Volume 14 Issue 8

August 2014

August Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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28/7/14 Are you getting all the information on club trips and activities – club messaging system
As well as the website the club uses a number of different media to circulate details of club activities to all its members.  You can add (and remove) your own email address to a number of Google groups in order to receive information and posts from members on events, courses and activities. (You do NOT need a Google account or Google email) More information here….


28/7/14 Major dates for Club events – for more detail check the online the calendar…….

25 July – 10 August 2014 Alpine paddling holidayBriancon, France.  coordinator Keith S Click for more information……

26 July – 3 August 2014 River Thames Expedition (Lechlade to Wallingford to Teddington) - Coordinator Carl Leungsangnam email cleungs1@hotmail.com

10 August 2014 Club run Safety Cover for Liverpool Triathlon Club paddlers required to help Click to book a place.........

17-30 August 2014 Sea Kayak Trip - Great Lakes Toronto Canada - Coordinator Frankie Annan  07710269278

19 -21 September 2014 Anglesey weekend No4 Outdoor Alternative LL65 2NQ  Coordinator Frankie Annan  High Tide: 9:34 AM BST   7.8m
13 October 2014 Club AGM and Awards Evening Includes a presentation of the Clubs Alps trip 2014. 

10 November 2014 Reel Paddling Film Festival The only UK showing of this film festival.  Click to book a place.........

19 November 2014 Steve Fisher UK Tour - Liverpool We are hosting the Liverpool presentation of Steve’s UK tour.  Click to book a place.........


28/7/14 July Photo of the Month Competition



Liverpool Canoe Club Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to Dermot Miller for his winning photo:

“Jack and Sarah Gille finishing the Little Eye Sea Kayak Race”



Runner up Nick Coughlin:

“Jeff Parker and David Kay  rounding Hilbre Island


Runner up Keith S:

Julie Brookes playing at Chester Weir”

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.


24/07/2014 Commonwealth Games Triathlon in Glasgow – watch the TV coverage for a glimpse of one of our club members.  Live coverage of the Triathlon starts at 11:00am BBC1

Daniel HalksworthCombining three unique and challenging disciplines – swimming, cycling and running – Triathlon demonstrates the overall fitness, skill and endurance of some of the world’s most talented athletes.. Athletes start with a 1,500-metre open-water swim before switching to a 40-kilometre road cycle, finishing with a challenging 10-kilometre run. Depending on an athlete’s individual strength, strategy plays a major role in trying to stay ahead of the pack.

Glasgow 2014 sees the inclusion of a Mixed Relay event for the very first time at the Commonwealth Games. This innovative format consists of two men and two women. Each athlete completes a ‘super-sprint’ triathlon of swimming, biking and running, before tagging off to their next team mate.  Triathlon action will take place in and around the Strathclyde Country Park on the outskirts of Glasgow. It is expected that this energetic and exciting sport will attract large audiences to support the male and female athletes as they strive for Gold medal success.

Venue: Strathclyde Country Park [Satellite]

Watch out for club member Peter McComasky who is part of the Safety Kayaking team looking after the long distance swimming at the games.  Peter started canoeing with the club and has helped out on many of the clubs Safety Cover for local events.  He has since covered many of the major open water swims across the country along with this prestigious event starting today.

To find out more about safety kayaking go to our section on BCU Lifeguards Unit & Kayak Safety Cover…..


24/07/2014 Skerries in the Mist


Following the great rains of Saturday, I joined members of Liverpool Canoe Club on a trip out to The Skerries off the North West coast of Anglesey. We launched at Cemlyn Bay where there was a gentle breeze and the sun was shining brightly.


As we left the bay we noticed the The Skerries were missing! We paddled into mist and dense fog patches. These weather conditions kept us guessing and focused on our navigation skills. However, past training and practice paid off as the islands loomed out of the gloom with around a kilometre to go…..


Read the rest of the story on Jimski`s Blog…..




21/07/2014 Ladies only paddling

I was impressed that, given the weather this morning, 3 ladies showed up. We had a great time. They all wanted forward paddling, just time with bum in boat in a relaxed environment, which is what they got. Lots of repetition; a bit of tweaking where necessary: a bit of a challenge to push them a little: an understanding of what they needed mixed in with what they wanted.   The time flew by. The paddlers wanted more sessions so we are running the the following courses below.  Rosie


Ladies only paddling skills course Saturday Mornings 10.00am-12:30pm followed by lunch and a social chat

Beginners Open Boat Course 2.00pm - 4:30pm open boat beginners course / sessions followed by coffee afterwards

30 August 10.00am-12:30pm

30 August 2.00pm - 4:30pm

27 September 10.00am-12:30pm

27 September 2.00pm - 4:30pm

25 October 10.00am-12:30pm

25 October 2.00pm - 4:30pm

22 November 10.00am-12:30pm

22 November 2.00pm - 4:30pm



Just a note to say how brilliant Rosie's women's only skill developing session was at the docks today. I really enjoyed it & got so much from it. It was a lovely relaxing session with a great laid back and friendly atmosphere and absolutely no rushing at all ;) Met Rosie again who is just brill & 2 other lovely ladies who I'd care to see again. Cheers everyone :) x  Elle C


Absolutely! A wonderfully relaxed and fun coaching session, during which I was able to revisit basic paddling skills. A great opportunity for a relative Newbie to boost confidence, revise technique and gain technical information. An impromptu lunch rounded off a lovely, if rainy, Saturday with 3 new friends. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled in the hope there will be another session soon.
Thank you again Rosie for giving up your Saturday.  Jo Mc


17/07/2014 Wednesday evening paddle at Soutiers Lane, Chester


It was a great summers evening and a few of us turned up to paddle on the weir.  We were soon inundated with other paddlers from Peninsula and local canoe clubs.  Anne Hopper and family were also there.  John Cooke took his tiny little Jed to “improve his performance”.  After an hour and half or so we carried back up the middle of the sloping weir and went home content with our evenings efforts.


More photos…………                         More information on Wednesday Evening paddles………………….


The Mark Twain Cruise boat at Chester

How close can you get to the weir

Playing at the foot of the 6m sloping weir




17/07/2014 Circumnavigation of Menorca: Talk at the Marina

In April 8 members of the canoe club flew off to Majorca and then the short hop to Menorca to meet our friends from Menorca en Kayak to paddle around the island. Peter Thomas and the members of the group gave a talk on the trip to about 40 club members last Monday at the Marina.  The talk was very well received and provoked much discussion on possible future ventures. 

If you missed the talk we include a link to the slides here……


A full account of the trip can be found in the June newsletter……


Menorca en Kayak can be found here…..



16/07/2014 Anglesey Weekend No. 3 Y Felinheli to Menai Bridge and back, only a little bit wetter:


After only a little faffing, a safety talk and buddying up we set off promptly at 10:30. Ade had told me he would wait for no woman (not sure if this meant he would only leave me behind or …..).  We kept close to the shore to keep out of the main current and make the most of any back eddies. Easy so far, I was wondering why Ade had insisted we left on time, then we got to the base of Pont Britannia. If we had been any later even if I had managed to put all the advice I had been given into practice perfectly I would have been going backwards.


Survived the bridge and headed for the next challenge ferry gliding across the fastest part of the flow and up to Menai Bridge on the opposite side. Only a little bit scared after watching Paul capsize and not for the last time a big thank you to Ian for the encouragement and explanations which got me to the other side. Next playing in the current downstream of Menai Bridge (see previous remarks about Ian). Here Ade capsized trying to cross the eddy line backwards I think (why ?); rescue number 2 ! Dave capsized too and then attempted a self rescue. This  became assisted rescue number 3 as we were getting a little bit concerned that the on lookers on the bank would think we were incompetent or trying to drown him.


Next, more ferry gliding to downstream of the Swelly rock marker. The plan was to paddle back to the marker in the slower flow and making use of whirl pools, a bit more practice in reading water required by some of us. We then played in the standing wave off Gored Goch, my turn to get wet. Thanks for the rescue Ian. However, it was fascinating to watch Marcin sit on the wave without paddling.  We then had rolling and rescue practice before getting off the water; should this be a must at the end of every trip?  Hopefully Geoff didn't get too cold with his slow rescue, however, with a later reference to Katrina and the Waves my concern decreased considerably.


Thank you to everyone for making it a great day and providing a safe environment for practicing a range of skills. I learnt loads about flow, crossing eddylines and tides in the Straights and had really good fun despite the unplanned swim.

Catriona Hare  More Photos…….




16/07/2014 Leeds and Liverpool Canal

There are many places to get on to the canal as it winds its way north out of Liverpool.  Members John Fay and Julie Brookes recently explored some of its quiet backwaters.  Click for more details and maps……






15/07/2014 Pay and Display Parking at the Marina


You will probably be aware Liverpool Marina are introducing car park fees from Monday 21st July.  We have been trying to get accurate details to pass on to our members.


1/  Parking is free from 7:00pm to 12:00 midnight.  For 2 hours it is £1 but this is refundable at the marina bar if you make a purchase.  You will get two tickets, one for the screen and 1 for the refund.  Parking over 2 hours is £5 and currently this is not refundable but we are still working on this.


2/  There is a small amount of roadside parking near the Marina on single yellow lines but plenty a little further away if you take the time to look for it (Unloading any boats first)  Restrictions apply Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm.  You can park on these at weekends and evenings but please check the signs carefully (Especially during events when the police have been known to put alternative yellow signs over the top of the current ones!). 


3/  I have been told that any Marina car parking passes that have been issued in the past will become invalid after 21st July.


4/  Currently there is no facility to buy a year car parking pass but again we are trying to negotiate on this.


Additionally we are receiving complaints about excessive water on the floor in the men`s changing rooms.  Please do not take any canoeing clothing into the showers and try to keep the curtain inside the basin at all times.  Any split water should be mopped up.  It would be a shame to lose the changing facilities at the club.


Also when getting on the water please do so quickly and do not block any pontoon or leave any boats on the pontoons.


Many thanks




15/07/2014 Good luck to LCC members Paul and Ian paddling across the English Channel for charity


Good luck to LCC members Paul and Ian paddling across the English Channel for charity.   PaulHardakerChallenges.co.uk


Paul and Ian are attempting a Cross Channel Sea Kayak Challenge. They have been training along the North Wales Coast and it’s certainly a different experience from sailing. Powering a boat under your own steam requires great stamina and I’ve been building up my strength for the 26 mile crossing which will require a period of calm weather so the exact date is not confirmed but hopefully will be within the next 7 days. I’m trying to raise awareness and money for Crohns & Colitis UK so if you’d like to sponsor this challenge, please visit  JUST GIVING.com/Paul-Hardaker

Ian Miller

Paul Hardaker



15/07/2014 Anglesey Weekend No. 3 Stanley Embankment

Over the weekend it was suggested that we paddle at Stanley play wave on Sunday morning, five of us set out for the short journey with me being the only person that had not been before. Not a problem as it is just like 4 mile bridge but a bit bigger!!!!!!  On that principle mount Everest is just a bit bigger than Frodsham hill !!!!!!


All changed and off across the inland sea I arrived at the tunnel first and after a look down thought no problem and reversed in so as to catch the wave on the way out.

The others arrived and we played for a while and crossed the river back and to just getting used to the wave.


 The wave builds at an unbelievable pace and was soon starting to look pretty hairy, the jet leads down into a boily, horrible mess that pushes you over to the A55 road bridge.   After a few practice rolls in the side channel it was time to get in and on the wave. After sliding down the side and pushing on to wave it was okay until I came off and then it got me. After an attempted roll it was time to swim.


By the time I was back up to the wave Keith was out of his boat taking pictures and suggested we jump in through the wave, oh well in he went and I followed and then Chris joined in as well.

Time was moving on and it was time for one last go on the wave, I was on it for what seemed like an age, by far my best go and well worth the effort.


We paddled back across to the get out and one thing is for sure, I will definitely be going back for another go. 


Paddlers  -   Keith, Sara, Jenny, Chris and me. (John Cooke)   More photos….


15/07/2014 Anglesey Weekend No. 3 Puffin Island


 A message from Ade Mould to confirm the meeting point was Beaumaris and the trip plan was a visit to Puffin Island started my Saturday. Leaving Liverpool the weather was bright and sunny, fingers crossed for a sunny day on the water I made good time and arrived 30minutes before the Friday night campers. Once car park fees were sorted 16 LCC paddlers began the usual faffing involved in getting on the water.

A briefing at 9.50am became a briefing at 10.15am and after introductions and safety briefing we launched onto the Menai Straits at about 11am. The wind which was forecast F4-5 for the day wasn’t too noticeable and neither was the tide we were paddling into. A few people possibly didn’t realise that the timing of our short trip meant paddling into tide there and back, but more of that later. We ambled along the Anglesey side of the straits chatting and catching up, before landing for lunch on the pebble beach at Trwyn Du or heading across to Puffin Island.


Just over half the group elected to pop around Puffin Island home to many nesting birds including Arctic Terns right now. We crept around the corner of Trwyn Penmon and grouped up in the eddy formed behind the lighthouse. Some of us I suspect secretly hoping for a bit of action on the way across Puffin Sound, Ade gave clear instructions to those who hadn’t crossed to Puffin before  and we headed out. The few small waves were fun and punching across the tide didn’t feel too difficult. We then made our way slowly and quietly around the Island not getting too close in so we didn’t disturb the nesting birds. Then for the first time on any trip to Puffin I have done a Puffin was  spotted, just the one but one lovely little Puffin is enough to cause big smiles to break out. The seal colony on the northern tip of Puffin didn’t really come out to play with only a few curious faces popping out of the water to see what we were up to.


We paddled around the island and opted to cross back to join the others for lunch through the biggest waves we could find. After joining the rest of the group and grabbing lunch and drinks we got back on the water and anyone who hadn’t yet realised that the return journey involved paddling into wind and tide soon did. The sensible plan involved hugging the shoreline and keeping out of as much wind and tide as possible. So we set off and after Ade reinforced the definition of ‘hugging’ the shoreline we got close enough to get some shelter. Then it happened someone suggested that a straight line would be quicker and paddling into the wind (and tide – as it hadn’t turned) would be faster. So some of us got closer to the shoreline and some of us got further away. One group definitely expended far more energy than the other and didn’t get too far! Maybe it was because I had mentioned cake and they needed to use up extra calories!


After landing as close as possible to where the cars were parked, Kirk and I discovered our footwear wasn’t much good to walk up sloping concrete, so we needed a lift from the guys with grippier footwear to see us and boats back to the cars, where we quickly packed up before the rain started. A few of us popped round to the Red Boat for ice cream and coffee to round off the day. (Brian Green where were you??) It is reported that the ice cream was so good someone (who shall not be named) phoned home to tell his wife all about it!


A lovely trip in excellent company, thanks to Ade for organising, shepherding and leading us.


Frankie A                        More Photos….


10/07/2014 Crosby Beach – Wednesday Evening Paddle.


The winds were up and we were all keen to paddle the perfect wave.  Tonight’s paddle along the coast to the river Alt was postponed and the plan was to surf the wind swell on the incoming tide.  As the water reached the triangular marker just off the coast guard stations the waves began to build.  We entered the water and battled against the strong NW`ly. 

Colin Smith grabbed the best waves in his Gaybo Olymp IV, an elderly but light weight glass fibre kayak.  His pop out (a vertical ejection of the kayak through a breaking wave) cleared the water by several feet.  You had to be positioned just right on the large breaking wave to get incredible acceleration down the face.  Those brave enough tried and managed some bottom turn, others just held on for dear life.  As the sun began to set the wind eased off to give us an easier paddle out and some great paddling.  Brian tried to keep up with his surf ski and seemed to zoom around all over the place to find a wave.

More photos…………                         More information on Wednesday Evening paddles………………….

10/07/2014 Ladies Canoe Polo Development League.


It looks like we're finally getting somewhere. Niall Evans the BCU polo chairman, is trying to promote more ladies polo and has made it cheaper/ more accessible for teams to get started. There's support from our polo rep and membership secretary to get this started too. Some of you may have been nagged/ stalked by me over the last few months but its starting to prove worthwhile, here's the latest for the new team. 
Laura Watkin - played for FOA ladies many years ago and was very influential as she was involved with the National polo committee, played National Open Div 3 and Ladies Div 1 but has been out of action for about 7 years and is looking to get back involved;
Olivia Rowe - played for FOA ladies last year in Div 1 and has played National Open Div 4 for Liverpool CC, goes under ground for months at a time but is back on the RADAR and is currently keen to play in this team;
Ailsa Williamson - Solid National Div 4 player for Liverpool CC, NW Div 2 for Liverpool University, and former youth player at Kingston not yet had confirmation but should be keen when she sees the mixed calibre of players that we have;
Chantel Louise Threlfall - Played National Div 4 for FOA last year and Manchester Wildcats the year before, trying to recruit her quickly before Manchester get their hands on her;
Celina Hernandez - recruited through the ATC and has played in a number of local league tournaments both for Maghull ATC and FOA girls;
Sophie Steventon and Leanne Murray both recruited on Easter Scotland whitewater trip and have been regular attendees at the Tuesday polo sessions at Liverpool Marina Bar & Grill venue, both novice but making progress each week;
Sarah Gille - attended regular polo sessions at Halewood pool throughout the winter and played 1 comp for the Liverpool Mersey team in National Open Div 4;
Olivia Darwin-Welsby - recruited through the ATC - novice standard, has played in local league comps for Prescot ATC and has attended a few Tuesday sessions recently, regular attendee at Widnes pool on a Monday;
Meg Hardman-singleton - recruited through the ATC, novice standard, has played in local level comps for Hoylake ATC.
Laragh Harvey Kelly, similar to previous, played for Northwich ATC.

Ladies Development League is in Cheadle and has been subsidised by 50%.  It looks like we will have at least one team so again if you are interested in playing get down to the docks to practise.  If you want to play in the three tournaments, you have to pay upfront (£20)  Click here to pay…..  Entries close on 6th September.

If you want advice on what team to play in or anything to do with Canoe Polo please speak to either Darren Bohanna or Scott Gibson.


More information from our Canoe Polo page……


10/07/2014 Safety Kayakers Needed - Warrington Dolphins Albert Dock Swim LCC Coordinator Dave Reynolds

Dolphin logo

The event is being run with similar arrangements to last year. Cover is needed from 8:30am until 12 noon. We will have about 50 swimmers and I need to provide safety cover over the length of the course from Salthouse dock through Wapping dock to just pass Queens wharf bridge.   Ideally, I need about 10 to 15 kayaks/canoes spread out over the course and we will also have a rib safety boat also on the course. 


All helpers are invited to join us for a buffet lunch at the Blue Bar held immediately after the event. I should also be able to arrange a donation to your club on a similar basis to last year. If you have any questions please let me know.

If you are available to help please Click here to register.....  Club boats should be available from 8:00am - paddle down in a group for the briefing at 8:30am



10/07/2014 Skye 2014 Kilmarie Bay paddle

This was our second trip to Skye. Last time we were beaten by the weather. This time was much better. Our first paddle had been intended to be to Spar cave from Kilmarie, but we ended up taking a safer option and staying around the bay at Kilmarie. The "put in" here proved a bit of a "Faff" due to soft sand and a fast Ebbing tide, but the paddle was really nice.

We did get to Spar cave from Elgol a few days later

Youtube Video……..

Bob, Sue and Irene.


10/07/2014 Trip Report: Bardsey Island 6th July 2014

We  were greeted by our first puffin at about three quarters of the way across the Sound. A fluttering bundle of colourful beak and dangling webbed feet circled us just overhead before heading away towards clear water. Within a few more minutes we began to see shearwater, guillemot and divers all around us and, as the lighthouse at Pen Diban came into view and the steep flanks of Mynydd Enlli, the island's 167m hill, rose higher and higher above the water we approached the north east shore of Ynys Enlli.

The plan to visit the island, at the western extreme of the LLyn Penninsula had been hatched a few weeks previously with several potential weekends identified  should a suitable weather window and tide coincide to make the trip possible and, on Sunday morning, Keith, Brian, Adrian, Dave and myself launched from the beach at Aberdaron aiming to catch the last hour of the ebb to make the crossing from Pen Y Cil to Cafn Enlli on the Bardsey shore.


A crossing to Bardesy is a serious and committing undertaking in any conditions due to the strong tidal streams and the effects of wind within Bardsey Sound and we had chosen therefore to plan our trip  around HW slack on a neap tide in order to limit the chances of running into difficulty in this notorious stretch of water. As it turned out we were able to enjoy a swift crossing on a calm sea, accompanied by ever increasing numbers of sea birds as we neared the island shore. Rather than making straight for the landing on reaching the foot of the steep sides of Mynydd Enlli we headed north and followed the shoreline in a circumnavigation of the island  exploring the changing shoreline of steep cliffs, rocky foreshores, inlets and bays until the lighthouse again came into view, this time from the western approaches.


Our landing was at the main slipway at Cafn Enlli where we pulled the boats up the shingle and settled down to leisurely lunch in the sunshine and a chat with the island's farmer, just back from his bus-man's holiday on Mull, and a local fisherman who'd been spending the morning lifting lobster pots just off shore, our  conversations punctuated by the serenades of the seal colony wallowing in the warm shallow waters of the bay below.


Leaving Brian to watch the boats and equipment (ie. have a nap) the rest of us set out to explore and climb Mynydd Enlli  for the panoramic views and to see how the Sound was looking at this stage in the flood. Despite the fair conditions, from our lofty vantage point, it was clear that the tide was running fairly swiftly and, with a light but strengthening  south westerly wind, we decided to sit it out for an hour or two longer before making the crossing back, taking advantage of the time to visit the lighthouse and the seals at Henllwyn bay.


The return trip was certainly to be more lively than on our outward journey and we were seen off by hoards of razorbills and guillemots as we headed out across the Sound. The south westerly wind was steady and produced a following sea with enough swell to make things enjoyable. The tide was also tending to push us north west and  through the channel and so, rather than battle the elements we crossed and took a brief refuge under the cliffs at Parwyd, a sheltered bay on the mainland just west of Pen y Cil, before sneaking in close and round the headland into the calm waters of Aberdaron Bay and back to the beach .

In his book, 'The Wild Places' Robert McFarlane explains that Bardsey has been a place of pilgrimage and retreat for centuries that started with the C6th Celtic Christian 'peregrini'  who first reached the island in coracles which were designed to, 'slide over the currents and tide-rips, to slip up and over the waves, possessing a kind of maritime guile'. It is still a wonderful and wild place to visit, particularly if, as they did, you have to choose your time and take great care in crossing. As the poet and once Parish priest of Aberdaron  R.S. Thomas wrote of Ynys Enlli;


'There is an island there is no going to / but in a small boat'



Keith S

Brian Green

Adrian Mould

Dave (Curly) Blake

Martin McCoy

More Photographs…….

07/07/2014 – Sunday trip to the Tryweryn

Five of us turned up bright and early(ish) at the White Water Centre to have fun on this classic Welsh run.  The trip’s organiser was noticeable by his absence, as apparently he was feeling under the weather after some extreme DIY the day before.  However, Ruth kindly stepped in to lead the trip, ably assisted by ‘Captain’ Kirk Williams.  We planned to do the lower section of the river, as the harder upper section would  have probably been a tad ambitious for myself and a couple of others in our party.  Mind you, even the easier lower section looked liked it was running like the clappers, and I felt some rising trepidation as Ruth took us through the bank-side brief.

Once on the river we were immediately running some moderately bouncy water, followed by some fairly technical rock-dodging, followed by some modest drops and more bouncy bits.  At this point the three of us who were new to the Tryweryn realised that there were no easy, flat, boring bits – it was all go-go-go (or perhaps go-go-goch.  We were in Wales after all).  Our downstream progress was punctuated by frequent eddy-outs to re-group and rest, or to play on the water features.   What a great way to pass a Sunday afternoon!

We carried on in this fashion down the river, diligently following our wise seer Ruth through each individual section.  However, I suddenly had an impromptu bit of on-sight river running thrust upon me when I found myself spinning out of a tiny eddy and heading downstream at a rate of knots, with Ruth yelling instructions as I disappeared round a bend.  I fortunately managed to miss most of the rocks/trees/sheep and found myself a secure eddy to wait for the others.

The next bit was a section called ‘Pinball’.  Yes, it had lots of rocks in it.  Ruth and Kathy wove an elegant line between the various obstacles, while Kieran and I followed Kirk down an ‘alternative’ line.  This involved squeezing through a gap between two boulders that was narrow enough to hinder the passage of an undernourished eel.  Kirk managed to get through in his beefy river running boat.  I managed to pass through in my fat and fulsome creek boat.  Then it was Kieran’s turn in his itsy-bitsy lickle play boat – needless to say, he got stuck.  His extraction caused no great drama, but it did involve Kirk getting wet (tee-he).

The next obstacle was Bala Mill Falls, a grade IV drop that we avoided via an extremely useful leet (side channel).  We then took the opportunity to look at the Falls from the security of solid ground, and watched another party make their runs down it.  All of the paddlers got down OK, but not necessarily in the company of their boats!  We re-entered the river below the falls and paddled the last few hundred meters to Bala Bridge, where we made egress beside a convenient car park.  What a great day.

Attendees:  Ruth Edwards, Kirk Williams, Kathy Wilson, Kieran Sinnot, Andy Garland.



06/7/14 Hilbre Island Sea Kayak Race 2014

Hilbre Race StartThis was the forth year that Liverpool Canoe Club has run the Hilbre Island Sea Kayak Race and this year saw the biggest turn out yet with 57 competitors.   This year we introduced a short junior race to West Kirkby (4km) and returning to our host Dee Sailing Club at Thurstaston Country Park. This proved a great success with both Isaac (aged 10) and Rhys (aged 12) both returning just before the winners of both the Little Eye and main Hilbre Island race.

Most competitors arrived for 10:30am and were directed to car parking spaces above the slipway and in the dinghy park of Dee Sailing Club. The members of the sailing club were most welcoming again this year opening their club house and bar to the competitors. They helped with launching and recovery of the rescue boats and even provided a fantastic BBQ for all at the end of the race.

Competitors had all pre-registered online before the event and handed over declarations forms in exchange for a bib or numbered buoyancy aid. At the race briefing it was explained that we would have a mass "Le Mans" Style start from the start line on the beach. We seeded the faster kayaks and skis to one end of the start line this year. Following feedback from the competitors last year the finish was to be on the water, a line between a buoy and metal shed at the bottom of the slipway. We had 7 safety kayaks following the race and stationed off both islands. These all wore yellow safety kayak bibs and carried VHF radios. The main race was also shadowed by the safety RHIB.

Hilbre Island RaceWith the competitors lined up on the start line, Fiona Barry our Chair of the club, started the race with a loud blast from an air horn at noon midday. Some of the faster competitors ran to the waters edge carrying their boats and entered the water, fixing spraydecks and speeding off in the direction of the mouth of the estuary. Other took more care launching while some of the heavier boats received help from spectators to be carried to the water. Click here for a movie of the mass start…….

All three races followed the same course around the corner heading offshore of the first island, Little Eye. After about 2km the two juniors headed closer inshore towards their blue turn buoy stationed just before the slipway at West Kirby. The rest of the fleet had to negotiate their first obstacle, the small flotilla of sailing dinghy's from West Kirby Sailing Club who were racing around their own course just off the marine lake. The racing kayakers had been reminded that "power gives way to sail" and to try to go around the back of any dinghies crossing their path.GBR C2 WWR

After another couple of kilometres the first of the Little Eye competitors were checked by John Worswick, one of our safety kayakers before turning back towards Thurstaton point and the finish line. Hilbre Island paddlers had kept on going past both Little Eye and Middle Eye before reaching the sandstone cliffs of Hilbre Island. The now stiff Northerly breeze meant the paddlers were still in largely sheltered water but as they approached the Northern End of Hilbre the tide and swell was kicking up some large breaking waves in the overfalls. Some of the paddlers struggled a little, with the skis finding the conditions a little challenging. Watched by the team of safety kayakers (Ian, Dan and Adrian) along with one of the rescue boats most managed to make the turn in the rough water and paddle back down the inside of the Island.

The increasing wind had slowed paddlers on the outward journey but now with the wind behind them the route back was far easier. We did have Dave Bradburn & Brian McNulty, GBR C2 team entered this year. The high rear flared wing of their whitewater racing C2 certainly gave them a few taxing problems on the return.

High Water at Hilbre was 45 mins after the start so later paddlers would have to punch the tide in both directions. Certainly the stiff breeze and difficult conditions led to slightly slower times this year. 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. From here it was a dash around the headland to Dee Sailing club.

Full list of all results and times......

 Hilbre Race (13km)

 Little Eye Race (9km)

West Kirby Race (4km)

 1st Elite Ski

 Ian Tordoff

 1st Kayak

 Julia Kay

 1st Kayak

 Isaac Pipe

 1st Sea Kayak

 Colin Smith

 1st Lady

 Jane Parker

 2nd Kayak

 Rhys Legge

 2nd Sea Kayak

 David Blake

 1st Double

 Jake & Peter Massey



 1st Lady

 Kate Duffus

 2nd Double

 Paul and Harvey Harwood



 1st Double

 Jeff Parker and David Kay

 3rd Double

 Sarah & Jack Gille



 The elite boats with rudders surfed and sped their way towards the finish. Isaac and Rhys (junior race) were the first to finish just under the hour. Julia Kay, the little eye winner nearly missed the finish line as she had taken a line a little offshore and was heading for Parkgate. She should have known better as she won the Little Eye race last year so had some experience of the finish line. Jane Parker arrived minutes later. Ian Tordoff, paddling a Griffin ski this year, was the first to finish the Elite race around Hilbre. Two more Little Eye finishers, Jane Barns and Craig Ellingham were next before the first Hilbre racing double (Sipre Tsunami) of Jeff Parker and David Kay sliced its way over the finish line. Colin Smith and Dave Blake paddled in the first two production sea kayaks in the main Hilbre race. The finish turned out to be just as exciting as last year with finishers from different races all completing their courses at approximately the same time. This meant hectic work from the race time team led by Sylvia Mould they managed a very accurate set of results..

Ian Tordoff

Colin Smith

Kate Duffus

Junior winner

Ian Tordoff
1st Elite Race - Hilbre Race

Colin Smith
1st Sea Kayak Hilbre Race

Kate Duffus
1st Lady Hilbre Race

Isaac Pipe
1st West Kirby (Junior) Race

BriefingThe competitors were able to use the showers provided by Dee Sailing club and enjoy a cold drink and food from the BBQ while we recovered the rescue craft and the safety kayakers followed the final few finishers in.  Prizes had been kindly donated by Yamba UK, System X and Go Kayaking North West and were awarded for the categories above.  All the winners also received Liverpool Canoe Club branded / embroidered clothing and a trophy engraved by Mike Bell of Cedar Boat Europe.  These were presented to the winners by our club chair, Fiona Barry.

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 ??? June/July 2015

More information…….

Full Race results……….

More Photographs…….

Supported by Yamba UK, Dee Sailing Club, System X, Go Kayaking NW and Cedar Boats Europe

YambaUK Dee Sailing Club   System X  Go Kayaking  
Cedar Boats of Europe 


05/07/2014 Wednesday evening paddle at Soutiers Lane, Chester


All in a line on the bottom step

Sam in his new play boat

Sam and Sam on the bottom step


More photos…………                         More information on Wednesday Evening paddles………………….



05/7/14 Canoe and Kayak Paddle Challenge Ladder

Well the first race has happened. Cunning Dave Reynolds challenged me to a race in Whitewater racing boats. 


I had the wobbly wavehopper, Dave had a carbon fibre, extremely long whitewater racer. I did not even get my bum in the boat before I was upside down by the pontoon.


We both wobbled to the start line and we were off. Dave beat me by 20 yards. I think he was playing me. I was sure he could have battered me if he wanted to.


So who's going to have the next race?   Paul Harwood

We have a new, easier canoe and kayak paddle ladder.  It is now live on the website.

We have tried several online versions and they just do not seem to respond to all signing up so we are going with our own version.


Anyone new can just challenge a paddler near the bottom, race and email result to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk


From the events drop down menu or /ladder/



30/6/14 Open Canoe 4 star training with Ray Goodwin


Day 1 saw us all meet up in the cafe in Bala town center to say hello, complete paperwork and outline the plan for the day. The course had been organised specifically for Ruth and I, and at the last minute two other paddlers decided to join - I think i sold the club to them and hopefully they will be joining us.


We also had an opportunity to discuss what this award actually is, what the difference is between leading and giving tips to paddlers, and coaching down the river.


Paperwork completed it was off to Llangower car park, where the Wirral Scouts run their excellent Bala canoeing weekends. A quick discussion on safe lifting techniques and safe carrying techniques, and the it was off with the boats down to the lake. I really liked the two person carry that involved resting the boats seats across your shoulders.


On the lake, and we had to show our stuff! Alas I completely messed up and literally forgot how to paddle, doh! But was soon put right.


We then looked at moving a group into wind through various techniques, from pushing to tandem and rafting. After that it was time to go downwind with a huge big sail making best use of the breeze. It saves paddling! A quick bite for lunch and a discussion on alternative masts before it was time to get the tarps out and up - apparently if you want to be a canoeist you have to be a tarpist as well.


Fully fuelled, it was time for smaller sails and to see how they worked. Not as much fun, and definitely slower.


A quick bit of practice leadership before it was away with the paddles again and out with the poles to pole up and down the river that fills Lyn Tegid.


More leadership practice was followed by walking the boat along the shore using ropes, and then finally full on towing using a highwayman’s hitch to secure the following boat.


Day 2 saw us meet at Nomads. A shuttle up to Horseshoe falls and a discussion on helmets, safety kit, how to secure loads and then clap principle. After that, time to run Horseshoe in opens before working our way down to serpents whilst taking turns to lead.


At serpents, we decided not to run it, but instead to line the boats down the rapid. This literally involves lowering your boat down the rapid on a rope, but it can be quite tricky.


Back in the boats and time for more leadership practice, more lining down rapids and generally playing. Ray gave us the top tip that there has been a change to the little weir rapid in this section (r right underneath house) and that it is not kind to boats at the moment.


Eventually, at about 2.30 we reached Nomads and lunch. 


A quick lunch and it was time for other leading styles and boat rescues before off.


Day 3 saw us finessing stokes on Lyn Tegid before heading up to the Tryweryn - which sneakily had opened early. We all agreed to run chapel, to Rays delight, and all managed to stay dry.


This was a more relaxed day with general leading, line selection and a few top tips to make the Tryweryn easier in opens. We worked quite a bit on checking and setting and a little bit on manually handling (ie grabbing) other boats to assist them into eddies. We also managed to show Ray a line that he hadn’t seen before. He said it was "interesting", not sure if it was a compliment or not, but i think it was!


Down to Bala and that was it, three great days paddling with a top notch coach. If you want a good course, I can heartily recommend Ray. Oh, and he is running a wilderness trip down the Bloodvine in Canada, book quick if you want to go. 


Mike and Ruth                     More Photos…

28/6/14 July 2014 Newsletter Published
Please open it by clicking this link  July Newsletter…… or via the website   More Archived Newsletters…..

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