Volume 14 Issue 11

November 2014

November Paddler
The monthly newsletter of Liverpool Canoe Club

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Major Trip Reports.…


26/10/14 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….

26/10/14 Major dates for Club events – for more detail check the online Club Calendar…….

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

14-16 November 2014      Lakes  Paddling Weekend Based at Thorney How Hostel in Grasmere..  Contact Fiona Barry for more information  07730613310

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

14 -22 February 2015      Skiing and Snowboarding trip - France.  Contact Fiona Barry for more information  07730613310

2-6 April 2015                  Scottish Easter paddling weekend Based in the Blackwater Hostel – limited places so book early.  Click to book a place.........

1-4 May 2015                   Pembroke Weekend (First Bank Holiday)    Jenny Brown

15-17 May 2015               Anglesey Weekend 1 (Tyn Rhos Trearddur Bay)    Peter Massey

5-7 June 2015                   Anglesey Weekend 2 (Pen-y-Bont Farm, 4 Mile Bridge)    Keith S

5 July 2015                       Hilbre Island Sea Kayak Race & Club BBQ Clubs major annual Sea Kayaking Event.  Click for more.........

10-12 July 2015                Anglesey Weekend 3 (Bodfan Farm, Rhosneigr)    Jenny Brown

17 July–2 August 2015   Alpine Paddling Holiday Week 1 Bovec, Slovenia, Week 2 Briancon, France.  Contact Keith S for more information  07719459942

25-27 September 2015    Anglesey Weekend 4 (Outdoor Alternative Rhoscolyn)    Peter Massey



26/10/14 September “Photo of the Month” Competition


Liverpool Canoe Club Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to Frankie Annan for her winning photo:

“Moody Skies over Georgian Bay Sea Kayak Trip”


Runner up Sara Bergqvist:

“Joe Sheppard swimming through a Siphon on the Verdon Gorge – French Alps 2014”

Runner up Don Brooks:

“Ian Bell and Keith S paddling towards the Churchill Islands in Georgian Bay - Canada

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.

26/10/14 Stanley Embankment – a hidden spot for playboaters

7 of us head off to Anglesey to search out some big water – the tides were on Springs with 9.3m at Liverpool.  Chris, Theo and Keith met early (8:00am) at Cheshire Oaks to leave two cars while John, Sam, Graham and Roy met slightly later at the pool.  The first car made great time parking at the ATS garage and with the pile of rocks just exposed to the seaward side of the tunnel under Stanley Embankment we felt happy paddling through.  We had discussed with John where to park and that they should probably walk around over the railway and approach from the inland sea as the levels would be too high to paddle through.

We had been surfing on the wave for about an hour when suddenly a bluish medium burn ploughed through the wave.  It was Roy who had punched through the stopper which had now formed in the middle of the tunnel.  Apparently, he gesticulated to the others to go around and carry over the railway (a trip of about a mile).  Unfortunately he did this with his thumb raised!  The others paddled through one by one thinking it was ok.  First Sam who used his skill to slide down the tongue near the wall, then John who luckily ejected very quickly when caught by the stopper.  I was busy rescuing John and did not see Graham as he fought for ages to stay upright, caught sidewards in the large recirculating stopper in the middle of the Tunnel.  Theo and Chris watch on as they could not do anything as access is impossible inside the 30m long tunnel.  Eventually Graham swam
and was fortunately washed out followed shortly by his kayak.

Please do not paddle through the tunnel much after 3 hours before HW Liverpool (which is the same as 2 hours before HW Holyhead)

After collecting the pieces, the seven of us enjoyed 3 hours of playing in the extremely safe wave between the railway embankment tunnel and the A55 road bridge.  The RNLI even turned up with 3 inflatable’s to undertake some flood safety training. After many flatspins, blunts and rolls we headed for Rhosneigr, apparently to check out the surf; but we were all far too exhausted really so ended up in the beach café to watch the kite boarders and chat about playboating over warm cups of coffee.

More information about Stanley Embankment from our webpages…..


Paddlers: John C, Sam P, Graeme, Roy M, Chris S, Theo G and Keith S         More Photos……..                          YouTube Video……..


26/10/14 3 star WW assessment – River Dee


Congratulations to the 4 club members who passed their Canoe England 3 Star White Water Assessment last Weekend, Joe S, Mike N, Tom N and James H.  Although the River Dee was on medium flow all the candidates performed extremely well and were well above the required standard.


New guidance this September has made the Award more accessible to the average River Paddler. You must now be able to roll up follow a capsize to both sides (eg a full 360 degree roll and a 180 degree roll)


A.5 Rolling

The ability to roll is a key river skill. Paddlers need to be able to roll up following a capsize to both the left and right. A confident, consistent, and repeatable roll is required.

Successful performance at this level indicates that the paddler can consider themselves an intermediate white water kayak paddler, as they can now paddle on moving waters. They can do this in a competent manner as part of a led group and have the knowledge and ability to help the smooth running of a trip while being led down a section of a river with sections up to grade 2.

If you would like to work towards the 3 star Award a good place to start it the improver river trips offered by our White Water Reps Roy and Mark.  If you would like to be assessed please contact website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk


More photos…….


26/10/14 Surfing Crosby Sat 25th October

Fifteen paddlers ventured out into today’s surf with various craft including kayaks, inflatable’s, sit-on-tops, body boards and one other.


Kieran sat in his kayak at the top of the rocky shore and asked whether we think he could make it to the water if he slid down the brickwork or not. "Of course you can" we all replied in anticipation of his daring entrance. With great paddle control he launched himself downwards at warp speed only to stop inches from the shoreline.


Paul brought along his new purchase which 'WAS' an International Class Surf kayak but to our horror he had 'expertly' removed the seat and converted it (stuck a bit of foam in it with duct tape) into a C1 or C none or whatever he likes to call his contraptions. True to his usual form he managed to catch most waves that passed with great technique as we saw him slide down the face of the waves 360-ing, forward looping and turning upon the wave as he tried to regain contact with his boat and paddle. 


Good waves were enjoyed as for over three hours we paddled and surfed with the out tide in the afternoon sun.


Karl.   More Photos……..


23/10/14 Club night at Manchester Canoes Wednesday 22nd October


It was great to see so many club members at the store last night.  Many boats were taken off the racks and tried for fit and size, all the items of kit were scrutinised and many members took advantage of the 15% discount.  Snacks and drinks were provided free of charge and several new members joined on the night.


The club also took delivery of the 3 new Wavehopper White Water Racers.  I wonder who will be the first to book one for the Irwell White Water Race on the 8th November at the Burrs White Water Centre.  Details via our calendar….


Location of Manchester Canoes…………


20/10/14 Surfing Anglesey Thursday 16th Oct.


Brian, Colin, Dave and I met early and by 0930hrs we were sat in the Surf café at Rhosneiger overlooking the bay to the sight of the promised Surf. The morning’s session consisted of clean, green swell driven surf and we all managed to select wave after wave for over two hours before retreating to the back of Dave's van for Coffee just as the rain arrived. After our break the wind had increased giving us a more challenging time getting out to the surf zone but long rides back to shore were waiting ready to be collected.


Unfortunately Dave parted company with his GoPro4 during an upside down 360 turn of which he said he had caught some great footage. At 1630hrs we staggered back to our cars exhausted from the days adventure in the waves. Colin was the only Surfer to remain seated in his boat for the whole day and mentioned it repeatedly for over two hours on the journey home.





20/10/14 Liverpool Canoe Club Night at Manchester Canoes. Wednesday 22nd October.



Just come along and look around, talk to other members or coaches about equipment, the club, future trips or anything to do with paddling.  Try all the different boats for size, discuss all the latest equipment.  This is great place to come and to speak to someone from the club.  Join the club on the night or sort out any membership issues.

15% discount on the night for anyone from the club, free refreshments.
I hope to see many of you there – Keith S


Manchester Canoes

Unit 14-15 Rufford Court

Hardwick Grange

Warrington WA1 4RF

Manchester Canoes Website......


Directions - come off M6 at Junction 21 (Thelwall Viaduct) (Mercedes Showroom on opposite side of Carriageway). If you were heading South go under the M6. If going north on M6 Go across two roundabouts and follow the road parallel with the M6 going North (Woolston Grange Ave). At third roundabout take first left towards Hardwick Grange then the first left and first right into Rufford Court. Manchester Canoes is yellow coloured warehouse on the left (WA1 4RF)


 20/10/14 Surfing Crosby Sunday 19th Oct / C-1 or C-none ?


High winds were predicted for today’s Surf and I did not expect many paddlers to join us.  However, many must have known that the days waves would be just too good to miss and over fifteen paddlers ventured down to the shoreline for the mornings workout.


Kayaks, Body Boards, sit-on tops, Inflatable’s and a canoe thing enjoyed the first hours warm up paddling out to the sand bank and its dumping wave and a surf return back to shore with paddlers surfing sideways, backwards and some even upside down. Without mentioning any names, only one paddler managed to break beyond the dumping waves - although he was sitting in the water along side his C1 proclaiming that this was real Surfing. With this new technique, Paul has created a whole new discipline called 'C-none-ing'.


After a quick coffee break as we waited for the tide to recede we managed to paddle out to the surf zone where the greatest waves of the day were found and luckily enough we even found Pauls paddle floating in the water but he didn't need it as he had chosen to try a little swimming.


Becca, Julian, John and Tom were voted paddlers of the day as for over two hours they fought against the waves, tide and strong winds upon their Sit-on tops as they enjoyed the mornings surf.





18/10/14 Decathlon Loyalty Cards – Please link yours to the Canoe Club

Decathlon Store Loyalty Card scheme for Reading RFC MembersDecathlon have a Loyalty Card Scheme with 1 point for every pound that you spend with them in their stores.  If you link your card to Liverpool Canoe Club we also get your points duplicated to spend on club kit at Decathlon. Eg both you and the club get £5 vouchers to spend in store for every £250 you spend.


If you do not yet have a loyalty card you can get one in store or apply online……  Its free!


To link your card to Liverpool Canoe Club so that the club benefits either:

·         Ask to link it in store at the customer service desk

·         Send your card number to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk




17/10/14 Ten top sea kayaking destinations
by Jim Krawiecki guides you round the best sea kayaking coastlines in Europe from theguardian.com,

Sea Kayaking

Paddling at dusk ... watching the sunset at the northern entrance to Santorini, Greece. Photograph: Jim Krawiecki

Europe has a terrific variety of coastlines that offer differing sea kayaking experiences, both on our own shores and further afield. The UK arguably has the lion's share of coastal drama, so you don't have to travel overseas to reach a world-class sea kayaking destination. But there are also many unique coastal characteristics on the coasts of mainland Europe, which can be reached almost as easily as remote corners of the British Isles.

1. Shetland

These are the islands with raw northern exposure. They share the same degree of latitude as southern Greenland but have a surprisingly mild climate. Ocean swell features heavily here and has shaped the rugged coast with sea cliffs interspersed with small beaches and coves. The main distinguishing feature of the Shetland coastline is the number of sea caves which are huge and often complex structures hundreds of metres long with side passages and collapsed roofs where shafts of sunlight shine into the crystal blue waters from above.

· Half-day guided trips from £35 and local information from seakayakshetland.co.uk. Flights from £89 from many regional UK airports. Ferries from Aberdeen – foot passenger & kayak £55. It is possible to paddle from the ferry terminal on Shetland. Guidebook: The Northern Isles £19.99, pesdapress.com

2. West coast of Scotland

With its islands and sea lochs this is the honey pot of European sea kayaking destinations. The western isles of Jura and Islay, with distilleries at Craighouse Caol Ila and Bunnahabhain, form part of a kayaker's whisky trail. Deep sheltered sea lochs provide endless days of adventure when inclement weather makes paddling on the open sea too difficult. Remote deserted beaches with white sands make for perfect lunch stops. The perfect getaway for sea kayaking enthusiasts from the world over.

Sea Kayaking· Courses and guided trips based on the Isle of Skye, skyakadventures.com. Four hours' drive from Glasgow. Guidebook: Scottish Sea Kayaking £19.99, pesdapress.com

3. Isle of Man

Peel Beach, Isle of Man. Photograph: Jim Krawiecki A hidden gem at the geographical heart of the British Isles and a relative newcomer to the tick lists. The coastline is as varied and beautiful as any in the UK, all packed into one island. Manx waters attract large numbers of basking sharks during the summer months.

· Guided trips and courses, adventurousexperiences.com and Adventure Week and Sea Kayaking Symposium August 15-17. Basic accommodation and guided trips at The Venture Centre, adventure-centre.co.uk. Flights from most regional airports, from around £89 return. Ferries from Heysham & Liverpool from £74 return, steam-packet.com

4. Anglesey

Sea KayakingClear waters near Parliament House Cave, Anglesey The turbulent waters and tidal races in the Menai Straits, at North Stack and Penrhyn Mawr, test the skilled and experienced. But Anglesey's sheltered east coast with near shore islets of Ynys Dulas and Puffin Island can provide trips of a gentler nature and are perfect for the wildlife enthusiast in search of porpoises, seals and birdlife. The rocky shores of Rhoscolyn are the perfect playground for the pursuit of "rock-hopping" where kayakers weave their craft through small gullies and inlets.

· Guided trips and courses from seakayakinguk.com based at Holyhead 2.5 hours' drive from Manchester. Guidebook: Welsh Sea Kayaking £19.99, pesdapress.com

5. Isles of Scilly

This archipelago has a warm and sunny microclimate far removed from the rest of the UK. The inner parts of the Scillies lie within a sheltered, shallow lagoon in which it is possible to paddle in most weather conditions. In favourable weather, thrill seekers will be tempted to engage the Atlantic swell and the dramatic reefs that adorn the outer ramparts. A visit to St Martins will be rewarded with the chance to devour an enormous and wholesome Cornish pasty from the celebrated St Martins bakery.

· Ferry from Penzance £76 return plus £45 for your kayak, islesofscilly-travel.co.uk. Guidebook: South West Sea Kayaking £19.99, pesdapress.com

6. Brittany

All of the drama of the UK coastlines but warmer, with fine wines and sumptuous seafood. What could be more satisfying than picking a bag full of mussels from a rocky shore and taking them to a nearby sheltered sandy beach to seer them in butter and garlic over a portable stove? Be sure to wash this delicacy down with a glug of white wine kept cool in the bottom of your kayak. Brittany is most suited to taking your car. If the weather is bad in the north along the Cote de la Granit Rose, head south for the sheltered waters of Le Golfe du Morbihan.

· There are a number of sea kayaking centres linked through kayakmer.com. Ferries from Plymouth to Roscoff including your car from £255, www.brittany-ferries.com

7. Norway

No collection of sea kayak venues would be complete without including the Norwegian fjords and islands. The ultimate experience is the Lofoten Islands. This is a mountainous archipelago with deep blue shimmering seas where kayaking trips can be combined with climbing and mountaineering. Wilderness is just around the corner yet civilisation is reassuringly close at hand. The fjords and island groups close to Bergen are more accessible for the first timer.

· Kayak hire and guided tours, from two hours for £35 – Njord, Kayak & Wilderness Adventures. Ferries from Newcastle dfdsseaways.co.uk including your car from £600 (services running only until September).

8. Sardinia

A Fantastic archipelago of sea-weathered granite sculptures and islands dominate the northeast corner close to Palau and La Maddalena. Here you can pick and choose your adventures. Short, laid-back day trips to longer expeditions – you could even make the crossing of the Bonifaccio Straits to Corsica! It is best to go either before the main holiday season begins (April/May) or after it finishes (September/October).

· Sea kayak hire, accommodation and airport pickups etc. locationsardinia.com. Flights to Olbia easyjet.com

9. Croatia

Island hopping along endless chains of sparsely populated island coasts. The shores of Croatia are largely steep and rugged with pine forests. But it is the chains of offshore islands with limestone cliffs, Sea Kayakingdeserted beaches and iridescent waters that have distinctive appeal. Sea kayaking adventures can begin conveniently close to, and include unique views of, the historic the city of Dubrovnik.

· Day trips from £30, eight-day expeditions from £575 adriatickayaktours.com. Flights London to Dubrovnik from £195 croatiaairlines.com

10. Greece

Paddling in to land at a beach taverna on the island of Ios, Greece. Photograph: Jim Krawiecki The Greek islands with their taverna culture are where sea kayaking becomes especially civilised. It is possible to paddle from one island to another, day after day and never have to "rough it". Just make sure that you land on that idyllic sunset beach overlooked by a welcoming taverna with rooms for rent.

· Kayak Milos seakayakgreece.com offers easy day trips from £50 to adventurous multi-day island-hopping expeditions to the famous collapsed volcanic caldera of Santorini from £540. Return flights to Athens from £240 olympicairlines.com. Return ferries to Milos £80 hellenicseaways.gr

Jim Krawiecki is the co-author of Welsh Sea Kayaking

16/10/14– AGM and Club Awards Evening


A fantastic turn out with over 60 people present at the Awards evening.  Reports were presented from all of the Clubs` sections representatives, motions and elections were dealt with in very short time the Alps Movie “Big and Bouncy” was premiered.  Congratulations to all the Award nominees for all their dedication and hard work.  For more information and how to nominate for next year go to……



Paddler of the Year

Junior of the Year

Volunteer of the Year

Swimmer of the Year



Julie Brookes
Since starting out paddling cautiously with no spray deck a few years back, Julie has blossomed this year and can be seen mixing it in overfalls, taking on The Swellies, playing in waves, competing in the Hilbre race, showing up at every club talk and most other events.  Heck, we’re almost fed up of seeing her smiling face on every other photo on the website!!  We’re nominating her because she’s really improved her paddling and has obviously won many friends in Liverpool Canoe Club.



Rhys Legge

Rhys has been a regular attendee at junior club on a Tuesday evening at both the docks and Broadgreen pool.  As a junior he is now a very competent paddler and was the first to learn to roll at Broadgreen pool.  This spurred many other younger paddlers to follow suit.  Rhys is keen to paddle any type of boat and volunteered to paddle in the clubs West Kirby Sea Kayak Race this year.



Pete Thomas
Pete has developed rapidly over the years and this experience is now being used to good effect when he organises many sea kayaking trips and events for the club. Not only has he run "Club Expeditions" to Majorca, Scotland and Anglesey but he initiated the "introduction to sea kayaking" sessions at the docks which culminated in a day trip on the Menai Straits for many newcomers.



Peter McComasky
During the Liverpool Triathlon swim safety cover(exit ramp in front of all the spectators).  Peter McComasky (of Commonwealth Games safety cover fame) shouted out “put some effort into it, I’ll show you how it’s done” whereupon he paddled at the ramp full tilt. This resulted in him sliding backwards this time into the water, he was flicked upside down and had to wet exit right in front of the gathered thousand or so spectators, TV cameras, Ambulance Crew etc. and, worst of all, his LCC friends. All applauded loudly but were too busy laughing to go to his aid as he emerged onto the ramp soaking wet with a big grin on his face.


Ben Henshall, Sophie Steventon

 & John Fay

Kieran Sinnott, Charlie Murphy & Harvey Harwood

Rosie Diver, Adrian Mould, Richie Burgess               & Julie Brookes

Roy McHale and Joe Sheppard & Sam Preston



Swimmer of the Year Award 2014


I’ve just found out that I have been awarded the prestige swimmer of the year award.  Unfortunately, due to work commitments, I wasn’t able to attend and the Award was accepted on my behalf by my embarrassed father.


I’m absolutely gutted that I was unable to attend and have the opportunity to put across the truth about the incident as it really happened and I don’t want to accept the award under false pretences.  So here is a brief description as It actually happened.


Our break was just about due and it was evident the weather was taking a turn for the worse and lightening was seen over the Wirral, strong winds were also starting to build up.  Earlier in the day most of the team members had been released and team leaders and assistant team leaders were sufficient in numbers to look after the remainder of the swimmers.  As I said our break was due and off we paddled as a group to the swimmers finish pontoon, I stayed at the back to ensure everyone got there safely.  When I got in view of the pontoon I happened to see Pete Thomas quickly paddle up the pontoon and then he just slid back down and everyone just held back wondering how they would be able get out of the dock safely.  I quickly assessed the situation and decided to take charge and show everyone how to safely get out and how to self-rescue if everything goes wrong.


Being at the back I shouted at everyone to move out the way as I needed to attack the pontoon at speed so I could get to the top safely, everyone moved out the way and I successfully got to the top safely as planned, phase one was a success.  The next part was to allow myself to slide backwards without anyone realising it was done on purpose.  My crafty plan was working well, when I slid to the bottom the front of my boat stayed on the pontoon and the rear end was in the water which made my kayak very unstable and it started to go over, I decided not to use a support stroke as I wanted everyone to see an advanced self-rescue during severe weather conditions (don’t forget about the thunder rain and wind).  I managed to capsize superbly and was just about to use my paddle to right myself when I realised that not everyone would be able to use that advanced technique so I decided to bail out and complete the full self-rescue.  I quickly got myself out and managed to pull my kayak up the pontoon and emptied the water out (yes all by myself without any help from anyone else).  I looked around at everyone and knew by the look on their faces that they realised that an advanced technique as I had just performed was within all of their capabilities and relief turned into laughter, in fact some had doubled over and I’m sure there were some tears of joy in their eyes.  Job done I thought.  Unfortunately Pete Diamond had other ideas.


Everyone got out the water safely and we walked to the Echo Arena for our break, well some of us squelched.  When in there Pete told me of his crafty plan, “I’m going to nominate you for the swimmer of the year award” he said, but that’s not what happened I said, and it was then that Pete said “never let the truth get in the way of a good story” and that’s when his crafty plan was engineered.

Now one thing Pete Diamond didn’t mention was that earlier in the day he slipped off the water sports centre pier and into the water, which was witnessed by Dave Reynolds who he was talking to at the time.  When we got back into the docks to look after the remainder of the swimmers Pete changed our call signs, I was ‘Wet Pete’ he was ‘Slightly Damp Pete’ and Pete Thomas was ‘Dry Pete’ You can’t imagine how many times I was called on the VHF.


As I mentioned earlier this was a demonstration on how to self-rescue in extreme conditions and in my opinion I think I pulled it off pretty well.  I would now like to change the name of the award to a more suitable one that better describes the efforts needed to be nominated for this category.


I’m very proud to be the first recipient of the ‘Advanced Self-Rescue in Adverse Weather Conditions Award’ I know it’s a bit long winded but a lot of effort has gone into this.


Special thanks goes to Dad for being suitably embarrassed by having to pick the award up on my behalf, ‘Slightly Damp Pete’ (Pete Diamond) for the nomination, ‘Dry Pete’ (Pete Thomas) for the inspiration, John Worswick and everyone else who voted for me numerous of times.


If anyone is interested I can teach this technique at the docks on a Sunday morning.


Thanks for taking the time to read this and also for this special award.   Peter McComasky (Swimmer of the Year)


16/10/14 River Ribble – open boat trip 12th October 2014


Fog lights on, bit chillly - yep its Ribble weather!


 Open loaded I set off to the get in at Clitheroe for my first trip down the Ribble in years. I think last time there one of the scouts managed to wrap an open around a mid river obstacle, the only time I have ever had to leave a boat on a river.

Anyway, got to the put in to find that you can no longer unload beside the river. Note to self, take trolley next time. So, nicely warmed up after the carry it was time to drive to the get out, which has moved since last time i did the Ribble due to the pub closing. Anyway, Rosie new just the place; beside a Church in Ribchester. Unfortunately we got there just before mass started and all parking was taken. Luckily Rosie knew a cheap car park a few hundred metres away. Perfect.


On the river, after tea and cake, and the weather brightened up. Time to take off some layers it was so hot.


The river was a bit low but generally ok as we winded our way through the beautiful countryside, playing in the riffles as we went and commenting how few fishermen we met.


Alas we spoke too soon and we had to play fisher folk slalom, but they were all ok with us, even laughing when it was suggested they weren’t catching anything because we had caught them on the lines we were trailing!


Got to the end with no swimmers and all agreed it was a great day in great company that was finished off with more cake. Must go back.


Mike, Ray, Rosie, Francis & "the mini owners club"


14/10/14 Big and Bouncy – The club trip to the French Alps 2014 on DVD shown at the AGM last night is now online

This is now available to view and download. Please fell free to check out my other films and comment, follow me etc.  Chris Murphy https://vimeo.com/108844907




13/10/14 Swallows and Amazons forever!


These one night wild camps have traditionally entice about 20 or so paddlers each year however this year there was just 6 of us and Jake being the only child. That said, what fantastic paddling we had. After waiting for Caroline to join us we had a leisurely paddle up the east side of Coniston and landed on Peel Island (no problem with space to camp).


We lit the BBQ and, due to impatience and starvation, we ate burnt food from the too-hot coals. Keith came up with a great idea of a moonlight paddle. There wasn't a breath of wind and the lake was mirror flat so 4 of us headed down the lake in the moonlight after being reassured by Keith that it was not going to fog over. 20 minutes later the fog had hidden the moon and every other feature of the lake. However you can't really lose an island on Coniston and the mist only added to a stunning paddle and experience.


Next day we were up and out early to find a calm and empty lake. Back up the west side to the bluebird cafe for coffee and cake and the short hop across the lake back to the cars, finished a great paddle. Perfect conditions and great company as usual.


Peter and Jake Massey with Pete and Caz Thomas, Keith S and Caroline James.  More Photos…..


13/10/14 Tees Barrage and White Water course


Seven of us met at Widnes pool for the trip up to the barrage, John and Nick went in the van with all the boats/gear and five of us went in my car. 


Talk of McNasty`s  and other tricks just confused me a bit as the only thing I know with Mc at the front is a burger.


On arrival at the centre we were soon on the water and myself and Leanne let the others go as we were going to practice eddy hopping for the first couple of laps to break in easy.


The course seemed to be different from previous visits, more gnarly in the middle but flatter in parts.

with the main play wave being really steep with a good tow back.


Anyway with a few laps under our belt we went for some lunch and a coffee. After lunch it was more of the same with laps of the course and playing the features on the way down.


At one point myself and Leanne were on a full lap until 50 metres from the end, Leanne ended up swimming, as she came over the last drop I told her to get hold of my kayak only to watch her get pulled down by a boil, looking round frantically for where she had gone was a scary moment for me let alone what it felt like for her. It was quite a scary thing to witness as even though I knew what was happening it was totally out of my control.


Any way time was ticking on and it was soon time to leave, although we had three play boating experts ( Sam the loop Preston, Kieron and John A) with us I am still waiting to witness the elusive loop. 


Looking forward to the next trip to a water park which will be either Cardiff or Nottingham.

Watch this space!


Paddlers: John A, Kieron, Leanne, Gary, Nick, Sam the loop and myself.


Swimmers: Leanne, Gary, Kieron , John Allerton (Haha) and myself. 



11/10/14 Roy McHale, Joe Sheppard and Jonathan Leadley on the Upper Gamlan


A video from our trip to the Gamlan, this was my first trip down this river. It was a good level and a top river. http://youtu.be/2LthJexZrok


























11/10/14 Improvers River Trip on the River Dee – 5 October 2014

The river passes out of Llangollen as fast flowing grade I and continues in this fashion with occasional grade II drops. You pass a sturdy looking wall on the right hand side after about 3 miles and a little further on houses on the left bank of a right hand bend heralds Trevor Rocks. Thanks to published guidebooks this is well known as the site of the first UK canoe slalom competition in 1939. Let's hope it can provide good paddle sport for present and future generations too. A relatively easy grade III, I guess many would say grade II at lower water levels. A line from the centre down the right goes well in normal conditions.

Just below at the tail end of the rapids is Trevor Bridge. Downstream of the bridge, you can egress to the footpath on river left for a 4 mile trip. Continue on for some more rapids as you pass under the impressive Pontcysyllte Aqueduct…., completed in 1805, it is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain, You pass an intake station on river right and then the river takes a right into a short S bend.  This was the site of the fallen tree which had all the water of the river running through its branches.  Roy`s group found a couple of open paddlers undertaking a charity paddle on the river.  Unfortunately their canoe was broached across this strainer and apparently in a quiet a precarious position.  Anyway “rescue Roy” launched into action and our group soon had their boat freed and helped the pair paddle on down the river (apparently all the way to Chester!)

 The next flat section seems longer than the ones higher upstream but then the rapids pick up again as the railway viaduct comes into view and you enter a pool with a picnic area on river left. This is Ty Mawr Country Park and a good place to haul out for a break if you intend doing the next stretch.

As we were stopping at the country park we carried on down the next set of rapids to the red life-saving buoy and carried our boats up the steps and up the hill to the car park.

We have two more improvers trips on grade 2-3 rivers this Autumn.  Groups of 4 with a river leader and an assistant so if you are interested in developing your white water skills check the booking pages…. to see if there are any places left.  We are also starting the same with improvers Sea Kayak trips following the same format, the first is Puffin Island on 23rd November.

More photos………

07/10/14 How many ways can you open in one day on Llyn Tegid (AKA Bala Lake) – 5 October 2014

The plan was to take some of the attendees of the intro to open boats course for a nice day out on Llyn Tegid. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be, so Ruth, Rosie, Francis and myself decided to have a fun day on Llyn Tegid moving open boats in as many ways as possible.


The day started with a portage (1) of the boats from the car park to the beach, all of about 20m. This was quickly followed by a brew stop. Nice!

We launched and headed off as two solo paddlers (2) and one tandem (3) crew across the lake and up the river where we began to pole (4) the boats. This was followed by a brew stop. A bit more poling and some tracking (5)and then it was time for another brew and lunch.


Back down the river with a bit of snubbing (6) for good measure, we beached and made a raft (7) of the three opens. A little bit of rafted paddling before it was up with the massive sail (8) and we raced down the lake, even surfing (9) some waves on the way. When we finally ran out of lake it was time for a brew stop.


Unfortunately, all the fun fast sailing meant a slog back. So Ruth and I decided to go tandem and tow (10) the spare boat. Despite the wind we made good time as we headed back up the lake. The final technique was a little bit of lining (11) before a final brew stop back at the launch site.


A superb LCC open boat day with 11 different ways of moving opens! Many open boat plans were also discussed for future expeditions and overnight trips where DISCREET wild camping will have to be the norm.


Mike, Ruth, Rosie & Francis.          More Photos…..



07/10/14 Saturday 4th October Surfing at Crosby

With high winds forecast, excitement was brewing all week for a morning of mad surfing.  8am and just Karl and I are at the car park waiting in the gloom of the morning.  The wind was calm but the waves were looking large and inviting. We quickly changed to be joined by Peter in his new Sea kayak. Then we were on the water and we were three. The waves were quite steep and foamy, but the lack of wind made paddling out a doddle. Thirty minutes later, the wind picked up to its predicted 25 to 34mph madness and paddling through the white water waves was getting more difficult. We were joined by Sam, Dom and Colin who didn't get the benefit of low wind speed. Sam showed us his new play boating moves. Karl showed us how good his Pawlata roll is.
After an hour and a half, we were all knackered and decided enough was enough. Who would be back for round 2 tomorrow?
Sunday 5th October Surfing at Crosby
 Karl, John and I arrived at 9am to surf the outgoing tide. With a 10 mph SE wind I wasn't expecting much. But as it had been blowing Westerly all night I thought there may be a chance of some fine surf.
I was not wrong. The wind was almost non existent and the waves came in sets of four and did not break until close to shore. You could paddle through them and wait and pick from the best ones. This is how it should be. The waves weren't massive, but at head height, they are still three feet tall. It was more about messing about today as it was so much more relaxed. I experimented with cart-wheeling whilst falling down the wave. Trying Pop outs and surfing backwards with a competition as to who could do the best WIPEOUT.  John was the winner with his Sit on Top, but Karl demonstrated the wipe out  perfectly with a rolling incident . See the pictures……   This would have been a contender for swimmer of the year as he was actually in flat water. See him trying to hide his head in shame behind his boat!


Paul Harwood                                    More photos………


04/10/14  Sea Kayaking on the Great Lakes

“The lighthouse trip”  Part One


After a very successful trip to the West Coast of Sweden last October it seemed only sensible to plan to the same thing in 2014 (I was attending an international conference about children's diabetes). This year the Conference venue Toronto - so where to go paddling?


After using my usual system of getting advice (ask Nick Cunliffe!) we got some great advice from David Johnstone and contacted the guys at White Squall to arrange boat hire for a trip on Georgian Bay. White Squall are based about 2.5hours North of Toronto. Trip planned, flights booked off to Toronto..........


Sunday Liverpool to Toronto

The day started early for all of us, 4.30am for 3 of the group, even earlier for Don. After checking in at Manchester Airport and dropping the bags off and reassuring Keith that the bags were definitely checked through to Toronto we settled down to the business of international travel.


The flight was un-eventful and arrived on time after a delayed departure. Some trip planning courtesy of Paddling and Hiking the Georgian Bay Coast by Kas Stone took place at Dublin airport. Otherwise it was an uneventful journey. In the arrivals baggage hall things started to go wrong. Only Ian's bag appeared. Seems like I had been wrong with my earlier reassurance at Manchester Airport. After a frustrating experience reporting the missing bags, we collected the hire car and found a hotel for the night, wondering if tomorrow would bring good news and the arrival of our luggage.....



They say no news is good news.  We enjoyed a free breakfast.  Keith managed to convince the hotel we didn't need to pay for it as we had booked via a well known website and it indicated that breakfast was included. So we set off towards downtown Toronto to explore for a couple of hours before going back to the airport to hunt bags.  It turns out they never got on the plane in Manchester.  Despite not being tracked, they were going round a lonely carousel when I got into the arrivals baggage hall.  Phew! 24 hours later trip is back on track. A supermarket sweep followed in Wallmart (Asda) and the cheapest shopping cart belonged to guess who? Yes Keith & Ian.


A 3 hour drive north saw us arrive in Parry sound, sometime after 10pm.  It felt much later due to 5 hour time difference we had yet to adapt to.  After checking the directions we headed to the White Squall store and stuck our tents up by their lake and grabbed a few hours sleep.


More photos…..


Day 1 Tuesday – Dillon Harbour to Lookout Island


Waking up knowing that today we would be getting kitted out and on the water was a great feeling. Creeping quietly out of my tent the view was stunning. The lake shrouded in mist. Once up I realised that Keith had already stealthily slipped out of his bivvi bag to start the day and get the stove on for a brew. 


Shockingly, Ian not only won the award for the heaviest bag (24kg) but was the last up and last to take his tent down. Not what we expect of the one we christened 'Bear' in Sweden. 


After meeting Tim and Kathleen from White Squall we checked out the shop for maps and looked over all our gear. After some swapping and changing the boats Keith ended up with the only Canadian boat.  This had solid glass hatch covers so was the only raccoon proof boat.  This would be the food cache this year but risk damage should a bear happen across the camp.  We sorted out a shuttle to Dillon harbour where we were to begin our exploration of Georgian Bay.


Another group were loading boats and leaving from Dillon as we arrived. In typical LCC fashion Keith said let's see if we can beat them onto the water. So we packed (quickly) and I half listened to the safety briefing going on at the side of me. I paid attention when they got to the bit about rattle snakes - ugh!  Yes we got on the water first, they looked a little miffed as we carried our boats over theirs to get on the water. 


Onto the water, in murky sunshine with not very much wind we headed out into the bay, and spent a little while wondering just where we were on the chart. We decided to head towards the McCoy Islands.   A late lunch on one of the McCoy's was enjoyed after only 2 hours paddling.  This was our first chance to try out the apparently famous “squaller hauler”. A block of wood used to protect the boats from the rock. With at least 3 more hours of daylight we decided to explore further north and ended up at a fabulous campsite.


The tarp went up just in time before a heavy shower (one of very few in the whole trip) disrupted cooking plans. The camp site was a hive of insect activity and the smallest frogs I have ever seen.  Fortunately there were no sightings of rattle snakes or raccoons.  It was a great first day on the water.                                               

More photos…..


Day 2 Wednesday - Lookout Island to Bouchier Island




The day started a little misty and damp.  We rounded the point and realised where we were when we saw the Pointe au Baril lighthouse. It was so named because some voyageurs travelling by canoe discovered a barrel of whiskey in the channel mouth.  After drinking the whiskey they stuck the barrel on top of a pole to mark the entrance to the treacherous channel.


This improvised beacon was modernised by local fisherman who cut a hole in the barrel and placed a lantern inside, in the late 1800s the barrel was replaced with a lighthouse. Point au Baril, once a thriving fishing community, is now a haven for the rich with multi million dollar holiday cottages, some complete with float planes.


We had the obligatory photograph in front of the lighthouse and a good look around the inlet.





 Point au Baril


Leaving Pointe au Baril behind we paddled northwards and as we were passing the least scenic area of the whole trip left me wondering if I'd made the right decision about our paddling venue. We saw a single loan kayaker whilst stopping for elevenses and a lot the so called cottages (shacks and summer lodges). We were passing one of the most populated and built up areas of the sound. It rained on and off most of the day but despite this it was warm, short sleeve cagoule weather.

The terrain of Georgian Bay is predominantly rock and this made spotting camping areas interesting. Often a pile of rocks would indicate a good camping area as they would have been used to anchor down the tent.  Tent pegs were totally superfluous.


As we hunted for a campsite towards the end of the second day we came across an old and very rusty 1950s American automobile.  We had to drag Ian and Don away from this as they speculated how it may have been left there.


With the possibility of a thunder storm that night and the probability of little wind and lots of midges we identified a suitable camp site.  This was only 3* compared to the previous night but it had enough space for the 4 tents. It was definitely midges 1 LCC 0 as the sun dipped and we all had a reasonably early night after a brief exploration of our little island.


More photos……………


 Day 3 Thursday - Bouchier Island to One Tree Island


 After spending the night on Bouchier Island we set off towards Byng inlet.  We could see the lighthouse though the trees of the island that it was on.  We just had to paddle round in front of Gereaux lighthouse again stopping for some photographs.


Soon after we had Elevenses on McNab rocks, group of low lying rocks in front of Byng inlet.


At lunch we were visited by a heron and more sunshine.  There were some very large cottages on the first of the Champlain Islands. Unfortunately the camp spot here was overlooked and we decided to press on past a group of islands called the Churchill’s.  We were now pretty tired and were looking for a campsite as the wind started to fill in. 


We decided to camp on “One Tree Island” rather than cross to the Bustard Islands. Don elected to pitch his tent on the highest point of the campsite which was definitely the best yet. Evening meals were prepared in a leisurely fashion, Keith and Ian had a very hot curry, far hotter than they planned and their facial expression along with the banter about the curry paste provided much entertainment for Don and I.


We ended the day watching the sun set looking out to Bustard Islands. Definitely a 5 star campsite, till the midges came out then Keith went to 'bed'.  We stayed up for a sunset photo and put up with the midges for a bit longer.   More photos……




Day 4 Friday - One Tree Island to the Bustard Islands


After a slightly later than planned start to the day, we got on the water as the fog rolled in. Forewarned is forearmed and the bearing taken the night before was used to set the course across to the Bustard Islands. Sticking close together we paddled in the foggy atmospheric morning, hoping we hit the right bit of land.


After about an hour and 15 minutes paddling, the increasing numbers of dead insects floating in the water indicated land.  Hitting land we stopped for elevenses and as we did the fog cleared and the sun came out. Phew, we were in the right place. 

We head off to try to count the 559 islands in the Bustard Island chain and see the Bustard Islands lighthouse, erected in 1875 to guide the Great Lakes steam ships into French River Village. We headed from South Point out to Bustard Rocks and stopped to take a good look at a snake swimming to land.   Ian had claimed to have seen 2 snakes in the water previously, now we believed him.


Rounding the rocks we paddled to Ridout Island and had a mini lunch stop before going to hunt for the wreck of the Coral in what is now known as Coral channel. On the way to the wreck we passed the harbour where the fishing industry once thrived through to the 1950s. After lots of attempts at underwater photography of the wreck which sank on the early 1900s we continued in a leisurely fashion round onto Tanvat Island and another great camping spot. As we were deciding on the flattest bits of rocks to put our tents on, a couple of Canadians paddled over to let us know they had seen a bear swimming across the channel onto the island just a little way from where we were camping earlier in the day. Great to know and bear precautions were added to the raccoon measures that night. I suspect we were all a little gutted to have missed sighting the bear though.



 The glorious sunshine saw all of us brave the cold water of the bay to freshen up, Keith actually went for a swim, Ian amazed us all by putting shorts on and jumping in. Then he realised how cold the water actually was! Refreshed, we had a bear safe evening meal, a rubbish fire - no trip is complete without “one match Bell” setting several fires to burn anything that can be burnt. Then we just sat, chilled and enjoyed the views across to French River until sundown.   More Photos….

Day 5 Saturday – “turn around day”, Bustard Islands to Henvey Island


Having decided that we should allow 6 days to return to Parry Sound, Saturdays plan was to begin to head back and take in parts of the bay we had whizzed past in our journey to the Bustard Islands. First stop, Dead Island. The local Ojibwe buried their deceased on the island. The 'burials'  involved cloaking the body in fur or birch bark with a few possessions and placing them under trees or rocks.


After enjoying elevenses on the island and checking the Eastern shore for the burial site we headed due East towards Key Harbour. Over 50years ago Key Harbour was a busy port; today it is a summer cottage community with hundreds of fishing lodges. The harbour used to serve the coal and iron ore industry with 3 train tracks running off the main spur down to the docks by the river mouth. The remains of the port are still visible between the cottages.


By now it was scorching and we meandered to a sunny rock to stop for lunch and a spot of sun bathing (standard expedition activity obviously). Setting off again we had a difficult decision to make, stop at the first good looking camp site or paddle down the Churchill Islands towards Byng Inlet, which we knew had fewer favourable options. So we stopped at an (I think) unnamed spot looking towards the Henvey Inlet Indian reserve and enjoyed the sunshine.



 In fact complaints that it was too hot were heard to be uttered by at least one member of the group. The answer to glorious sunshine is a swim in a cold lake, followed by more sun bathing. Sometime after eating our evening meal Keith returned from a walk looking slightly pale and reporting that he had almost stepped on a snake, after that several more snakes were spotted but none of us had quite such a close encounter.   More Photos…..



Thanks to Don Brooks, Ian Bell and Keith S for an AWESOME!!!! exploration of Georgian Bay......

And in 2015 - well the conference will be in Brisbane! Apparently Lucinda to Mission Beach is a great sea trip...........


Frankie A      Part two in next months newsletter


04/10/14 Guidelines on coordinating or running a club trip

All trips and weekends run by the club should have a named coordinator. If you have an idea for a paddle, please volunteer to coordinate it. (send an email to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk) An approved "Club Paddle" will always appear on the club calendar and will therefore be covered by the clubs third party liability insurance.

An organiser or coordinators role is:

  • to provide a contact point for any enquiries.
  • to disseminate information about the trip.
  • collate a list of those wanting to paddle or attend.
  • coordinate any report or write-up for the newsletter.
  • to delegate the trip leadership to a suitable person(s). Ideally this should be considered during the planning stages. For club weekends this may just mean pointing people towards more experienced members.

Club Trips

  • Coach led – These trips will be operating within the remit of the lead coach for both river or sea grade and numbers. There will quite often be a lot of coaching provided or a distinct purpose that will be made clear in the advert.
  • River / Sea leader led – These trips will be operating within remit of the qualified leader with regards to the grade, numbers and competency of paddlers. On this trip, no paddler should require coaching to be there, but paddlers can be given tips and suggestions – superb trips for practicing skills on.
  • Non-coach led / Peer Trip – These trips are organised as peer trips at varying grades of difficulty, and make up the majority of trips. Normally many experienced paddlers, possibly including coaches or leaders, on the trip. Speak to the organiser, these can provide great opportunity to get miles under your belt.

Summer moving water club sessions – In the summer, the club regularly has an evening session (Wednesdays) at a moving water venue. There will normally be a coach in attendance, or at least a very experienced paddler. You will be operating under their (or a delegated leaders) direct supervision the whole time. These sessions provide a fantastic opportunity to learn and practice moving water skills.

Flat water trips – Time in a boat is always time well spent and these are a great way to build experience and confidence. If you don’t see what you want / need, speak to other club members face to face or put out an e-mail, and you will normally find someone who is up for a paddle.

When describing trips we use the international river grading system or Sea grading system used in many guidebooks. However, these grades can change greatly with weather conditions. Please take account of high water levels or gusty or changing weather systems.

River Grading System used to describe LCC trips

Sea and Open Water Grading System used to describe LCC trips

Grade I:

Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.
Eg  lower River Nevis


Grade 1

Open to all members. No previous skills or experience required. Closed or protected water. Usually a basic skills instruction session or social gathering.
Maximum Force 2, 5 knots wind or 0 m sea


Grade II: Improvers

Waves, small stoppers and other minor obstructions to avoid. Eddies and cushion waves may be strong.
Eg The River Washburn,


Grade 2
Grade A

For beginners with some paddling experience. Up to 15 km per day on estuaries and lakes or other protected waters.
Maximum Force 3 10 knots wind or 0.5 m sea
Eg Hilbre Island or Conway Estuary in good conditions.


Grade III: Intermediate

Waves, stoppers and technical difficulties are more severe. There may be drops and powerful constrictions. The main distinguishing factor of Grade 3 water is that the paddler will have to follow a recognisable route to avoid obstacles and hazards.
Eg The River Tryweryn


Grade 3 Intermediate
Grade B

For improvers with some skills including assisted rescue, bracing, towing, and entry & exit through small surf. Up to 20 km per day, primarily on estuaries or sheltered coastlines, occasionally along less accessible coastlines for training purposes.
Maximum Force 4, 15 knot winds or 1 metre seas
Eg Rhoscolyn to Porth Dafarch, Sheltered North Coast of Anglesey in good conditions.

Grade IV: Advanced

Severe waves, drops, stoppers and other obstructions. The route is not easily recognisable and will usually require careful inspection from the boat or bank. Grade 4 encompasses a wide range of rivers, from those with pool-drop rapids to those with extended continuous rapids; so there is a huge variation in difficulty. It is common to distinguish easier grade 4 rapids by grading them as 4- and harder rapids as 4+ (or in some cases, 3/4 or 4/5).
Eg The River Erme in Devon


Grade 4
Grade C

For proficient paddlers, 3 or 4 Star Standard. Capable of sustained speeds of 4-6 km/h. 25 -30 km per day - Landings may be impossible. A good roll should be in evidence.
Maximum Force 5 20 knots wind or 2 metre sea

Eg Carmel Head, The Orms in good conditions.

Sea 4

Grade V: Expert

Extremely difficult rapids with precise and technically demanding routes to be followed. Stoppers, currents and waves will be powerful and inspection is essential.

Eg: The River Moriston in Scotland on a high release


Grade 5
Grade C+

For advanced paddlers. 5 Star standard. Ability to self rescue in all situations. Very reliable rolling, surfing and rescue skills in severe conditions. Up to 40 km per day at speeds above 6 km/h with long open crossing or unlandable stretches. Paddlers know their limits
Eg The Stacks on springs or Bull Bay, Anglesey to Isle of Man


Grade VI Extreme and Exploratory Rapids

All of the above carried to extremes. Grade 6 usually means unrunnable rapids, which may just be possible in certain conditions.
Eg This warm-up rapid on the Abhainn Righ in Scotland probably conforms to most people's idea of 'unrunnable'. The paddler wound up in hospital...


Grade 6

For expeditionary paddlers. Extreme voyages in potentially severe conditions. Invitation only.
Paddlers know their limits


Members are reminded that when they joined the club they would have read and accepted the warning that "canoeing is an assummed risk activity." In particular, attention is drawn to paragraph 14.2 from our constitution.

14.2. In participating in activities related to outdoor pursuits, members and prospective Members are responsible for their own safety and well-being. The club as a body, the officers of the Club and the members and prospective Members will not be held responsible in law should accident, injury or death befall Members or prospective Members voluntarily enjoining in such activities. Before becoming a Prospective Member a waiver of any claim against the club must be signed by applicants who must also agreeto abide by the club constitution and guide lines. Individuals are advised to seek advice related to insuring themselves against mishap.

If in doubt about the suitability of the trip, please ask the coordinator / organiser or a club member you trust. If you don’t see what you want – organise it!
If you are not sure where to go for a venue, look on the venues page of the website or look at past trips in the newsletters. Alternatively ask other club members for advice.

If you don’t feel like a full trip, small venues like Llangollen / Chester or sheltered beaches or Estuaries - Llandudno / Conway make great practice venues! Also, don’t just paddle, work it! Catch the eddies, surf the waves and play in the hole. Remember, a lot of knowledge we learn from our peers and by simply doing!

02/10/14 Pyranha Memories: The Rotobat
by Graham Mackereth

Rotobat on a Roofrack in the 80sI designed the RotoBat in 1984 with the help of leading paddlers at the time, including Dave Reynolds.

The 1980s were a great time to be a paddler!

In the UK, pool training boats were used for introductions to kayaking in swimming pools during winter, and then from that Canoe Polo became popular. It always used to surprise me just how much damage the players did to their kayaks, so when we started Roto-Moulding, we decided to make a Roto-Moulded version of these pool boats. All of those pool trainers had the name BAT (Baths Advanced Trainer) included, so ours was the RotoBAT.

We knew the RotoBat’s toughness would make it popular for pool training, and thought it could be fun for paddling whitewater, but we never expected it to be so successful! Many people started paddling it on rivers in the UK, then Jan Kellner started to use it after trying it at the pre-World Slalom Championships at Augsburg in 1984. Jan, along with Helen Barnes breaks Hand Rolling World Record in a Pyranha Rotobat.several other Augsburg paddlers, did what were amazing stunts for the time in the RotoBat.


Still breaking records, Helen Barnes sets a new hand rolling Guinness World Record in a Rotobat in 2010

In 1986, there was an expedition back to Mt. Everest called the “Kites and Kayaks Expedition”, and of course, the RotoBat was one of the main kayaks. We then decided we should make another kayak that was a bit bigger, and asking Jan & Wolfgang Bolg what we should call it, they and their club friends suggested Mountain Bat. The Mountain Bat turned out to be our next big success and from then, everybody expected other kayaks to be called BAT, so the StuntBAT and MagicBAT followed.

I do not recall when production of the RotoBat ceased, but it must have been around 1998 after we had some corrosion on the mould.

Great memories of a great kayak.

Original article from Pyranha http://www.teampyranha.com/?p=17057

01/10/14 As the crow flies  
As The Crow Flies is a new cinematic poem following a team of 4 as they set a new record for a Lands End to John O'Groats expedition.  Beeline Britain set out on the 17th May 2014, and for 28 days kayaked, cycles mountain bikes and trekked the length of the UK from bottom to top, in a straight line.  We are aiming for the film to Premiere at Kendal Mountain Festival in November, but also have a confirmed screening at the Royal Geographical Society on the 28th November 2014, one week after Kendal.  http://vimeo.com/107278565

27/9/14 October 2014 Newsletter Published 
Please open it by clicking this link October Newsletter…… or via the website   More Archived Newsletters…..

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