also be positioned on the end of Hilbre Island.


Places are limited to the first 50 entrants.

Hilbre Race (13Km) - Sea Kayaks, Racing Surf Skis & Elite Kayaks, Ladies Sea Kayaks, Tandem Sea kayak.

Little Eye Race (9Km) - First Kayak, Ladies Race, Doubles (any design)

West Kirby Race (4Km) - First Kayak (under 4m), First Junior (under 16), First Open Canoe.

 You will need to pre-enter online and bring with you on the day a completed registration form.


Supported by YambaUK, Dee Sailing Club, System X, Go Kayaking North West, Cedar Boats Europe and Manchester Canoes



More information on this club run event:








14/02/15 How to repair your paddle

Quick note to say thanks to Mike Bell from the club for the paddle repair - professional and very, very reasonable....


I bent the end of my blade on tees a full repair new blade was 220 - I spoke to Mike who said easy repair - He then explained how a vacuum would suck the resin back in to the pores where the foam inlay was.  The result feels as good as new very strong.  Any way I mentioned a few people had snapped paddles on white water Mike mentioned cutting the shaft and putting a spigot in. (technical)


Any way in a nutshell some breakages it appears are very repairable - and if all lost you can turn a paddle also in to a split paddle via Mike.   Don't therefore throw old paddles shafts and blades - you never know,


John Allerton


Contact Mike Bell at belly@btinternet.com M  07976727209  Tel 01704831288  http://cedarboats.co.uk/



12/02/15 Knowsley Outdoor Education Centre are looking to recruit Activity Instructors

Knowsley Outdoor Education Centre are looking to recruit Activity Instructors to their casual staff team.  The majority of sessions are with schools & youth groups, so it would be an advantage to have experience of dealing with young people.  Most sessions are typically a half day, although in some instances full-days are available.  If you are BCU, RYA or SPA qualified and require further information please contact Brian Rodgers.

Email: brian.rodgers@youthmutual.co.uk  or Mob. 07825677161

12/02/15 Hilbre Island - Saturday 7th February

So what was we going to do this weekend I wondered. We usually did a canal paddle or attended the docks sessions but then up popped an email from Karl Tattum proposing a sea trip to Hilbre Island. The plan was to meet at the West Kirby sailing club at 10.30am ready to launch from the slipway as soon as the tide came in.

Sure enough on Saturday morning one by one a steady stream of LCC paddlers arrived at West Kirby and unloaded a variety of boats. Bicycle Bob had his sit-on kayak loaded with an array of equipment whilst Colin had chosen to paddle his distinctive open canoe. Sea kayaks and crossover boats made up the rest of the crew and were carried to the slipway ready to launch.


"How are you going to get there?" Chris asked as she looked over the expanse of sand. "There's no water." We replied. "There will be in about half an hour" and sure enough in it came eventually lapping onto the Tarmac of the slipway.


Before launching Karl gathered the paddlers for a briefing highlighting the planned route and checking on the equipment available within the team members. So we had radios, towlines and first aid kits and Bob was assigned to call in our trip to the coastguard. It was time to go.


Out we paddled straight into the estuary before eventually turning right and heading to the left of the Islands. The weather was beautiful and the sea was flat calm with just a gentle swell lifting the kayaks. I was glad about this because for Phil and Nathan Edwards this was their first sea and club trip. Both found the swell of the sea to be an unusual sensation but settled into a steady paddle towards our destination.


Past little eye we went and onto middle eye. Karl reminded us all to keep quiet when passing the Middle Island so we didn't disturb the nesting birds. So keeping well clear of Middle eye we paddled onwards towards Hilbre. Now we had some options. We could go straight to the beach for lunch or we could head clockwise around Hilbre, through the overfalls and back around the far side. All decided to paddle to the end of the island and look at the overfalls before making our decision to either carry on or head back to the beach. All 14 paddlers decided to paddle through the overfalls including Phil and Nathan watched carefully by the more experienced kayakers. "That was, er different" said Phil with a big smile on his face.


On the small beach the LCC paddlers landed aware of the spectators watching from the top of the Island. We had about 15 minutes for lunch before we needed to return to West Kirby. Although not very long it was time enough to enjoy sandwiches, coffee and juice along with a slice of Julie's homemade Mincemeat cake. For the majority of us the only effort we had put into the cake making was a trip to the local supermarket. Karl was not impressed by this at all.


Lunch over and it was time to leave. The trip back was just as enjoyable as the journey out and soon we landed back at the sailing club slipway. The timing was spot on. Another few minutes and we would have been walking the last few feet in the mud. What a great trip. The weather and sea conditions were fantastic. The company was fantastic and Julie's cake was fantastic.


A massive thanks to Karl Tattum for organising the trip and for allowing us to tag on. We look forward to the next one.


Report by John Fay


More Photos…….


09/02/15 Hat Trick Weekend

I’m glad January is well out of the way. With storm after storm hitting the UK it seemed that only Krazy Karl’s Krosby Surf Krashers managed to get out on the sea.

I was gradually climbing the walls here at our Hoylake hovel and watched the Atlantic charts daily for any glimmer of some reasonable weather to allow at least one sea trip somewhere .... ANYWHERE!!!!


Friday 6th - Anglesey

At last February promised some high pressure so, resplendent in our winter plumage of sagging jowls and bulging stomachs, Brian Green and I squeezed our way into our drysuits cursing that they appeared to have shrunk over the past month. It was Friday and Brian managed to find a slack period in his busy diary and so the pair of us inaugurated yet another year of the “Friday Slackers Club”. We set off from Borth Wen on Anglesey and were immediately stunned with the fabulous view of the snow covered mountains of Snowdonia. Blue skies and just the occasional 10 knot puff of wind was our guarantee of a good day’s paddling. It was high tide as we set off towards Trearddur via a detour around the Rhoscolyn Beacon so we knew there wouldn’t be any overfalls to play in; nevertheless, a trip out around the beacon is always worthwhile.


Our plan was to do some rock hopping and even though both of us had paddled this stretch of coast many times, the quality of the little nooks and crannies means that we always feel that we’re discovering parts of them for the very first time. It was great to have the place to ourselves – well, almost to ourselves. It wasn’t long before we bumped into LCC member Mark Tozer, the jet setting L5 coach, who had a couple of clients in tow doing 4* training. We stopped for a chat and agreed to meet up again sometime soon for a paddle before he flys off once more to a distant shore in May.

More rock hopping and more gabbing and catching up after not seeing each other for a while, Brian and I continued on towards our lunch stop in Porth Dianna. At each turn we marvelled at the variety of birds that we saw huddled on ledges all along the coastline. We both commented that we really should be able to name the species by now ... but we couldn’t. Must make an effort to learn what they are!


Although we planned to do more exploring as the tide dropped on the way back to our put-in, we just ended up gabbing more and exploring less. We got off the water as the light was fading and felt happy that some of the rust had been scraped off our paddling muscles.


Stopping off at Summit To Sea on the way home, I found myself fiddling about with and trying on white water gear instead of sea kayaking gear ....... I wonder why?


Saturday 7th – River Leven

Carole and I had signed up to some of the white water trips throughout 2014 and really enjoyed them, not just for the paddling but also from the social craic. It’s just great to mix with the various disciplines of LCC and each has a lot to offer. The W/W possy are really well organised and have some good and well trained river leaders and assistant leaders so we always feel happy following them down the various rivers they know like the back of their hands. Saturday was the day to run the River Leven in the Lakes. Without much rain recently, the level was pretty low, or at least it was lower than the last time we ran it. I think there were over 20 of us on the water split into manageable groups so that the “experts” could keep us out of harm’s way. Hopefully, one of those experts will do their own write-up for the day so Ill end here and just say Caz and I really got a lot out of the trip and look forward to doing more white water with such a great bunch of head cases J


Sunday 8th – Docks and Hilbre Island

Mike Alter and Ian Bell were both river leaders on the Saturday and, travelling together in the same car to the Lakes, Mike had suggested the possibility of paddling around Hilbre on Sunday. They let us in on the plan and Andy Garland also showed keen interest. The trouble was, Ian, Caz and I were showing the “Sea Kayak Intro” group how to use towing system until noon at the docks. We warned the group that we might make an early dart and after a pretty full-on session getting quite a lot of information and practice in, the group seemed happy for us to buzz off but not before handing them over to Karl Winrow and Gareth Jones who are each more than capable of carrying on with what was left of the session.


Trying not to break the speed limit, Ian, John Worswick, Caz and myself arrived at West Kirby slipway and joined Mike, Ruth and Andy.


Because we had already been paddling at the docks in the morning, most of us were already dressed for action (must get those salt water stains off my car seats) so it wasn’t long before we were on the water and off into the thick fog that obliterated all of the nearby features, let alone Hilbre Island that was nowhere in sight. Fortunately, Karl Tatum led a trip to Hilbre the day before so we simply followed his tracks and the obvious trail of cake crumbs floating on the water. We left the slipway much later in the tide than we would normally have done so we didn’t risk a break at Hilbre in case we got stuck in the West Kirby mud on our return. We just kept paddling around the island and headed back without even taking a short break to enjoy the fresh lemon drizzle cake that Ruth had baked that morning especially for the trip.


The fog gradually lifted so our route back was obvious and we dared to take a shortcut or two in order to save time. Shaving off a corner here and there meant us paddling in shallow water occasionally with our paddle tips touching the sand in places. Nevertheless, we managed to get back to the slipway while it was still wet. We jumped out of our boats and quickly gathered around Ruth as she handed out cake to a grateful bunch of sea kayakers.


Thanks to everyone involved for a great weekend on the water.


Pete Thomas and a cast of millions

06/02/15 BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning for Sea Kayaking Sunday 1st February

Congratulations to the 12 club members who successfully completed their BCU course on Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning for Sea Kayaking.  The course was tutored by Ian Bell and Keith S and involved modules on weather forecasting, tides and tidal streams, basic navigation and coastal trip planning.

This course is a pre-requisite for the BCU 4 star Sea Leader Award, as well as being a course suitable for any sea kayaker wanting tidal planning training.

Course Participants
Kevin  Devlin
Steve  Sale
Helen Thomson
Michael Ripley
Adrian Emberton
James Mannion
Janet  Mannion
Keith   Jackson
Karl     Winrow
Robert Giles
Nicola Pyper
Graham Hudson

More details and information………


Text Box:  The canoe trail will link Liverpool (above) in the west to Goole in the east06/02/15 England to get first coast-to-coast route for canoes

England's first coast-to-coast route for canoes is to be created between Merseyside and East Yorkshire, the Canal & River Trust charity has said.

The trail will follow the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and the Aire and Calder Navigation.

It will stretch over 150 miles (241km), the charity said.

Due for completion in 2020, it has been named the Desmond Family Canoe Trail after newspaper proprietor Richard Desmond, who donated £1.3m.

Click here to read the full story………




31/01/15 February 2015 Newsletter Published 
Please open it by clicking this link February 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)