Volume 14 Issue 9

September 2014

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.…


31/8/14 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….


31/8/14 Major dates for Club events – for more detail check the online the calendar…….

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.........


31/8/14 August Photo of the Month Competition



Liverpool Canoe Club Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to Claire Murphy for her winning photo:

“Keiron Allerton, Ollie Murphy and Charlie Murphy at the get on for the Upper Guisane, French Alps”



Runner up Stuart Toulson:

“James Lakey paddling triple step on the Middle Guil”


Runner up John Fay:

Julie Brookes and Chris Fay blackberry picking

on the Leeds to Liverpool Canal

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.


31/8/14 River Weaver

John Fay,  Peter Brown, Tony Robinson and Julie Brookes took time out to paddle 10 miles of the River Weaver.  More Photos…….


28/8/14 Lower Tryweryn 25 August 2014


Talking to those who had said they were free for a paddle over the bank holiday weekend, it was decided that we would also paddle on the Monday.


The website said Tryweryn turned the tap on at 10am, so we agreed to meet at Bala at 10am. Unfortunately when we got there the website now said 11am, so off to the cafe it was!


Tap turned on, it was off to the Tryweryn. Getting on below Chapel falls we made the most of the higher flows to paddle down towards Bala without incident. Well, apart from Kirk and Andrew fighting to surf the same wave.


All good fun, all survived with no swims and lots of smiles.



Mike, Kirk & Andrew



28/8/14 Five go to Hilbre - 26 September 2014Hilbre Islands at high tide


At a loose end, so sent out an "Anyone doing owt?" email. Lo and behold, with a matter of minutes there were two replies knocking away in my in-box. What a great club this is!


So, I found myself meeting with 4 LCC members for a lovely low water trip out to Hilbre. It was a new trip for me as I have never launched from Thurstaston sailing club before, what a great place to launch from and it adds just that bit more distance. 


With no breeze and sun cracking the flags we leisurely paddled down to Hilbre, with the occasional seal keeping us company. Around the island, unfortunately with very little tide race to play in, we headed up to the beach and lunch. With the hot weekend sunshine baking the island, there appeared to be several people out bird watching.


Fully fed, the return journey passed in no time at all as we chattered away. Another great LCC day on the sea, cheers to Ade for suggesting.



Ade, Sylvia, Dave, Andy & Mike



28/8/14 A trip with porpoise - Sunday 24 August 2014


Another loose end led to another shout out for trips and the inbox was inundated with replies.



So after a brief email chat, 6 LCC members met at Bangor services of a paddle on the sea. The trip was finalised as a paddle from Cemaes bay and back so as to make best use of available tide and so as to avoid faffage.


Loads of paddlers were making use of the free car park and the great conditions, although the toilets are currently shut. Onto the sea and off towards bull bay. 


Conditions were good, weather was sunny as we explored the caves and slots at high tide. Luckily we were joined by a small pod of two or three porpoise who decided to put on a show for us for about 10 min before some jet bikes sent them away.


Onto bull bay and lunch before returning to Cemaes bay. As always on this coast there was a head wind to make it harder work. But that hard work was worth it as the porpoise came to play again.


Cheers for another great LCC day on the sea



Mike, Kirk, Mick, Graham, Andrew & Andy



16/8/14 Blackberry picking kayak trip.

Julie Brookes, John Fay and Chris Fay met at Morris Lane to paddle to the Burscough wharf and back on the Leeds - Liverpool canal. 

The trip took just over 5hrs due to blackberry picking on the return journey. 

More Photos..….



16/8/14 August Photo of the Month Competition
See the entries received so far…  it is going to be tough to decide the winners……….


16/8/14 Alps 2014 based at the Slalom course at L'Argentière-la-Bessée – Tuesday to Sunday (First Week)

Read more of the working article here….        Or see the talk and DVD at the club AGM on 13th October 2014

Day 03 Tuesday 29/07/14 – Lower Guil


Having already warmed up over the last couple of days I was looking forward to another days paddling.  As soon as we were put into groups I was on the water practising my ferry gliding skills waiting for our turn to head off down the lower Guil. 


This river is wide and has a couple of easy rapids before a section with a slightly trickier rapid but with lots of great eddies. 

We regrouped before entering this section and went down singularly finding our own eddies to stop and rest along the way.  A couple of paddlers in our group practised surfing the play waves whilst I looked on in envy ‘this time next year', I thought.


Once we had navigated through this section, the river widened again and our group went along in a relaxed manner, sometimes two or three paddlers side by side.  However, we soon came to a cliff face where the river was drawn towards the cliff.  As we had let our guard down we became unexpectedly caught out.  I tried to paddle away from the face of the cliff but my exit was blocked by another paddler from our group who had also got into difficulty.  Therefore, I was unable to paddle clear and I had to pull my deck and use my feet against the cliff face to steer to safety.  Feeling a little nervous from this experience I requested to change groups to join other less experienced paddlers and soon began feeling confident again.


As we paddled along, the river often divided into a couple of channels and our group leader was making ongoing decisions as to what was the most suitable route to take.  After another stretch of a wide river course I could see the slalom course in the distance.  Having paddled this river before I knew we had nearly reached our destination.  However, this time we had come from the right hand tributary and needed to ferry glide to the eddy at the top of the slalom course.  Unfortunately, I had the wrong angle on my boat and missed the eddy.  This meant that I was the first one from our group down the course and arrive at the get out point.  The rest of the group soon followed and we stopped for lunch in the sun.


Thanks to fellow paddlers for another great day on the river.     Kathy Wilson     More Photos……..


Day 03 Tuesday 29/07/14 – St Clement to Rabioux Wave to Embrun


After an easy morning that finished with lunch in the sun at St Clements, about thirty paddlers got back on the Durance and drifted down some wide sections of river, bouncing happily on the wave trains. As a sea paddler I felt at home on this kind of water and was able to enjoy the stunning scenery.


The first stop was to allow enthusiastic paddlers to try their luck on a seal launch: a steep slide of about 3m down to a drop of another 3m. I decided to sit this one out and watch. The highlights were, of course, the ones that seemed doomed to fail. Roy and Joe smashing it in the duo was only outdone by Sophie's off-piste one-handed sideways slide, very impressive indeed!


Further down the river, nervous excitement about the upcoming “Rab”(or Rabioux?) Wave spread through the group and the less experienced paddlers had to decide whether to run it or not. Having had a nasty swim the previous day I felt there wasn't much to lose in a one-off feature and ignored, as far as possible, all the stories of being stuck in the enormous stopper and spun like a washing machine! When my turn came the wave was kind enough to spit me out after flipping me over and I rolled up to surprised cheers from the LCC crowd. The whole thing had a demolition derby feel to it and it turned out to be a really good laugh.


After the wave it was a nice relaxing paddle down more wide river and wave trains to Embrun where it got a bit more bouncy under the bridge just before the get out. A long but brilliant day.


Chris Preston            More Photos……..


Day 04 30/7/14 Wednesday Upper Guil

We started the day with the whole group running the Upper Guil from Aiguilles. The first few sections of the river involved low water levels over boulder fields and a large chance of scraping and pinning on boulders. This followed on through into the gorge for a few kilometres.


The second section of the river involved fast technical rivers with continuous class 3 paddling. There was a high chance of being pinned on boulders so choosing a good line and devoting to it was crucial. The river contained waves and play holes to add to the boulders keeping you switched on and making for a challenging run. The valley then widens out again through the village of Ville Vieille and ahead is an impressive view of the hill top fortress of Chateau Queyras.


The final 2km has a variety of fast, big and bouncy water with surf waves and eddies to catch. Just ahead of the get off point there is a rocky weir with a surprise few boulders as you head over the drop. The get off point is 200m before the infamous Chateau Queyras Gorge.


Roy, Paul and Gibbo decided to do the run into the Chateau Queyras Gorge, later followed by Sara and Ade. The flow was very fast and involved dodging boulders that would allow you to paddle over in higher water levels. As the gorge walls get thinner the flow directs paddlers into the wall where the flow curls over. This flipped Paul over and when he rolled he found Gibbo upside down. Gibbo managed to roll up using the front of Paul’s boat and they both went down into the final surprise drop with a stopper sideways. Luckily Gibbo’s and Paul’s boat were able to punch through the stopper and Gibbo eddied out to pick up remaining pieces and gather his paddle.


 Callum Reid  More Photos……..

Day 04 30/7/14 Wednesday Château-Queyras

The day had started well, I had ran the upper guil without any difficulty, I had been in a group with Roy and Paul through the upper section and as soon as we had finished Roy said “stay in Gibbo, we are going to run the Chateau Queyras”. As soon as he had said this, I started to worry as last year this was the river which I hadn’t done because it was so scary, and had been thinking about if I could do it all year.


We dropped down to the first eddy under the bridge at this point and I had my first glimpse of the gorge. Slowly realising it was too late to turn back, we carried on through. The first section was good and I found my path easily but after that it seemed someone had pressed fast forward and everything was a blur. The next thing I remember was watching paul capsize in front of me and realising I was falling in myself, I managed to roll up half way and as I fell back in I saw Paul’s boat, which I managed to pull myself up on.


We carried on and soon after I found the gorge falling away… that was it! I had done it and will not be doing it again - it was one of the scariest but most amazing experiences of my life.

Scott Gibson  More Photos……..


Day 04 30/7/14 Wednesday Middle Guil

After the whole group paddled the Upper Guil a smaller party went on to paddle the Middle Guil.  This run started off at the famous Triple Step rapid.  After much consideration and scouting of the rapid at the start a small team decided to run this rapid. First in to this huge rapid was Ade and Matt, then Keith, Sara and Roy styled the rapid.  Next Paul blasted through with a lightning fast roll in the big boil water followed by James, Kurt and Bo nailing it.  Plenty of big smiles and air punching was had due to the successful runs on Triple Step which looks big from the road and even bigger actually on the water.  This was just the start of the run though…


The rest of the 15 paddlers from the club got on just below Triple Step so we all met and split in to 2 smaller groups to move through a bit slicker.  Just 100m into the run we hit the first rapids, which were bouncy and fun.  Class 4 water with repeated challenges of making eddies and bouncing down several rapids down to Montbardon Bridge.  The Grade dropped to class 3 for 1km before returning to grade 4 water and included many continuous sections.


The challenging water continued and you really had to stay alert.  A nasty exit from one particular rapid claimed 2 swimmers and at least 2 more rolled back up.  This river really was a continuous challenge without much let up between rapids.  But a lovely run too, inbetween the massive mountains. 


Next followed Staircase Rapid 4+ which I only saw Roy and Paul paddling.  At this point time was getting short and we were well into our final hour with the potential of a 1000 Euros fine for overstaying our welcome on this beautiful river.  Cut off time was 1800hrs with a potential fine.


With this in mind and the knowledge that the water was to get bigger with more stoppers some of the group decided to get off the water by the road tunnel exit.  At this point Chris’s paddle went missing so some time was spent looking for this but it was not found. 


A small party continued and blasted through stoppers and big water to finish the run finally getting off the water at 1755hrs!  The bonus was Chris’s paddle was found over 1km down the river stuck in a stopper.  Great fun on a fantastic river was had by all.

Will McCormack       More Photos……..

Day 05 31/7/14 Thursday Verdon Gorge
We embarked upon our usual trip to the Verdon Gorge. Keith says this is our down day, our day off but as we all know it’s twice as hard as the usual river day. We left really early and after a long drive we arrived at possibly the most spectacular landscape in Europe. The Verdon Gorge is apparently Europe’s answer to the Grand Canyon. For those of you who haven’t been there it’s a very deep V Shaped valley cut by what seems like a tiny river deep in the gorge. We think the gorge is about 600/700 meters deep.


We all walked to the start of the gorge and followed Keith’s line! He led us with expertise through and over the various rapids. Along the way there were several jumps which the lads fought to scramble up with macho pride. It was particularly funny when Gibbo went right to the top of a jump (trying to follow Sam and Paul) and wimped out and descended to a much, much lower jump!


We followed the twists and turns of the gorge until we came to a very rocky rapid with very little water in it. My instinct was saying walk round, but Keith insisted that we swam down it. Everyone banged their backsides on the way down including me, which led to a massive bruise (not happy Mr Steer!!!!) Sven found a frog trying to climb up the walls of the gorge. He rescued the frog and bought it to the bottom of the rapid. I then kissed the frog but unfortunately … no prince!!!! After several more twists and jumps we eventually made it to the exit caves.


After lunch we went to the lake. Here we swam and sunbathed while some of the more annoying members of the group tried to hitch rides from the various pedalos. After this we went for dinner in a very French restaurant. Dinner was lovely and well deserved!!

Fiona Barry              More Photos……..

Day 05 31/7/14 Thursday Via ferrata du Rocher du Bez and the Clock face

On the first day off of the first week, four of us decided to do some climbing and so we consulted the guide book to find some suitable via ferratas.  Now here is the problem; the grading system of these climbs isn’t based on exposure, but how spaced out the iron rungs, hand and footholds are. Subsequently one can find oneself shaking like a sh***ing dog half way up an overhanging cliff with nothing between you and the valley floor exccept… well.. nothing!


I was keen to make sure that we chose our climb wisely as the last thing I wanted to do was put my fellow climbers off from attempting another route later on. We settled on the La Bez which the guidebook says is suitable for children! What could be easier? Plenty it turned out.


I took the lead followed by John Cooke who was giving us a running commentary (“how am I supposed to get this leg over there…..?  Who built this anyway…?  Is this really for kids…?). Next up was Kirk who’s preparation for the climb the previous evening had involved demolishing most of a bottle of Jagermeister. As a result he wasn’t really on top form. Finally bringing up the rear was Stu, veteran of the Clock and the Chateau Q climbs from previous years.

After clipping on to the line we made good progress until we reached the most imposing section of the climb, a 50ft climb straight up the face of the rock. Actually, with iron work readily available this turned out much easier than expected. By this time though, John had realised that my gloves were giving me a distinct advantage and it was this fact alone that was stopping him from powering passed me. Well that and the fact that he was bricking it! Kirk wasn’t saying much at this time, other than the fact that he was sweating pure alcohol. In the rear Stu was coping well.


We topped out and then took shelter from the raging sun by descending into a small cave system. All too soon we were back out on top of the mountain and looking to start the descent. As anyone who has ever climbed will know that descending can be the trickiest bit of any climb and so it proved today. I would make a comment like “mmm.. interesting..” as I worked out the best way down. As soon as John & Kirk got to the same section their reaction was somewhat more colourful. Eventually we reached the bottom of the climb and retraced our steps back through an activity park back to the car. We celebrated our survival with quick drink to refresh ourselves we headed back to the camp and on to the next climb, the Clock at L'Argentière.

Chris Murphy and Kirk Williams  More Photos……..


Day 05 31/7/14 Thursday Mountain Bike

David and I walked to the Bakery for a leisurely breakfast then into town to hire mountain bikes, the shop assistant was extremely helpful, adjusted the bikes and led us to the Tourist Office to obtain maps of the local mountain bike routes. Off we set; our aim to cycle to St Vincent. For the first part we followed the road alongside la Gyronde, this is gradual climb up. On reaching the children’s cycle park we could not resist having a go and were accompanied by a five year old with mum.

Next we climbed up to Vallouise, a market was in full swing so we took a rest and walked around the stalls scattered throughout the village. We continued up the valley for another kilometre to gain a view of St Vincent, the heat was now intense, here we turned around and sped through Vallouise to the turning for St Vincent. The road now wound up the hillside much too steep for our mountain biking ability; we resorted to walking up either side of the road trying to keep in the shade. We stopped at the first restaurant for drinks then continued to the base of the Ski resort. Many of the villages have water fountains which were welcome in the heat. Onwards and upwards ‘til we crossed the first mountain bike route, a rough track and off we raced down hill, down and down we went with brakes squealing and tyres skidding. We eventually came to a junction with no sign, we opted left and found ourselves climbing then descending, climbing and descending, after some time it appeared we were going in the wrong direction, a little further we found an old sign that confirmed our mistake. Returning we benefited from the additional climb and sped down ending up in Les Vigneaux. We followed the road back to Cycle Hire shop, a tiring and enjoyable day. The best way to mountain bike would be to drive to the ski resort and use the cable car to gain height and enjoy the down hill runs.    

Anthony Brockway  More Photos……..


Day 05 31/7/14 Thursday Upper Lower Guisane

The last day of July 14 and the majority of LCC crew headed off to the Verdon Gorge for lots of swimming whilst another group opted for via ferrata (climbing). This just left 4 keen paddlers heading off towards the Upper Guisane. 


On arrival I was feeling apprehensive, I tried to reassure myself with a reminder that I had paddled this section before but this was two years ago in significantly lower water; also the memory was vague.  However, with reassurance from my river leader for the day aka 'rescue Roy' we set off behind Andy and Sophie. We had a good run down to the first eddie, and I began to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery. This river is high up in the Alps mountain range, consequently the water was very cold and fast flowing with tight eddies. 


A combination of the fast flow and the small group had us all down to the penultimate eddy before 'S bends' in a relatively quick pace. After initially eddying out on the other side of the river I hoped my ferry gliding skills would allow me safely across to the correct eddy for the portage… luckily they did.


I had already decided not to attempt the 'S bends' feature so began my long portage. Sophie on the other hand, was keeping an open mind and on taking a look decided she was game. After a successful run by all three paddlers and with myself back in my boat, we set off again. 


We soon came to a shingle beach where on previous years this had been my get in point so acted as a good measure of my steady progress over the last couple of years. After a short rest we headed off again paddling through a pretty little village, whilst tourists looked on bemused by our sudden appearance during their tranquil lunch break on the banks of the river.


Another short paddle and we soon reached the get out. This was a thoroughly enjoyable paddle and a big thank you to Roy, Andy and Sophie for their guidance and company.

Kathy Wilson               

The Guisane and I have history…a lot of history. Back in 2011 I first fell victim to the famous S -Bends section, a boulder strewn grade 4 rapid that I have only ever seen from the bank or under water. After repeating the trick the following year and not getting a chance to redeem myself last time round because I was having a day off with my family,  it transpired that I was still looking for my first clean run in 2014. When a section of river has loomed over you for so long it is not surprising that you are a bit apprehensive even if you are generally paddling well. Some stretches of certain rivers, if you have had problems in the past, can have you beaten before you even get in the boat.  (Just ask John Cooke how he likes the Rab wave!)

S-Bends was turning into my nemesis.   And so it was not without a few nerves that I found myself ambling down the Guisane this year, with the look of someone who is not as relaxed as he should be, on such as easy river. My thought process was going something like “is this S bends coming up….or is this it now..? Didn’t think it was this far down……definitely going right channel this time…where is it for **** sake…..?


Eventually we did approach S-bends and I got out of the boat to watch a couple of people go down first. In 2011 I went left and immediately got pinned against a rock and slowly capsized after fighting it for a few seconds. I had a long, long swim as I couldn’t reach my deck. Eventually my knees pushed the deck off as I was dragged from the boat by the force of the water. I hurt my shoulder and had to roll out of bed rather than push myself up for the remainder of the holiday. The next year, inevitably the same rock got me. In two attempts I had managed about 10 yards of an hundred yard rapid. This time my paddle was wedged under the rock and I had quite a job first finding it and then retrieving it from where it was pinned. Editing the video later I realised that people who had chosen the right channel had faired pretty well and decided I would go for that channel next time round.


So here was next time round and right channel it is. I edged out and ferried across to a perfect starting point. Before I knew it I had negotiated the first left and right and was now in unchartered waters. This was the furthest I had got down so far and I was concentrating hard to make sure I didn’t stuff it up now. The rest of the rapid proved to be less problematic than I had feared and I actually started to enjoy it. I eddied out on the right above the last major drop with throw line in hand in case anyone came a cropper. It seemed that S-Bends was being kind today as not one of the people who ran it ended up in trouble and despite a few of the party hitting a rock that was slightly hidden in the last wave, it was clean runs all round. I climbed back in the boat and joined up with my group to enjoy the rest of the paddle down through the pretty town of Villeneuve-le-Salle and was able to enjoy this section even more than usual as for the first time I had banished my S-Bends hoodoo!


Chris Murphy    More Photos……..


PS I ran it again, channel left, a few days later with another happy ending!  S-Bends 2-2 Chris!


Day 06 01/8/14 Friday Upper Guisane

The one with the S bends! We set off on Friday to conquer the S bends. This feature over the years has shown it's dominance over many a paddler. Last year I had been shown that the river is boss with a painful swim down the infamous rapid!


Anyway we set off in our groups to a relatively easy stretch prior to the bends.  However many of the group were tired after a late night due to our activities the day before.  So at one point I allowed myself to daydream thinking about what to cook on the BBQ that night and soon fell in. I resorted to the use of my trusty “Pawlata Roll”.


Later we arrived at S bends, had a look then hopped back into our boats to take on the long feature.  With a few dodgy moments and a not so elegant line, I made it down safely as did the rest of the gang.

We continued on through the pretty town of Chantemerle to the get out.  It was great!

Sarah Gille  More Photos……..


Day 06 01/8/14 Friday Lower Guisane

We (Keith, Sara, Ian, Gibbo, Anthony and I, 'Dave') were what we deemed the maximum sized team for what was set to be a challenging paddle down the Lower Guisane. We set off a short way down river to the first obstacle, which was “Shelobs weir” which is under a bridge under the Chantemerle gondola and finish for all the ski runs.  We each tried to take a successful line, mine probably being the worst of the crop, getting pinned on a large boulder. However, using my paddle as a prop and rocking forwards I managed to work myself free and back into the flow. This also meant I avoided embarrassment of a technical step out from all the “frenchies” who were below the weir in their 'hot dogs' aka inflatable kayaks.

Further on down river and for the first time all holiday I was caught out by a strong side wave which flipped me over. I straight away tried to roll back up but due to the river being so “boney” my head was being treated like it was in a pinball machines. At one point I managed to raise my head from the water and Gibbo was there to carry out a pin point accurate T rescue. I think without his instinctive actions I would have been taking a very bumpy swim.

The rest of the river was navigated with ease to the get out on the upper Durance and the town of Briancon.

David Brockway  More Photos……..



Day 07 02/8/14 Saturday Ubaye Race Course

This is the second time for me at the course but the first time paddling. The groups were split and one group consisted of the old boys plus Sam Preston to lower the average age, apparently there was more water than last year and from the bank it looked quite intimidating. As we set off everything was okay for a while until I went through a stopper with a curling wave which put me in, after hitting a rock it was time to bail and upon surfacing I could see Stuart out of his boat following me down the river.


After a quick empty out we were back on our way. The course is a section of rapids with bits in between to regain composure but quite full on all the way down. As we neared the end off the run Sam commented that this was his favourite river of the trip to date. It was a good paddle despite swimming and I am looking forward to returning before the end of the trip to hopefully conquer this section of a great alpine river.


John Cooke      More Photos……..





Day 08 03/8/14 Sunday Upper Durance

On Sunday we went to the river in Briancon. This was my first time on a river in the French Alps. I was excited about getting on the river. I followed Keith and Ollie and Kieron came behind with the other kayakers. We went down doing eddies and I made all the eddies.

Half way down the river I hit a rock and bounced off it and then swam. I got on Keith's boat and went to the side and got back in my boat. Gibbo asked me if it was cold or hot. I told him it was hot and he put his hand in and said it was cold. I told him it was hot in the middle where I swam. We went down the rest of the river and got out with everyone at the get out.

Charlie Murphy      More Photos……..



16/8/14 Many congratulations to club members Mark and Marianne on their marriage today.


16/8/14 Surfing at Crosby Friday 15th August

More photos at ……                Or facebook…….


14/8/14 Safety Cover at the Liverpool Triathlon last weekend.

A really big thank you to John Worswick and his 44 strong Water Safety team from the club who supported the event which enabled more than 1,000 competitors to brave wet and windy conditions to take part in Liverpool’s triathlon event held on Sunday 10th August. The event raised £2,240.00 which goes a long way to keeping our fees extremely low.  Well done to everyone involved.


Tri Liverpool, host the of the British Triathlon Championships was organised by Lagadere Unlimited Events and British Triathlon in partnership with Liverpool City Council and saw competitors compete from 7am right through the day. The event attracted athletes from all over the UK, showcasing Tri Liverpool as one of the highlights of the domestic triathlon calendar.


However, the event wouldn’t be the same without the vocal crowd support for the local Liverpudlians competing in all of today’s races, especially those from local triathlon club, Mersey Tri, who have one of the loudest fan clubs around.


Local Mersey Tri athlete, James Muscart (20-24) who competed in the standard distance races had a great time commenting: “It was tough with the wind and rain but there was great support and a great atmosphere, I really enjoyed it. On the bike, a couple of the corners felt like you came to a standstill and I felt a bit sorry for spectators standing in the cold, however they kept cheering and were great supporters of all the athletes.


“It’s fantastic to have an event on our doorstep, and credit goes to the whole community. You don't know everyone’s name but you get support from everyone out there – it’s got to be great for the local community as well.”


But the elite male race, which was the last event of the day, fell victim to the effects of ex-Hurricane Bertha and had to be cancelled. Organisers said the severe weather conditions would have jeopardised the safety of athletes.

More information on kayak safety cover………             More Photographs……………..



13/8/14 Nominations for our four Club Awards presented at our AGM on Monday 13th October 2014


Each year the club asks for nominations for our four Club Awards.  Members can vote for each category by sending an email to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk with their vote.  Awards are then presented at the clubs AGM on Monday 13th October 2014


During August we will be taking nominations from club members for :

  • 2014 Nominations for Paddler of the year  (club member who has either made the most progress or achievement in paddlesport)
  • 2014 Nominations for Young Paddler of the year (Under 18 club member who has made either the most progress or achievement in paddlesport)
  • 2014 Nominations for Volunteer of the year  (Club member who has given their services to help the club)
  • 2014 Nominations for Swimmer of the year  (Club member who has had the best out of boat experience)


         please send the name of the nominee, the category and a brief description or reason for the nomination to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk

More information and past winners of the Awards at /members/poty/


12/8/14 Alps 2014 based at the Slalom course at L'Argentière-la-Bessée  (Sunday and Monday)


Day 01 27/07/14 Sunday – Middle Durance

Day one kicked off in traditional style from the camp site down to St Clement slalom site. We had a leisurely start, sleeping in late-ish and then the shuttle faff began. Roy gave me the hurry up and wait, come on, come on, lets go man; so I drove out to the lay by expecting Roy to be waiting but no sign. I had a quick check in the France road map to find that pages 160 - 190 were missing (all the pages that I needed). So let’s play the game of lets guess where St Clements is. Ragging it in the general direction towards Gap looking for Roy's car I gave up and started pulling in to random lay-bys looking for said get-off and hopefully Roy`s car. After visiting a circus and a few rafting get-ons I eventually saw Roy and Murphy driving towards me. It turns out after telling me to hurry up he then drove over to Murph’s tent and chilled out for a bit which was the cause of my panic and erratic driving. Anyway, all was forgiven, love commenced again, and it was time to get on with it. We returned to Keith flapping because people had been sat around and he was wanting to sort the groups. I got back, sorted my kit, and had a quick run of the slalom site before meeting my group at the bottom.

After his epic on the slalom course the night before, Sven was keen to consolidate his skills and get back on it. I set up a few challenges, progressively trying to make more difficult eddies. One particular eddie was a step too far for Sven. He set himself up to get the perfect line but caught his edge and flipped over. Unlike the night before, he successfully rolled in anger, to the cheers of me and Gibbo. Feeling confident we tried to make this mundane river as challenging as possible. I stupidly went looking to see if there were any eddies amongst some fallen trees but ended up hitting the branches and looking for the fishes. I tucked up and took a few bumps to the helmet before rolling up. On getting myself upright I immediately hit another branch and went over again; more of the same, a few bashes to the helmet and thumb, then rolled up, much to the relief of the rest of the group. My own stupid fault for going too close to the trees - school boy error. Feeling sorry for myself I put my thumb in my mouth. Sven cheered me up; he was whinging about his nipple chaff and then put duck tape over them to ease the pain.

 Time for something a bit more chilled out, let’s teach Kathy some skills. Do you get it Kathy, ye, ye, ye, ye. Good stuff Kathy, you're smashing it. Gibbo was later “owning” the waves but Sven was being a massive PUSSAAAAY Cat and whimped out, making a half attempt to get on it. Me and Gibbo hogged the wave but the group were getting bored watching so we had to press on. We eventually caught up with the group in front as Tony had taken a swim and the group were mopping him up.

When we finally arrived at the slalom site, we found David Brockway by himself still working the waves to the max. The boy looked good. The second, larger wave, was too much in the big boy league for even Gibbo, which left me and David to play ‘til our hearts were content. At the get out Keith was cracking the whip, forcing everyone to swim and catch throw lines. I got out to find a nicer person, Beth. What a cracker, because she doesn't paddle, she spent the day sunbathing and sorting the troops out, making up the butties for everyone in the kitty. Time to finish the shuttle, strap the boats on to the roof, and head off to do a proper river.  I'm jealous of the person who got to do the next write up for the Gyronde, as it was AWESOME.

Darren Bohanna                         More Photos……..


Day 01 27/07/14 Sunday – The Gyronde


We arrived at the river and parked in a secluded campsite. The river was pretty high and full on. We got on and were greeted with continuous paddling. By far the best and most continuous river I have ever paddled with big holes. The group split into two teams of five with Andy and Keith in the lead, with nearly no swims the river was great fun and a good challenge. With one portage to a large weir to break up the river it was unremitting with waves and holes all the way, by far the best river I have ever done.


When the Gyronde meets the Durance we paddled back though the town, down the international slalom course to finish and on to the campsite.


Joe Sheppard     More Photos……..

Day 02 Monday 28/07/14 – Briancon Gorge


After dividing into groups, we began to get on the river. I soon realised that there was a vile stench of sewage flowing into this Alpine river as it reacedh Europe’s highest town. It soon became clear to me that the top section of the run would be an awkward and technical scrape through the gorge as most of the water was taken off through large pipes for hydroelectricity.


 Not long after the put in we reached a barrage, next to it lies a wooden chute. As you begin to slide down the chute a short 2m drop awaits you at the bottom, giving people a taste of what it's like to boof. Below the barrage the water level was so low most people portaged this short section.


Shortly after we entered the gorge slowly navigating our way around the endless rocks and boulders. The unfortunate ones getting pinned occasionally meaning frequent rescues.


Making our way through the town the river filled up, making the remaining section less technical. We soon reached the weir, a very simple drop with reasonable stopper at the bottom. We soon got to the take out after a couple of easy wave trains to finish the paddle off.


Sam Preston      More Photos……..


Day 02 Monday 28/07/14 – Upper Durance

Before arriving at France I said I wasn’t going to be kayaking at all.  However day two and I was out in the Dynamic Duo with Roy. It was my first time in a kayak on moving water and I was very nervous, especially because I found myself spinning in circles on still water. I therefore had all my trust in Roy to get us to the other end of the river without having a swim.


Roy had explained to me some of the different manoeuvres before we got onto the river and as we paddled down he was shouting these to me. However, I didn’t know what he was shouting and they were pretty much just words to me. I tried my best to paddle in time with Roy but I was taken by surprise by the cold water that hit me full on in the face and so Roy ended up doing all the work.  Luckily we had no swims. It was a great experience for me and hopefully I might do more rivers after some more practicing at paddling and won’t have to rely on other people to paddle me down a river safely.                                                                                      


Bethan Smith       More Photos……..



08/8/14 Leeds to Liverpool Canal


Julie Brookes, Tony Robinson and John Fay on the Leeds - Liverpool canal.   More Photographs………


05/8/14 Day 00 26/07/14 Saturday – Slalom Course

Slalom Course at Camp site – on the evening of our arrival after setting up camp and having our evening, Joe managed to convince Roy and I to do an early evening run of the slalom course. We finished off our beverage and then proceeded to head up to the start. This journey seemed harder that last year and I for one was very tired on arriving at the start.

At the start, the water looked a grey like blue with the small ripples of white highlighted by the failing light. The water was cold and glacial and running at a good level. Roy broke into the flow then proceeded to ferry glide across to the large eddy on river left, he was quickly followed by Joe who was eager to experience the delights of alpine paddling. I followed shortly after and was anything but smooth, and just managed to make the large, easy eddy that my comrades had so easily achieved.

We ran the course twice, throw lines were used and my boat completed the course ahead of me on both occasions.  (note to diary – do not paddle when very tired, in failing light and in a boat you are yet to be familiar with!)


Special thanks to Joe and Roy for ensuring my new boat did not escape!!


Sven Till                   More Photos……..


04/8/14 Surfing at Crosby

More Photos……



04/8/14 Alps 2014 based at the Slalom course at L'Argentière-la-Bessée


With the minibus and trailer booked, the campsite arranged we were nearly ready for the two week Alps trip 2014.  A few last minute changes in minibus saw us with a Ford Transit minibus and the usual box trailer for the kayaks. 


It was unusually quiet in the minibus as most of us were veterans and we all tried to get as much sleep as possible as we were driving overnight.  We caught the Channel Tunnel train on time (12:50 check in) and made L'Argentière-la-Bessée (campsite) for around 5:00pm.  The journey was uneventful except for a torrential downpour and hailstones on the motorway which slowed our speed to about 40 mph but was soon cleared. 


We had reserved sites 1, 2, and 3 again and were soon setting up our tents and tarp. A quick look at the International Slalom Site indicated good levels for July.  More information on trip with maps etc click here……


The full team would consist of: Keith S, Fiona Wrigg, Sarah Gille, Anthony Brockway, David Brockway, Scott Gibson, Bethan Smith, Kathy Wilson, Tony Doyle, Sam Preston, Chris Preston, John Cooke, Sara Bergqvist, Callum Reid, Chris Murphy, Claire Murphy, Ollie Murphy, Charlie Murphy, Darren Bohanna, Roy McHale, Sven Till, Nick & Kay Coughlin & Wilma, Sophie Steventon, Andy Grimes, Kirk Williams, Leanne Murray, Ian Bell, Jose Santos, Paul Flaherty, Joe Sheppard, Will McCormack, Stuart Toulson, Kurt Toulson, James Lakey, John Allerton, Denise Allerton, Sammy Allerton, Keiron Allerton, Tony Mellor, Stephen Mills, Jonathan Leadley, Linda Leadley.


More information from our clubs trips page………

03/8/14 New Brighton Paddle – Wednesday 23rd July 2014

The sun was shining and the winds were light which ensured a good turnout for this last Wednesday Evening Paddle of the summer.  We all met at Perch Rock Car Park at new Brighton and put in on the River Mersey and paddled around the corner to the light house.  Brian Green Paddled across from Crosby to join us.  After playing for a while the sea kayaks paddled off along the Promenade towards west Cheshire Sailing Club while the short boats played amongst the standing waves at Perch Rock.  New Brighton is best 3-4 hours before high water or while there is a good NWly swell running.


More Photographs…….


03/8/14 Porth Dafarch to Four Mile Bridge, Holy Island 26th July 2014

hospitalHaving not Sea kayaked since May due to illness, I decided there was only one way to find out if I was now fit enough to return to sea kayaking…

In early March, I had a knee operation to repair a torn cartilage. All seemed to be going well and I was healing up nicely. Then from about the beginning of April, I hadn’t been feeling too well, but I put the symptoms down as being diabetes related. I am a type II – non insulin dependant. I remember being exhausted, having chills, headaches, feeling sick; and my blood sugars had rocketed despite being super careful with my diet. I actually went to the GP the day it first flared up, as I knew something wasn’t right, but I was told it was just a virus and to go away! However, a week after the Whitby trip, I was admitted to hospital with a mystery illness. This was after spending three whole nights in A&E, waiting to be seen and each time being sent home with stronger and stronger pain killers; and each time told to go back if I got any worse. Well worse it became, with my right knee and leg swelling up rather err… large. By this time I was completely unable to walk and was confined to a wheelchair. By all accounts, I became a very strange orange colour, but by then I was past caring. Luckily for me, Lesley my wife, was jumping up and down making the doctors do something. When they performed their tests they knew I had a severe infection. But when they tried to grow anything in the lab from the fluid drained off my leg (a bucketful, using an extremely big needle) and my blood (I felt like a bit of a pin cushion) nothing came back identifying what the infection was. So thankfully they decided to start pumping me full of antibiotics and I slowly started to improve. When I started coming to, after three days of this, I mentioned that I am a white water kayaker and could the infection be anything to do with Leptospirosis (Weils Disease)…

I vaguely remembered reading once that Leptospirosis does not grow in the normal lab tests performed by a pathology lab, it has very specific tests. If you want to find out more, then details can be found Sploshhere,  here and here.

ArchesThe upshot of all of this, is that I am now clear of the Leptospirosis infection, but I have now lost the cartilage in my right knee. The knee consultant has told me the cartilage in my knee is dead. It is still a bit of a mystery as to why my knee was attacked. Was this some kind of inflammatory reaction and just co-incidental that I was just unlucky enough to have caught leptospirosis at the same time? Or was it indeed the Leptospirosis that led to the my knee being attacked? Well I guess we will never know. One thing I do know, I was definitely unlucky to catch the Leptospirosis. I am always careful to wash my hands well after coming off the water. Looking on the bright side, maybe I was also lucky in that they started pumping me with antibiotics when they did; as I would probably not have been here now if they hadn’t!

Until I get a new partial or full knee replacement (the jury is still out on that one),  I have to get about on crutches. I even now have a blue disabled badge for the car! Luckily, I can still drive and paddle a kayak. Driving and kayaking is only sitting down after all. It’s bending my knee that I am not too keen on, as I have this bone on bone thing going on. ie walking is difficult/painful, kayaking is generally not! (or putting it another way, it isn’t going to stop me!)

Meeting up with Clive at Four Mile Bridge and leaving a car behind, we set off to Porth Dafarch. The plan was to paddle back to Four Mile Bridge, which would mean using two phases of the tide. One to get us down to the Cymyran Straights and another to allow us to paddle back up to Four Mile Bridge. It also meant that the start of the trip would be near to high tide and the finish, at a bridge. So as far as I was concerned, reduced walking. I assured Clive all would be fine with my tidal planning, so long as we arrived at the straits no sooner than 16:00, at the earliest. We DCIM102GOPROwould have plenty of time to play and explore the coastline.

With swift efficiency we were on the water for just before 11:00am, half an hour after the south-easterly stream started running. Porth Dafarch was busy with groups of raft builders and groups coasteering, having lots of fun.

Luckily, it clouded over just enough, so as not to fry us or become too cold either. We made very rapid progress towards Rhoscolyn helped by the tide. And unusually, for once we were not paddling into the wind. Perhaps I had not taken GPSthis into account with my tidal planning. After all, I cannot remember a paddle with Clive where we haven’t had to battle into the wind. I commented to Clive on the absence of any pressure on our faces… most odd!

It was a glorious day 

We spent a good deal of time exploring the various caves, gullies and stone arches around Rhoscolyn head

All too quickly we were at Rhoscolyn Beacon

With time to kill, we stopped for lunch, did some cave exploring and took some pictures of the jellyfish. I even did a spot of fishing but didn’t catch anything (as per usual).

Blue Jellyfish 3A Blue Jellyfish appearing to eat a Moon Jellyfish.  Luckily I didn’t get stung! And even after all this messing about we still arrived at the straits an hour too early at 15:00.

So we paddled up against the flow, eddy hopping into the Cymyran straights. It was still flowing well and was hard going. After about a mile of battling upstream against the current, Clive decided it would be quicker walking, towing the boat in the shallows behind him. I carried on paddling. There was no way I was going to try to walk it. I had a good work out!

See all the photographs and read all of Simons Blog here…….     by Simon Turnbull

28/7/14 August 2014 Newsletter Published 
Please open it by clicking this link  August Newsletter…… or via the website   More Archived Newsletters…..

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