Volume 13 Issue 11

November 2013

November 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.…


31/10/13 October Photo of the Month Competition


Liverpool Canoe Club October Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to Carole Thomas for her winning photo:

“Swedish Archipelago - Which way now ?”



Runner up Paul Harwood :

“Steven Rose – a big day at Crosby


Runner up Carole Thomas :

Surfing Sea Kayaks

 - The Essential Anglesey Sea Kayak Festival 2013”

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.


31/10/13 Major dates for events this year – for more detail check the calendar…….

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

Wed 27 Nov          Erik Boomer Visiting Speaker “The Honey Badger of Kayaking”. Click to book a place.........

Sun 22 Dec           Christmas Paddle - Mince Pies at Albert Dock, Festive decoration on boats (Juniors & Adults Any blade Any boat) - Coordinator LCC Social Committee. Click to book a place.........


31/10/13 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….


31/10/13 Club Paddles
If you fancy paddling on any of the proposed trips this year then please consider offering to act as a coordinator. You won’t be in charge of the trip; you just select the date(s) and act as a contact point to give information / gather prospective numbers etc. Contact website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk with offers of help or suggested trips.  All coordinators will take a list of names and contact numbers before paddlers get on the water - please contact the coordinator before the trip.




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


28/10/13 Surfing. Crosby. Sunday 27th October 2013


A few months ago I saw a blog by James Weir http://blog.jamesweir.net/2010/05/nevafull-me-on-my-annual-trip-to-travo.html describing how he drills 3 holes on each side of his canoe level with the waterline and almost all the water that comes in from the top pours out of these holes. He calls it Nevafull. After surfing in Anglesey in the summer in my Spanish Fly, I discovered it is very hard to paddle in waves when you are sat in water up to your belly button. A few weeks ago I asked Karl to draw the waterline on my boat with a crayon so I would know where to put my holes.
It goes against all logic to put holes in your canoe. Never mind  so close to the waterline. I knew water would get in, but it always gets in from the massive hole at the top. I sat with my drill looking at my boat and I was scared. What am I doing? Well I took the plunge and drilled three 25mm holes 100mm apart on both sides of the boat  just above the waterline. Through 10mm of hull, and through 50mm of minicell foam. My boat is either knackered or brilliant. Only time will tell.
Today was the day to test it. 25mph wind was predicted and should be amazing. We arrived three hours before high tide and found dozens of LCC members all expectant of fun. People looked at my new holes in my boat and thought I was stupid. I was hoping they wouldn't be right. Brad and Harvey had brought body boards and were joined by Mike Bell on his. He was unable to keep up with the eight and nine year olds, and didn't stay too long. John Cooke was amazing. I have never seen an upside down exit, followed by your boat running you over sending you flying with legs sticking out from the waves with the
runaway boat happily knocking Karl upside down who ejected himself from his boat which then hit Brad. All new tricks were seen today. So many people were out of their boats walking back to the beach behind their craft that it looked like a Giant Tupperware party.
My holes were amazing. My boat went through the waves, filled up to the gunwales with water and literally 5 seconds later I only had two inches of water in. I could bongo slide in the waves and fill up to the top and it would empty. I could roll and no water was left in the boat. This was amazing. Six little holes made such a difference that I did not have to dump the water out once. Although, I was dumped out of the boat once when I got hammered sideways by a wave. I will definitely be using this again for surfing fun.
All too quickly I found that it was just Karl, Steve, Brad, Harvey and I that were left in the water. The wind was blowing at 46mph and it was too hard to paddle. We abandoned our boats and body boarded and body surfed in the waves which started to look huge from that low down position. The usual rugby tackles on the way back to the beach followed and we were off the water at 4.00pm. I am aching, and tired but have a huge smile on my face. We all had a great day in the waves and  I did not ruin my boat.
Paul Harwood 


26/10/13 LCC Sweden Sea Touring 7th -13th October 2013


It all started with the advance notice that the international diabetes meeting was going to be held in Gothenburg, Sweden 16th-18th October 2013. Perfect opportunity to mix work and fun and organise a sea kayaking trip. So at the very end of the season 8 LCC paddlers embarked on a journey around the Bohuslan coast of Sweden. The area stretches from Gothenburg to the border with Norway. Our trip began roughly 2 hours north of Gothenburg in Lysekil.

Before that we had to get to Sweden, Sunday morning 2 cars left Liverpool/Wirral and headed for a direct flight from Birmingham to Gothenburg. There was some trepidation about bags, but it’s amazing what some people can pack into a 20kg luggage allowance (the no weight limit on the hand baggage helps!) The sunshine was so sunny at the airport we all hung out at the bus stop until it was time to check in. The remotely attended bags, caused a moment of concern, but the armed police were very friendly. Check in completed Caz won the competition for the lightest bag at 19.7kg, we got away with the bags over 20kgs, and made our way to the very small plane for the flight to Gothenburg. The highlight of the flight was the onion bhaji sandwich, followed by Pete and Don failing to figure out how to open the overhead locker.

Kathy negotiated a great deal on the taxi ride to the hostel, and after causing minor chaos checking in, we discovered a bar that was still open and drank very expensive beer. The results in the girl’s dormitory were reported to be loud and giggly, with little sleep involved.



Next stop Lysekil (pronounced something like luce- ce-shiel), after breakfast in the hostel we negotiated the tram (with the help of the locals) and the 841 bus to Lysekil, the journey was followed by a short walk with heavy bags, which almost required the GPS to find the kayak centre. Whilst sorting out kit, boats and maps the guys at Nautopp trusted us with their van, so a splinter the group hit the supermarket to get supplies while Pete and Don studied the maps with Torbjorn. Once the shoppers returned we got sorted with boats and after the usual amount of faffing (aka packing) we got on the water at around 3pm, with a reminder from Ian to have head torches handy as paddling to the first campsite in the dark was suddenly an option.



The challenges of navigation soon became clear; all the small islands were far more challenging than getting from the bus stop to the kayak centre. Stress levels rose, but the first campsite was spotted before we lost daylight. Ian and Pete did a great job of figuring out the many small islands in the archipelago (pronounced archie -pelago by all the locals) and on the charts. Torbjorn had described the first campsite as a football pitch, it was roomy with pleasant views, but as it's dark by 7pm we didn't really see that much, despite being round the bay from houses, it felt like wild camping, overnight we were visited by friendly sheep and other little visitors as various nibbles were found in food packages in the morning.



The first full days paddling saw the team ready to go and on the water by 9.30am. Much of the day was spent paddling in the murk, as the rain and drizzle settled in for the day.


The Abba fish plant in Kungshamn caused much speculation, were the group named after the fish factory or vice versa. Map reading duties began to be shared, as we picked our way up between the islands to camp on Soo island, the tarp (fondly now called the trap) was eventually erected as a semi shelter from the wind and rain, (with several comments of Keith wouldn't do it like that) through a team effort. It was a very windy evening and a rather early night for all. The weather report via our UK weather reporter Steve Gille, pointed to more of the same for Wednesday, which meant another day in the inner archipelago.



The winds made for a lazy start to Wednesday, as we only had a short paddle planned with some exploration of Swedish villages along the way. Despite lots of waving and whistling, the locals we passed weren't much into waving back.


After lunch in the park in Bovallstrand we set of to find the town centre, a Reservoir Dogs style walk into town caused curtains to twitch as the posse strode by, the local supermarket was too much for Kathy to resist, encouraged by names like Plopp (a chocolate bar) an assortment of foods found their way back to the boats.


A short hop from town our campsite was located in a sheltered lagoon,

The trap expertly in place, on the campsite found on Google earth by map maestro Wombat Sushi (see below), after the skeg repair team (Ian, Pete, Don and ninja Nicky) fixed Nicky's boat, we settled down to eat and entertain ourselves swapping bad jokes, singing and drinking whiskey.


After a rainy evening Thursday dawned with the   promise of some decent weather, though the wind was still forecast to gust up to F6, the decision to head north for half a day and then head back to camp at Dannemark was made. It turned out to be a great decision, as we explored further up the coast, the sun came out and we had the best day on the water so far, the first when we saw wildlife, several seals and for the eagle eyed and quiet ones, a couple of otters. At Hamburgo we met our first friendly locals, filling up with water at one ladies house and chatting to a local guy who told us some of the village history before heading out to catch lobster. A short distance from here was our final destination, just in case we were unsure Ian stopped at the 'crossroads' to check the general direction we needed to be headed. Literally a signpost in the sea! 

At points we slogged into gusts that definitely felt like a F6, despite those everyone agreed that we had enjoyed a great days paddling and landed at an awesome camping spot, that was also a nature reserve.


On Friday the outer islands of the archipelago beckoned, viewing various things in the offing, we returned to Bovallstrand though all supermarket shopping was banned by Ian, lunch was taken in the unusual spot of just by the toilet block, where the even more unusual sight of Ian eating fruit whilst others scoffed jelly beans was documented! It was sunny and sheltered from the wind; much excitement occurred amongst certain boys when a white T4 with sea kayak on top pulled up, this resulted in us paddling with a Norwegian Viking.


Our next campsite was another Google maps find, Pete did a pretty awesome job of spotting campsites and numbering them on the charts, campsite 10 saw Vango village appear, the 3 identical Vango tents on one side of the campsite and the allsorts on the other. The stepping-stones across the little bit of water separating the best bits of camping ground were negotiated for a friendly evening meal in the sun. Our cooking spots were all pretty awesome with wonderful views and some stunning sunsets. At some point previously someone had suggested that everyone needed a “Bear Grylls” name, that is a name that is a mixture of an animal and a cooking method. Ian became just plain Bear, his survival skills being so far advanced of the rest of the group, but Nicky well she turned into a Ninja at some point in the week. Despite all her Ninja skills Nicky needed instructions to get into a silk liner to stay warm as the nighttime temperatures were dropping.


Saturday started a little earlier 9am on the water (we were on holiday!), it was another beautiful day, with amazing light in the morning, light winds most of the day meant more paddling on the outer archipelago.


Another paddling day when elevenses and lunch merged into one event, the sunniest lunch stop of the week, but the most precarious landing with sea weed cushioned rock to test the skills of the group in not scratching the hire boats. An otter was spotted by Kathy, but we missed the sighting whilst relaxing on the warm rocks before heading off for what turned out to be a bit of a slog to the final campsite which put us in touching distance of the end of the trip. We met a couple of friendly lobster fisherman who gave us 2 crabs, Kevin made the journey to the campsite in Kathy's day hatch, the unnamed crab travelled with Pete, who prepared a lovely crab appetizer for the group. Another ‘late night’ (bed by 8.30pm) on the campsite involved, star gazing, singing (with percussion by Chris) and other self made entertainments on the evening terrace with costa coffee in the jet boil and dark chocolate from Don's bag of goodies. There was an awful lot of giddy behaviour, Kathy turned dentist and cleaned Chris's teeth and Caz demonstrated to much amusement the uses of a roof window in your tent.


The final morning was chilly and an early start to be on the water at 8 for the short paddle back to Lysekil, woken by the banging of pans. Brilliant sound effects provided by Kathy, no pans were harmed in the wake up call. We managed formation paddling, for the first time heading for the square on the horizon (which turned out not be a square at all) Kathy showed us all her skill in filming on her phone with her teeth. Arriving on time at the right place, we met Torbjorn and loaded the boats on the trailer pulled by the quad bike. Whilst unpacking and sorting ourselves out Torbjorn showed us some awesome pictures of Norway, before giving us a lift to the bus stop, our cunning bus ticket plan didn’t quite work, we only had enough credit for 6! Caz’s credit card dealt with that and a 2hour sleep on the bus followed. Off the bus and we found a cafe to hang in the bus terminal, for food and a long goodbye (poor choice for the veggie, who ate whole meal wrap sandwiches). Waving bye to the 6 flying back to Birmingham, I have to confess, yes that was a real tear in my eye.


Thanks to the team for a wonderful week in Sweden, next year anyone ...............

Badger fry-up - Chris Preston

Echidna fricassee - Kathy

Ox BBQ - Don Brooks

Dolphin flambé - Caz Thomas

Otter soufflé - Frankie

Bear - Ian Bell



Wombat Sushi - Pete Thomas



Frankie          More Photos…………



26/10/13 The Essential Anglesey Sea Kayak Festival 2013


Following last year’s 2 days of brilliant weather and coaching, this time Pete and I signed up for the full 3 days of the 2013 Anglesey Sea Kayak Festival. It was expertly organised by LCC member Matt Giblin and level 5 coach and friend of LCC, Nick Cunliffe, both of Kayak Essentials, and they were joined by Ali Othen, who made up the third member of this formidable team.


Around 9.00 PM on Friday evening we arrived at Anglesey Outdoors car park which was full of VW Camper Vans with sea kayaks on the roof. As it was pouring with rain, we put off erecting the tent and headed to the Paddlers Return, where we found Kirk, Curly, Jimski and a large Ribble contingent who are also members of LCC. A few pints later, a sleep in the car looked more inviting than tent erecting so, after distributing some of our gear into Kirk’s car, we had an OKish night’s sleep with the car being buffeted by strong winds and driving rain. Pete rolled out of the front seat at first light around 7.00 AM to put up the tent on one of the few dry pieces of ground in the whole campsite.


9.00 AM and we all congregated for the briefing and were put into groups with our respective coaches. After much shuffling of gear and boats, we set off, me to Bull Bay with Ollie Jay for Rock Hopping coaching and Pete and Kirk went in Kirk’s car to the Swellies for White Water coaching from the Butler Brothers.


The rock hopping was quite testing, especially in my composite boat, as there was a reasonable swell that required good timing to avoid landing on exposed rocks. The brickworks was a popular place for lunch with many groups using that piece of coast to find shelter from the strong southerly winds. After a full-on day we arrived back at Bull Bay with one or two more scratches to the bottom of our boats! Ollie Jay had shown us how it should be done with his rotomould P&H Hammer - ideal for the job.


Back at base we somehow ended up sheltering from the rain in the Paddlers again, enjoying their warm and drying fire, cold beer and tasty food.  At 8.00 that evening we had a series of short slide presentations and film clips from the coaches, including days one and two of Nick’s tremendous charity swim around Anglesey and some stunning pictures of him surfing in very big conditions in the USA. The evening ended with a showing of Jimski’s trip to Greenland.

After a night in the tent, being pressure washed by the horizontal rain, we all did the shuffling act again next morning and, as it was still very windy, many groups headed for the Straits, including 3 groups that included me, for a Moving Water session with coach Mike Mayberry who we had met several times earlier in the year at the LCC Pembroke meet. There was certainly plenty of fast moving water as it was a big spring tide. Pete had signed up for tide race skills that day and came back tired but back buzzing with enthusiasm after a full day of coaching from Olly Sanders. Despite the weather, another good day was had by all, the coaches having to cope with another challenging day of high winds and rain.


Sunday night followed the same pattern as Saturday night with fun and much laughter at the coach’s presentations. It was a little quieter since some people had gone home as they had only signed up for the 2-day weekend.


Guess what? Monday dawned wet and windy and my group headed off with Barry Shaw for Intro to Kayak Surfing, while Pete headed yet again to the Straits for 4 / 5 star leadership training with James Stevenson as coach.

Our group headed to Rhosniger and got on the water for some basic exercises. Within ½ hour the wind had come round to make conditions unsuitable. Barry was taxed on what to do with us now but Aled, the coach of the 2nd group headed round to Cable Bay for a recky and came back reporting that it was do-able, so the 2 surfing groups relocated to Porth Nobla, a small west facing bay, which is just north of Cable Bay. Great fun was then had by all, perhaps conditions a little big for “Intro” surfing, especially as the sets were getting bigger all the time as the wind increased. But we all learnt a lot and got a boost to our confidence even though we all got wet a couple of times including Barry who waded into the sea relentlessly to rescue us and to help some paddlers keep their boats pointing into the oncoming surf before they attempted to head out. By 3.30 we had all had enough and headed back to base. Thanks to Barry for a great day.


Meanwhile Pete was also having a great, if not a bit of a longer day. His group still hadn’t returned by 5.30 - what were they doing? I was ready for home and had packed the camping gear when I heard a report that his group, despite being offered a lift at an easier get out point, were enjoying the delights of paddling back to their original put-in against head winds gusting to over 25 knots! They eventually arrived back and we swapped boats and gear to various cars and headed home talking about what we had each enjoyed. Both of us really got a lot out of the whole experience. We made a lot of new paddling friends from all over the UK and Europe and, despite the weather being not as good as it was last year, the conditions were far more challenging and we both felt our paddling had come on a lot under such expert and inspiring coaching.


Really looking forward to doing it all over again at the Storm Gathering in Oban next month.


By – Carole Thomas                                                                       More Photos……


LCC paddlers –Kirk, Jimski, Mark Benson, Alan Blackburn and LCC/Ribble team , Zoe Robinson, Mike Alexander, Pete and Caz.

Dave Blake hadn’t signed up for the festival but was there carving up the surf and enjoying the fun each evening and even Chris and Sam Preston were spotted trying to get to grips with the rough stuff.



19/10/13 Club AGM, Paddler of the year Awards and Alps Presentation

50 + Members attended the club paddler of the year Awards at the Marina on Wednesday.  We had a short AGM reporting on the year’s events, club finances, discipline reports and confirmed those members who were willing to coordinate and develop key areas of responsibility with in the club.  Who runs your club…….
Voice recording of the meeting……..


Minutes of the meeting will be published soon……..


Paddler of the year Awards – trophies kindly made by club member Mike Bell




Congratulations’ to the winners of each category.


Volunteer of the Year – Dave Reynolds


Swimmer of the Year – Ian Bell


Young Paddler of the Year – Sam Preston


Paddler of the Year – Sarah Gille


More Photos……….




2013 Club Alps Trip Presentation – 44 Degrees North

The DVD of Liverpool Canoe Club’s Trip to the French Alps 2013 – “44 Degrees North” (the Latitude of L'Argentière-la-Bessée)





Click here for the YouTube version…….




More information about next year’s trip…….









19/10/13 Piel Island, Barrow - Sea Kayaking

After various stops at fast food venues 11 paddlers and 3 part time paddlers met up on the slipway to the right of Walney Island Bridge.  The group got ready and the 3 part timers waved off the main group with arrangements made to meet up at the RNLI station opposite Piel island at 4.30pm so we could all paddle over together.


3 part time paddlers Saturday afternoon.


The cafe next to the RNLI station is called The Bosuns Locker and is where the 3 part timers decided to wait the 3 hours. I'm sure I can speak for the 3 of us when highly recommending the cakes, friendliness of the staff and the speed of service.


Whilst sitting in the cafe Paul (Corky) commented about the tide coming in and thought he better go and check that our ready and waiting fully packed boats were still where we had left them on the beach. Chris and myself looked at him and said don't bother it's only a low tide it won't come in too far. After we listened to his fair point of "then why is the RNLI station built 30 foot up in the air if the water doesn't come in that far?" we told him to hurry and check! News came back that the boats were ok and the main party were in sight so we made haste and got changed.


Remaining 11 paddlers Saturday afternoon


After the decision had been taken to paddle “the channel” due to a force 4 - 5 (6) NE`ly wind, the remaining paddlers set off. As this was a training weekend, the group took it in turns to lead the group, even though most of them were very experienced, much more than myself. This is obviously a great way to pick up tips and gain confidence knowing that you are surrounded by such experienced paddlers.


As we paddled down the channel with the sandbank on our starboard side and the docks of Barrow-in-Furness on our port side (There is no red port left in the bottle).  See, learning opportunities all the time!  We encountered a few catamarans returning from a days work on the off shore wind farm. Most of the trip we could see our target in the distance – the castle on Piel island.


As we continued down the channel at a leisurely pace; apparently too slow for Pete Massey as he was always found himself at the front claiming he couldn’t paddle any slower. This was to change suddenly as he beached himself on a sand bank. I started to think that paddling in a force 4-5 was a doddle.


This soon changed as we emerged from the shelter of the docks as the waves began to build and paddling started to get a bit tougher with water starting to get a choppy. At this point it was a bit quieter as everybody concentrated on paddling.  Eventually we got to the marker buoy opposite the RNLI lifeboat station, we gathered together as a group and paddled across the channel to meet up with the other 3 paddlers.


A group of 14 Saturday evening


Once we hit land the boats were carried up the slipway and onto the grass at the back of the pub. Tents were erected and kit was unpacked then as kettles were being filled for a brew the decision was made.


Explore the castle first then the pub. Someone came up with the keys to the castle so we set off, climbing up on to the top the views were lovely and various landmarks were pointed at and named. Lovely old castle even though big bits had fallen off and it was a ruin.  Lots of photos were taken and people took their time wandering around and then back down to meet in the pub.


So into the pub we ventured, with nobody else camping on the island we thought we would have the whole place to ourselves – not a chance, would you believe it.  At least an hour wait before they would take any more food orders !! The yachts moored off the island must have been empty as they were all in the pub enjoying their “end of season meet”.

Worse was to follow as a liking for King Stevens bitter was to come to an end as this all ran out, oh well, onto the bottles of the fine ale. These didn’t last particularly long and other drinks were sought. Last orders consisted of placing an order for a full breakfast from the pub in the morning.  We all finally drifted off to bed, some early and some later than others.  Chris did his usual and snored the night away as everybody around can verify.


In the morning everybody awoke and those with prior orders at the pub waited for the doors to open. Breakfast was eaten and boats loaded. The group then paddled the part time paddlers and one convert over to the RNLI station.


This was my time to experience the cake at the Bosons’ Locker as the other paddlers set off to paddle around the island and up the coast. This turned out to be nearly flat calm.  Upon rounding the southern end of Walney Island we came across about 50 seals hauled up on the stone spit.  Many of these then followed and played with us for several kilometres as we made our way northwards.  Off shore the ever increasing wind farms were spinning away nicely.  We landed in front of the promenade for Vickers Town.  The cars were fetched (Thanks Tony) and boats loaded after a longish carry across the beach – it was now low tide. 


Overall this training weekend of learning skills in sea paddling and living out of the boat was very useful and I have learned the full skills to spend a night away with the boat. These can be summarised by


1.         Pack a suitable tent

2.         Paddle to an isolated island (with a pub) – short as possible in some cases

3.         Set up tent and order dinner from the pub

4.         Take advantage of the full breakfast cooked at the pub

5.         Pack up and paddle back.


Paddlers: Stephen Bond, Jeannette Bond, Keith S, Sara Bergqvist, Ste Bond, Tony Bennett, Chris Fletcher, Paul (Corky) Corkhill, Mark Pawley, Martin McCoy, Peter McComasky, John Vogler, Pete Massey, John Worswick.   More photographs…….


More information about the trip……..


18/10/13 Sea kayaking in Sweden


Members of the club have just returned from sea kayaking along the coast of Sweden.  Full report to follow….


Chris Packing at Trip Start

Lunchtime on Swedish Archipelago

Swedish Fisherman

More Photographs……..

11/10/13 River Dee Llangollen to Trevor Rocks (Grade 2) introductory river trip 29th September - Coordinator Roy McHale


This was the first of this seasons formally organised river trips on easy grade 2-3 water.  Those with a summer of paddling behind them booked on via the clubs booking system.  As more volunteer leaders and assistants came forward we added more places.  Everyone turned up at the Ponsonby Arms car park in Llangollen and unloaded their boats and gear for the day.  Roy sorted people into their groups and after brief introductions the car drivers made their way to the get out at Ty Mawr Country Park in Trevor to leave as many cars as possible. With the help of Nick Mackin we only needed two in order to return to the start.


One by one the groups got on to the river below the small weir below Llangollen town bridge.  We practiced ferry gliding and break ins and outs.  We paddle off down the river taking every opportunity to break in to practice our skills.  One or two new comers were a little over zealous and tipped over but were soon reunited with their boats.  It was great to see paddlers of all ages in all kinds of river and play boats.

 The river here is a fast flowing grade I and continues in this fashion with occasional grade II drops. You pass a sturdy looking wall on the right hand side after about 3 miles and a little further on houses on the left bank of a right hand bend heralds Trevor Rocks. This is well known as the site of the first UK canoe slalom competition back in 1939.  This is a relatively easy grade III and more like a grade II on the day. A line from the centre down the right goes well in normal conditions.  You can aim for the centre arch of Trevor Bridge  which is about 50 metres below the tail.

 Downstream of the bridge, you can leave the river via a footpath on river left if necessary. We paddled on down some more rapids as you pass under the impressive aquaduct which carries the Llangollen canal high above.  We had lots of walkers looking down on us from the tow path on the aquaduct. We passed the intake station on river right and then the river took a right into a short S bend with an overhanging branch at the bottom.  We had a tipping out here but again the paddler rescued herself by standing up and walking to the bank.

The next flat section seemed longer than the ones higher upstream but then the rapids picked up again as the railway viaduct came into view.  On a sweeping left bend there was a deep pool with a picnic area on river left, with families enjoying a picnic and a day out by the river.  About another 100m down the river we found a set of steps and a red lifebuoy which signalled our get out and we made a short carry up to the grassy car park in Ty Mawr Country Park immediately below the viaduct.

We collected the two cars from Llangollen and loaded boats and discussed the days adventure.  The sunny conditions and relaxed atmosphere seemed to ensure that everyone had enjoyed the day.  Some of us headed to the Duke of Wellington to talk about canoeing some more, others returned for a Sunday roast that was waiting for them at home.

We hope to run a further 7 introductory river trips & weekends following a similar style over the winter months.

Sunday 29th September River Dee Llangollen to Ty Mawr Country Park Trevor (Grade 2+)
Sunday 3rd November River Dee Carrog to Horseshoe Falls (Grade 2)
23th - 24th November Lakes Weekend (An easy and a more challenging river each day)
Sunday 8th December River Lune – to Devils Bridge  (Grade 2 with one 3)
Sunday 19th January 2014 River Dee Ty Mawr Country Park to Overton or Bangor on Dee
Sunday February 2nd 2014  River Goyt Loop
March 2014
– River Irwell to the Burrs Centre
Easter – 17th – 21st April 2014 – Scottish club trip (White Water – easy and harder trips each day, opens and Sea Kayaks!!!)

May 2014 – Lower Tryweryn


More Photographs……                                             Check the club calendar and booking page for more details……..



11/10/13 Club Awards Ceromony and AGM / Alpine White Water Trip


Last chance to vote for paddler of the year and other club Awards

AGM, Awards and presentations and talk and world premiere of "40 degrees North" the club Alps trip this summer.

This Wednesday 16th October 2013 7:30 for 8:00pm start.  Liverpool Marina

Last chance to vote for your paddler of the year.  See the nominations now at:



Free buffet at 8:30pm for members before the Alps presentation.


To help us set out the Marina conference room please book a place by going to our booking page and scrolling down to the AGM and click book now.  Booking is free. http://bookwhen.com/lcc


10/10/13 Hilbre Island Sea Kayak Race


This was the third year that Liverpool Canoe Club has run the Hilbre Island Sea Kayak Race and this year saw the biggest turn out yet.  Indeed, we were full a week before the race with all 51 bibs being reserved by pre-entry.   This year we had a new, longer race which started from Dee Sailing Club at Thurstaston Country Park.  Our hosts could not have been more welcoming and were extremely helpful enabling the event to use their facilities.  Car parking space was made available in the Dinghy parks, help with launching and recovering our three rescue boats and they also provided an excellent BBQ and bar after the event.  Our sincere thanks most go out to all from Dee Sailing club who helped to make the day such a resounding success.

The main race headed out from the causeway in front of the club house and went clockwise around Hilbre Island and was now just over 13km.  There is nearly always moving water and reflecting waves off the northern end of Hilbre and many competitors were surprised to find lumpy conditions on this near perfectly still day.


The shorter race (9km) turns around the first island of Little Eye and is ideal for less experienced paddlers as it offers more shelter and smoother water.  The start was scheduled for an hour before high water Liverpool (40 mins before high water at Hilbre Island) and was a Le Mans style (beach) start.  This was a great spectacle with over 45 boats being carried into the water at once.  A couple of slips and falls and they were all away.  Click here for a movie of the mass start…….


 We had three RIB`s (Rigid Inflatable Boats) following the race and 5 safety kayaks (Yellow Bibs) stationed in the rough water and around the islands.  The professionalism of the safety team is to be commended and they did a great job of escorting the racing paddlers.  After all the boats had left the beach safely the leaders cam across West Kirby Sailing club fleet heading towards a racing mark.  Kayaks follow the rule of the road and always give way to those under sail but several boats came in very close proximity to each other.

As the three island were all in a line it was not until they passed the Marine Lake breakwater that they were able to make out the rounded lump with small rocky outcrop that was to be the Little Eye turn for the short race.  The leaders (two racing skis, Valley Rapier 21 and a Kevlar WW racer with under stern rudder) all steamed on giving the Middle Eye a wide berth to protect any resting sea birds.  As they reached Hilbre Island the many bird watchers now turned their gaze to the sea kayakers who passed close to the sandstone cliffs on the northern end.  Here a small swell was running and the reflective waves gave rise to an interesting sea.  Many paddlers used the swell well to surf their way forward.  They took what little tide was left to head back towards the Marine Lake.


As the paddlers reached the Little Eye most of the short race competitors had already rounded it and were heading home.  This gave an extra edge as the elite racers quickly made their way through the short race field.  The finish line alternated with paddlers from both races and proved exciting for the crowd of supporters and club members who applauded the paddlers ashore.  The finish was a run up the beach to touch to the boathouse and record their time.  The Little Eye race had 5 doubles all racing for a number of Awards and had many parent / children combinations.



Hilbre Race (13km)


 Little Eye Race (9km)


 1st Kayak

 James Mayers

 1st Kayak

 Julia Kay

 2nd Kayak

 Ian Tordoff

 1st Lady

 Julia Kay

 3rd Kayak

 Chris McSweeny

 1st Under 4m Kayak

 Julie Brookes

 1st Lady

 Helen Marriott

 1st Double

 Peter Massey & Jake Massey



 2nd Double

 Sarah Gille and Jack Gille



 3rd Double

 Paul and Harvey Harwood


The competitors were able to use the showers at the club, enjoy a cold drink and food from the BBQ while we recovered the rescue craft and escorted the final finishers in.  Prizes had been donated by System X and Kayaks North West and were awarded for the categories above.  All the winners also received Liverpool Canoe Club branded / embroidered clothing.  These were presented to the winners by our club chair, Fiona Barry.



1st Place Hilbre Race

1st Lady Hilbre Race

1st Double – Little Eye Race


A highly competitive race led to a record winning time of 1 hour 13 minutes, James Mayers.  The first plastic Sea Kayak to finish was club member, Joe Boote, in an incredible time of 1hour 35 minutes.  Graham Hanna & Colin Smith were the first tandem crew who came in 8th on the Hilbre Race.  Julia Kay both won the little eye race and was the first kayak to arrive back at the start, closely followed by the winner of the Hilbre Race.  The third boat back was the touring double of Peter and Jake Massey who claimed first place in the double for the Little Eye race.  Probably the best achievement of the day was Julie Brookes, who completed the course in her tiny, 2.1m Dagger Showdown.


Many thanks to all that took part and helped to make such a great day. 


We hope to see you all again next year, this time in the summer.  Sunday 13th July 2014


More information…….


Full Race results……….


More Photographs…….



Dee Sailing Club

Donated Kokatat Maximus buoyancy aid

Trophies for each category

Use of Club house and launch facilities

Donated numerous prizes




04/10/13 Donation from Warrington Dolphins Long Distance Swimming Club


The club received a cheque for £60 from Warrington Dolphins Long Distance Swimming Club for volunteer safety cover at their annual Dock swim.  Many thanks to Al Grantham for coordinating the event and to all that helped out on Saturday 3rd of August.


“Sunny weather, with warm conditions for competitors in this year's event. Some excellent times with 15 year old Thomas Roberts first to finish the 2 mile event ahead of all the seniors.  This Championship is held in early August. Although called the Albert Dock Championship swimmers no longer enter Albert Dock. It starts in Salthouse Dock and heads toward Queens Dock.”

Swim Results……


Next years event is on Saturday 2nd August 2014 (8:00 – 11:00 am)

02/09/13 September 2013 Newsletter Published
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