Volume 16 Issue 9

September 2016

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

Archived Newsletters… 
Major Trip Reports.…


03/09/16 Major dates for Club Events – for more detail check the online Club Calendar…….

16 – 18 Sept 2016

Anglesey Weekend No 4 Outdoor Alternative Click for more…… Coordinator Peter Massey To book a place…

1 Oct 2016

Ladies Development Session Click for more……  Coordinator Rosie Diver

28 – 30 Oct 2016

Welsh Open Canoe Symposium – Click for more……

13 – 17th April 2017

Scottish Easter Paddling Holiday based at Kinlochleven - coordinator Roy McHale. To book a place…


03/09/16 August “Photo of the Month” Competition


Liverpool Canoe Club Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to Claire Murphy for her winning photo:

“LCC Under 16 Canoe Polo team in action”

Runner up Peter McComasky

Carl Leungs with a family of ducks”

Runner up Christine Fay  :

“Play boating Keiron Sinnott style”

 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.
Please send in your entries for next month now - website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk

02/09/16 Rio Olympics


The Rio Olympics is over and what a GREAT success it has been for British Canoeing. In case you missed anything we secured:

  • Gold in Slalom K1 
  • Silver in Slalom C2      
  • Gold in Sprint K1
  • Silver in Sprint K2


02/09/16 Penrhyn Mawr on a Neap, 27th August 2016

At the first Anglesey camp of this year, a planned trip to South Stack was abandoned on account of the difficulty of getting a large group of mixed-ability paddlers around Penrhyn Mawr.  So when I met up with Dave Blake and Jules Davies to tackle this place, it was not without a degree of trepidation.


The paddle out from Porth Dafarch was straightforward but  we were all feeling the heat.  We arrived at our destination a few minutes later but there was not much to see at that stage.  This was a good time for me to inspect "The Fangs" while they were in their dormant state, and for a few practice rolls to cool down.


As the tidal flow increased, the structure of the place become more clear.  Water was surging north around the headland through every aperture which provided many opportunities for play.  The inner race felt to me like a larger version of the friendly jet at Four Mile Bridge but without the brutality of Stanley


The main action at Penrhyn Mawr takes place in the outer race where the barely submerged Fangs never seem to be far away.  The best waves were at the front of the race where one could surge forward into beautifully tranquil water.  For some reason that I've yet to comprehend, surfable waves were continuously progressing forwards against the flow of the water.  To catch them required rapid acceleration at precisely the right moment, but very satisfying when it went well.  As  the flow peaked, it became increasing difficult to make headway upstream but there is a friendly eddy on the left-hand side where such progress is easy.


We three, all wearing our helmets, were joined by a highly competant German gentleman complete with his traditional Alpine hat.  Turns out that Mirko Stefan is the chef at Anglesey Outdoors, all of a mile down the road.  At one stage, someone from another group capsized and bailed, and I watched with interest as Mirko effected a textbook rescue.  By the end of the session, I noticed that his pristine hat had disappeared and been replaced by a wet head of hair.   Most likely he went for a scheduled roll, I can't imagine that he would be tipped over by a wave; none of us were.  Big thanks to whoever reminded me last year at the Docks of the benefit of a low brace to prevent a capsize.


Our trip back to base through a rocky passage against the current was problematic.  At max workrate, my progress was minimal; one mistake and you were going backwards.  My paddling pals made it look so easy!  A couple of chaps in river boats had just completed a return trip to South Stack but could not punch their way through here.   They found it much easier when hitched up behind Jules' Tiderace for a short tow through this critical section.


On a sunny BH Saturday afternoon, Port Dafarch was heaving but it felt good to be mixing with all the other beach and sea users who were enjoying the surroundings.  With exciting paddling, free parking and loos, and handy vans for tea/chips/ice cream, this place takes some beating.



Robin Emley

02/09/16 Filming the Liverpool Triathlon Sunday 14th August

Whilst doing the usual triathlon cover the television production company covering the Liverpool tri asked Anthony Brockway for a hand by taking out a gopro camera on a pole to capture some interesting close up shots of the actual swimming. Never having done anything like this before he thought this would be fun. After a bit of familiarisation with the gear he was ready to go and asked “what holds the camera to my boat?” the answer “you do!” only to find out that there was a two man sit on top waiting at the watersports centre and another volunteer was going to be required pretty rapidly!!!

Knowing that it was going to require some speed and enough force to propel two people Anthony asked Keith who would be good and Keith being Keith, kindly volunteered Col Muse( ME!) luckily I also thought this would be an interesting challenge and was only too happy to oblige.

We needed to film the elite men’s and women’s races and thought it best to practice a bit first on the junior races before. This turned out to be a good strategy as nothing really prepares you for exactly how tricky it is to position the boat to film. Only and inch or so above the water and a few feet in front of the swimmer was the request of the TV crew. Firstly they are quicker than you expect! And getting in there to achieve these angles and not actually impeding the race in anyway was pretty difficult. It was immediately obvious that Anthony and I were going to have to communicate extremely well and trust each other a lot, very quickly. From our conversation between races it struck me that we had different experiences. For Anthony it was strange to be a ‘passenger’ as such a strong paddler himself to have to place his trust in someone else is new. For me it was the sheer all round awareness and concentration coupled with using a sustained level of power which isn’t normally required to push just yourself through the water. Big acceleration and precise positioning and speed control to match the swimmer was surprisingly demanding, glad I had some meaty blades to paddle with!

After our practice runs we set out to get some interesting shots of the pre race swimmers getting into the water. Whilst I have done a lot of SESA type cover for tri’s you are not normally so close to the action. The speed and chaos of a mass start of swimmers of this standard is not to be underestimated and we had to get some serious speed on and then draw near enough to the action to hang the camera out just above and in front of the swimmers so they almost touch the lens with their hand as it comes out in front of them. Anthony was working hard to be precise and keep the camera just right. We worked from the front runners slowly backwards to capture content from the following pack till the end. Paddled back had a bit of a rest and waited for the men’s race.


Again the speed, power and brutal nature of the start catches you by surprise, even the noise of all of these swimmers splashing through the water is louder than you expect. They were incredibly fast and it took all of our rapidly growing teamwork to get into the thick of the action. Overall a pretty exciting thing to be doing, a unique perspective on an already unique view we get of such an event.

Anyone familiar with go pros will tell you that unless the lcd back is fitted you cant actually tell if you have got anything decent at all. So we handed the gear back at the end having no idea how well we’d done. Left a note with it to contact us and let us know and if we get any footage used so we can see it later. A day or so later we get an email. I had been told that normally such a set up only catches a very small amount of footage so I wasn’t expecting much. Well, the response was really great, the production team told us that what we had managed to do was awesome and they had loads of really great footage from our little go pro. So much that they will be using lots of our work on the telly show and worthy of getting our name on the credits at the end. Anthony,,,,,we’re famous!!!

So, tune in to the channel4 coverage of the Liverpool triathlon on Saturday morning 6am (ok maybe set the record for it) and have a look at what we did, great fun for us two, big kudos to Lcc for its top notch safety cover(second to none). Even when not doing our action filming the quality, experience and level of training of the LCC SESA crowd makes these events so well looked after, the swimmers really do appreciate us even if they hopefully/thankfully don’t need us. Watch the show and maybe get involved and do a bit of safety cover too. Some of the events support the club itself and you can get paid for some of the others which all helps to buy more kayaking kit here and there!!!

Cheers all

Colin Muse    Click here to view it on Channel 4 catch-up – 23 days left to view……….


15/08/16 Liverpool Triathlon Sunday 14th August

A massive thank you to all the members of the club that volunteered to help on this Sundays Swim section of the Liverpool Triathlon.  This event is well run and big fund raiser for the club.  Many of the volunteers got up at 5:00am to be on the water for the first race at 7:00am.  The bank support team probably worked the hardest helping getting the athletes out of the water at the end of their swim section of the course.  This is something that everyone can help with no matter what standard of paddler they are – we often just need willing hands so please consider helping where you can.

A record-breaking 1,900 participants, including international elite triathletes and paratriathletes, amateurs and first timers, took to the iconic city centre course to swim, cycle and run at this year’s Tri Liverpool.


Spectators lined the streets, with over 4,000 local people on the side lines supporting their family and friends, and giving many of the paratriathletes who will be racing in Brazil an inspiring send off.

Red Team

Blue Team

Green Team

Orange Team

Bank Support Team / Lifeguards

Paul Hanley

Keith Steer

John Vogler

Peter Thomas

John Fay

Anthony Brockway

Ian Colwyn

Ian Bell

Carole Thomas

Craig Ford

Julie Brookes

Callum Cook

Kathryn Wilson

Robin Emley

Sarah gille

Tony Robinson

Norman Cook

Tony Bennett

Alan Peachment

Gareth Jones

Irene Jackson

Dominic Fahey

Colin Muse

Steve Lewtas

William Hurley-Brown

Keith Traverse

Peter Brown

Michael Smith

matthew odonnell

Martyn Hurley

conner odonnell

paul odonnell

Stuart Conway

Jim Duffy


andy freeman

Don Brooks

Natalie Glover

Bob Hamilton





Sue Hamilton


It was an early rise for the paratriathletes who kicked off the day with their 7am start time, racing the sprint distance triathlon across multiple classifications. Paratriathletes swam 750m, cycled 20km using hand cycles, bikes or tandem bikes with a guide, followed by a 5km wheelchair or running race.

This year’s Tri Liverpool was particularly important for the paratriathletes who competed for the last time on home soil before heading off to Brazil to participate in the inaugural paratriathlon at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Paratriathletes included Lauren Steadman PT4 who took part in the Paralympics as a swimmer in 2008 and 2012 and 2004 Paralympian David Hill who competes in the PT5 category.     More Photos………

Provisional Results

Elite men (British Elite Sprint Triathlon Championships)

1 – Adam Bowden, 54.58

2 – Ben Djikstra, 55.18

3 – Thomas Bishop, 55.23


Elite women (British Elite Sprint Triathlon Championships)

1 – Charlotte McShane, 1.01.41 (Not eligible for British Title)

2 – Jessica Learmonth, 1.01.44

3 – Heather Sellars, 1.02.02

6 – Olivia Mathias, 1.02.45 (3rd Brit)


Junior men (British Junior Super Series)

1 – Ben Djikstra – 55:18

2 – Alex Yee, Crystal Palace Triathletes – 56:04

3 – Jack Willis, Leeds Triathlon Centre – 56:07




Junior women (British Junior Super Series)

1 – Olivia Mathias, Loughborough Triathlon – 1:02:45

2 – Kate Waugh, Ryton Tri – 1:02:57

3 – Sian Rainsley, Leeds Triathlon – 1:03:01


Youth men (British Youth Super Series)

1 – James Chantler Mayne – 33:09

2 – Daniel Slater, North West Regional Academy – 33:20

3 – Matthew Willis, North West Regional Academy – 33:26



Youth women (British Youth Super Series)

1 – Erin Wallace, Fusion Triathlon Club – 36:59

2 – Abbie Williams, Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club – 37:15

3 – Ellie Hobbs, South West Regional Academy – 37:19


13/08/16 Alpine holiday to the Ecrin / Durance region of France 2016 (Part 2)

Day 3 The Upper Guisane

It was getting a bit late in the day to do anything other than a short section of the Upper Guisane and our put-in was just below the feature known as ‘S Bend’. There are many grand rivers in the Alps with fantastic views of lofty peaks and crags but this section of river isn’t one of them. Instead our little trip was reminiscent of a pleasant journey down a country lane, overgrown and mostly shaded by all sorts of trees, shrubs and wild flowers. Nevertheless the narrowness of the river here and the steepness of the gradient meant that the water was flowing at a rate of knots. The river is mainly fed by glacial meltwater and, being late afternoon, a good volume was coming down to speed us along.

A few rocks scattered here and there and a small weir added interest to the trip and everyone managed to avoid being tipped out of their boat despite the very loud bangs I heard behind me occasionally as plastic made violent contact with boulder.


Eventually we came to the village of Villeneuve where the river takes on a completely different character. We paddled below verandas of pleasant alpine lodges and above one of them hung a plastic “globe” of planet earth. Apparently, or as the tale is told, the lady of the house, once she gets wind of the fact that the handsome male river warriors of Liverpool Canoe Club are in the vicinity, she hangs up the globe as a signal that her husband isn’t home. Sadly (for her) the fast flowing water and the distinct scarcity of decent eddies to catch, has meant that no eligible male from the club has ever been able to take advantage of her signal.


Finally, a bridge decorated richly with garlands of flowers was reached and this was our get-out just short of the village of Chantemerle. We met up with Sarah and Fiona who had decided not to partake of the pleasures of this little section of river and we all chilled out in the sunshine while Keith and Sara cycled up to collect the bus and trailer.


Another great day with a great team of mates.


Pete Thomas                                                                           More Photos…..


Day 4 The Lower Durance (Sunshine Run)

Given the weather forecast of tres chaud et il fait soleil, the Sunshine Run was a pretty obvious choice for the day.  We started just above the slalom course at St Clément, where we all had a chance to run the rapids as a warm up for the day.  As we left St Clément, the river widened and we all appreciated the scenery of the surrounding valley as we got carried along by the current before the river became a little bit bouncy.  As the river meandered through the valley floor, the wave trains through the corners became bigger and bouncier, leading to a couple of swims (and some pretty good rescuing skills!).  There were plenty of waves where all the playboaters had the chance to show off their play boat skills. 


It wasn’t long before we eddied out and realised we were at the last eddy before the (in-)famous Rabioux Rapid (affectionately referred to as the Rab Wave).  We all got out to go and have a look at the wave and the best line to take that would lead to the least chance of swimming.  Everybody decided they wanted a go at getting through it (although some people needed a bit more encouragement than others… ), and so one-by-one we eddied out and tried to remember the line we’d been told to take, some more successfully than others, although there were only 2 swims. After a leisurely lunch break watching rafts and hydro-speeders tackle the wave we set off again.


During the afternoon the river got wider and noticeably more bouncy, particularly for those of us in fairly low volume boats! There were plenty of opportunities to practice surfing the wave trains around the wide bends of the river, while having the chance to rest when the river quietened down a little.  There was even the chance to enjoy some more of the scenery, and spot the vultures soaring on the thermals.  For those of us who’d never been to the Lower Durance before, we’d been warned that this section had a slight sting in the tail before the get out.  Sure enough, we soon came across a particularly large rapid, which everybody had fun getting through (apart from Helen Seirtsema, who swam down the entire rapid).  We then quickly came across the Embrun Wave, which again, everybody had fun getting through (apart from Helen Seirtsema, who swam again). The rest of the river was uneventful, and we were soon out of the river, changed, and having a well-deserved Haagen-Daaz ice cream.


Chris Wood                                             More Photos…..

Day 5 Glacier Blanc mountain walk                                                                          

The campsite at L’Argentiere la  Bessee is located in the Ecrins National Park, one of 10 National parks in France. The park’s wildlife, plants, heritage, landscape, rivers, high valleys, mountain peaks and glaciers are protected.  As well as kayaking other outdoor activities are numerous, and a walk up to one of the high glaciers was planned.


The Glacier of choice, visited numerous times on previous Alps trips (see the previous year’s photos of the group on the bridge) was a walk to the Refuge Du Glacier Blanc. This is one of the most popular refuges in the Ecrins with many day visitors and spaces for 135 to stay overnight. It is perched on a crown of rock adjacent to the Glacier at 2543 metres, with good views of the multi peak Mont Pelvoux.


We set of at 7.00 am on a fine clear day to drive to the start of the walk at Pre de Madame Carle. The early start was so we could walk in the cool of the morning, when it was also quieter. The first part of the walk was a steeply twisting path of zigzags leading to a boulder field below the glacier. A marmot was spotted on the way up and Graham hand feed it a small piece of croissant,(not sure if that’s a healthy diet for a marmot  but it seems they are often feed by passing humans). At the bridge mentioned above, we had a group photo with the glacier in the background; these photos over the years may show how much the glacier has receded in recent times.


We left one of the group at the bridge as the upper section was steeper and involved a little scrabbling with some iron work hand holds as protection. The refuge was reached after about 2 hours with 668 metres of ascent and, although we had reached the hut, we had not stood on the glacier so, those that wished to do so set off to walk for a further half hour upwards along the glacier moraine until we reached a spot where we could drop on to the glacier itself.

From this point the walk up the glacier to the next higher altitude refuge required a little better equipment than trainers.


After photos and some hopping and dancing with glee on the ice we set of back down to the refuge to join Pete and Keith  who had stayed at the hut reserving a picnic table for lunch, as it was now getting busy. We set off back down at different paces and all joined up at the bottom of the walk for a drink at the cafe at Pre de Madame Carle, after a most enjoyable day.


Keith and Sara retrieved their cycles from the bus and set off for a twisty downhill ALL the way to Argentiere, arriving not long after the bus with the rest of us on board. Myself Carole, Pete, Leanne, Graham, Lucy, Chris W, and Stuart.


Caz Thomas                                             More Photos…..


12/08/16 Secure storage area / compound / cage for our boats and equipment a few meters from the waters edge between the two slipways on Coburg Wharf beach.

Good news – we are now finalising a company to come in and build the 43m of secure fencing and four x 4m wide gates in the area between the slipways. The area is owned and controlled by Canal and Rivers Trust but we have the tentative support of the Marina. 


The area will have custom scaffold / adjustable racking for the boats and also house two plastic shed similar to one we have currently.  These will be used for changing but we also hope to continue the association with the marina with use of the facilities and changing rooms.  Details on the new arrangements will be circulated when finalised but members will be able to opt for this with the purchase of new (Gold) swipe cards when available.


Once the compound is finished we will need a working party to build the scaffolding and secure the mesh panels above, build the two sheds and transfer all the boats and gear.   The custom gates will take about 4 weeks to construct so expect completion to be towards the end of September.



12/08/16 This is just a friendly reminder about the system we have for loaning club boats and equipment.


All our boats and equipment can be used by club members for free at the venue that they are stored at (eg pool or docks.)  Please help by putting them away neatly.


 If you would like to borrow one for a club trip this is ONLY allowed by using the club booking system but your must do this in advance and the numbered boat must be visibly booked to you on the webpage.  (Please note that this can take up to 24 hours to process). 


Please use the equipment link on the website or http://www.liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk/members/full_member/Equipment/equipment.htm   to find out more.  By clicking on the link at the top of the equipment list you will find full terms and conditions and how to book.   You MUST give the boat number……


If you are the named leader of a club trip or using it for a coaching course then we will loan club boats free of charge provided you ask first giving full details and dates by dropping us an email at website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk


09/08/16 Stanley Embankment

Great session at Stanley today, big thanks to Joe and Roy for keeping an eye on me.  It's one thing watching that monster wave on Youtube, it's quite another entering it for real.  Not sure what was happening for most of the time, but I had a few good moments, including surfing backwards for several seconds and feeling remarkably in control until suddenly I was flipped under yet again. 

Rolling upright was challenging in the turbulent water under the A55 but it's a great feeling when you succeed at the fourth attempt, or was it the fifth?  Joe and Roy each demonstrated how my river boat should be used in such conditions, a great spectacle with spray everywhere.

Stanley is an amazing place, so much power and consistency, and only the three of us there all day.  Pity no-one had a camera.




09/08/16 Warrington Dolphins Swim - safety cover.


Once again The Liverpool Canoe Club was asked to provide safety cover for the annual Warrington Dolphins swim. This year a record number of swimmers were taking part and over 60 took to the water at 9am after their briefing. The water temperature was a very nice 18.5 degrees so it was going to be a pleasant swim.


Earlier, at 7.30am, our kayak team met at the marina where Julie had very kindly opened the shed etc for those who needed to use club equipment. From there we paddled over to the Watersports Centre and received a very short briefing from Larry Richards who commented that "he knew that we all (LCC) knew what we were doing" having covered numerous swim events before.


 After our own briefing we were organised into three teams to cover the course. Emphasis was put on the mass start where we expected any issues would come from whilst competitors jostled for position. Colin Muse led team one with Alex Peacock on vhs radio along with Irene Jackson, Julie Brookes, Phil Edwards and our very own Dr. Dom Buckley.


Team two was led by Don Brookes with Craig Ford doing his first safety cover event after passing the SESA award the previous weekend. Jim Duffy also passed and was a member of team two. Bob and Sue Hamilton completed team the team and took their position in Wapping Dock.


Them three comprising of Ian Colwyn, Nathan Edwards, Natalie Glover, Dom Fahey and John Fay covered the last section and the turn around marked by a large orange buoy and by the time we took our position the swim at the other end had started.


The course ran anti-clockwise from the Watersports centre down into Wapping basin (by Dukes) and back. Each lap was 1 mile in length and there was a 2 mile and a 4 mile race with a 12pm cut off point. Over the next three hours our teams guided the swimmers over the course and the whole event went without incident. Everyone finished within the time limit even the gentleman swimmer who completed the four mile course doing the butterfly stroke. He crossed the finish line bang on 12pm to rapturous applause and cheering from the spectators.


After the presentations our teams were invited for drinks and food in the Watersports centre and the lovely weather on the day made it all a very pleasant experience. A massive thanks to our 16 volunteers who gave up their time to support this event. It's great to be able to give something back to the great Club we are a part of.


Report by John Fay                                                                                More Photos……….


09/08/16 The Irwell Race at the Burrs Activity Centre, Bury – Sunday 16th October 2016


Please add the Irwell Race at the Burrs Activity Centre, Bury to your race calendar for this Autumn ...



01/08/16 August Photo of the Month CompetitionClick here to vote for your favourite.    



Carl Leungs with a family of ducks


LCC Under 16 Canoe Polo team in action

Level 1 coach training “Pushmepullyou”






Ollie Murphy takes on Chapel Falls



Saturday Morning Rolling Session at the Docks

Play boating Keiron Sinnott style



31/07/16 Newsletter Published 
Please open it by clicking this link
August Newsletter…… or via the website   More Archived Newsletters…..

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