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Opens at Llangollen – David Smith

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Yesterday Saturday 25th July I attended my first club trip to Llangollen for Trad Canoe grade 1+ skills run by Mike Alter & Ruth.

Being a moving water beginner I was nervous/excited about the trip.

However after contacting Mike on Thursday, he answered all my questions putting my mind at ease.

The 6 of us met up in the car park at Mile End mill, everyone was welcoming and friendly, then Mike briefly laid out the agenda for the day.

We then went upstream from the ‘put in’ and warmed up, then we went just below where the two channels of water meet and practiced ferry glides. Some of the others poled up the channel and some, including me, lined up through the rocky bits. I tried a technique to paddle up a small step up, although I didn’t quite manage it without help from Ruth. We then we went up just before the bridge to practice eddieing out and in, in a S shape.

We then canoed down the rapids to go back and have lunch.

After lunch we practiced eddy hopping in the training channel in front of the mill, we then aligned ourselves using the eddies behind the rocks to go down over a double rapid to where some were surfing the wave and I was practicing ferry glides to cross from side to side. As this area was flowing a lot faster, it enabled me to understand the difference in angles required between the two areas.

After we had finish our practice here, we assisted each other in carrying our canoes up the stairs on the bank and down the other side so we could ‘put in’ again and ferry across to the slipway in front of the mill.

All in all a great day on the river, the water levels were low around 2 on the scale outside the mill. The weather was overcast and then cleared with some sunshine.

The day was a good confidence booster for me and has enabled me to know where I need to focus my practice in the future. Going forward it is more boat time on the water for me now.🛶📷

Many thanks to Mike, Ruth, Lee, Ian and Gareth for a great day out and for all your help, patience and assistance.