Found inside the latest paddler magazine here.
Cumbria Ladies canoe polo team had their first outing in this years’ newly formed North-west regional ladies league in Manchester on Saturday 18th November. They are currently placed 6th from 7 teams but had several closely fought games and things are looking good for the rest of this season.
The team is made up of players from Penrith, Duddon and Lakeland Canoe clubs, with Penrith and Duddon fielding players for this event. The team had players with a range of experience from 25 years playing to several who have only started canoeing in the last two years.
The first game was lost 4:1 against a very well organised Liverpool Uni team. The second game was a closer fought 2:4 loss to Lancaster Uni, with the Cumbria players feeling more confident after the first game. Next up came the only win of the evening for Cumbria against the Queen Bees from Manchester Uni with a final score of 5:3, and the final game was against the well drilled Valkyries team from Scotland which finished 3:1.
Hilary Clarke was the top goal scorer at the tournament with 8 goals with Nadine Merrick scoring Cumbria’s other goal of the night. The rest of the team was Kirstine Bailie, Kerry Holdsworth, Leanne Parrett, Maia Peplow and Alex Stables. Leanne and Maia were competing for the first time outside of competitions organised within Cumbria, and Alex and Kirstine were playing for the first time in a women’s tournament.
Penrith Canoe club run a women and girls’ canoeing session at the Penrith swimming pool every Monday evening. For more details see www.penrithcanoeclub.co.uk.
In Sale, Manchester, a group of Cumbrian paddlers gathered for a unique canoe polo tournament, blending sport and charity, “Canoe polo meets Movember!” Teams from across the North West region met on the waters of Sale Waterpark, not just to compete but to champion the cause of men's health. The echo of cheers and the rhythmic sound of paddles reverberated across the tournament grounds, creating an atmosphere that resonated with both competitiveness and camaraderie. Amidst the spirited clashes in the water, our team forged a path with determination, navigating the currents with a shared goal—supporting Movember's mission. Despite fierce competition from some of the best in the region, we proudly clinched the fourth position, a testament to the tenacity and teamwork displayed by our paddlers. Beyond the scorecard, the true victory lay in the funds raised to tackle pressing men's health issues. Until next year's tournament, Cumbria paddlers will also be represented in the North West division 2 series.
Pictured in the photo from left to right are Cameron Fletcher, Noah Rankin, Nicky Taylor, Finley Coleman, Dan Camp and Andy Laird. The team was supported by coach Mike Fletcher.
Cameron, Noah and Finley are students at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith.
Having been vice chair for Cumbria Canoeists for 5 years, I have been Macs carer! (Or has Mac been Mike's?)
He has been honest, loyal, analytic and supportive on all issues and decisions that the Management have made over this period and my GO TO colleague, before I float or suggest anything.
Now fully retired and involved with more grand children he has decided to give more energy to family and retirement plans.
We are not losing Mac, as he will maintain his role as Open Boat Lead for Cumbria Canoeists and has recently qualified as Cumbria Canoeists Welfare and Safeguarding officer.
Thank you Mac for your OUTSTANDING contribution to Cumbria Canoeists, we will miss your WISDOM on the management team and I will miss your support and advice as Chairman.
Tim is no stranger to British Canoeing awards for “outstanding contributions”, as he has been voted in nationally for a major award and celebrated this in Nottingham at the Annual BC Awards evening a few years ago.
This award is recognising Tim’s voluntary work as Cumbria Canoeists Polo Lead for the past 10yrs.
Like Mac, Tim has now retired and spends much of the winter in the Alps skiing.
However, he still plays competitive polo, is a key mover and shaker in Penrith Canoe Club and has just participated in a “Canoe Polo Coach training course, that we have been delighted to fund, as recognition of the years of tireless work he has put into develop Polo in Cumbria.
Thank you Tim and enjoy your new, well-earned life style.
Michelle joined Duddon Canoe Club about 10 years ago along with her children.
She was soon hooked and under took coach training and took an active interest in all aspects of paddlesport.
She was particularly taken with canoe polo and helped the club polo lead – who soon stepped aside to leave Michelle in charge of club polo.
Over the Summer she runs weekly polo sessions at the club base on Barrow Dock and year-round bi-weekly pool sessions. Under her guidance the club has entered 1 or 2 teams in all local polo comps for the last few years.
A copy of the old BCU Level 1 polo coach folder helped a little but
keen to increase her personal skills and ability to pass on the skills to other club members she undertook core coach training in preparation for the polo coach award planed by CC.
This year she organised a polo tournament for the local Festival of the Sea. Under her guidance club members have developed and attended Cumbria and national events.
Michelle does not restrict her coaching to polo or club members helping out with youth and school groups and training the local Sea Cadets so they could enter regional polo events.
Neither is she tied to polo!! A regular entry in K1 and K2 marathon canoe events, often seen on a club SUP, sometimes seen in a Wavehopper and joining in with family days and beginner river trips.
Most weeks she will be at 2 or 3 club sessions - O yes – and did I mention that she has 3 children and works shifts.
Duddon Canoe Club
Grey Seal Pups | Living Seas North West (livingseasnw.org.uk)
Sea kayakers must tread carefully at this time of year in the Walney area.
Back by popular demand, British Canoeing are delighted to share with you a series of Winter CPD webinars.
Sessions are open to all. Instructors, Coaches, Guides and Leaders will automatically have 5 CPD points added to their record for attending each Webinar. British Canoeing members will receive between 50% - 100% discounts on webinar fees, so please ensure your logged in before claiming your space.
We listened hard to your feedback from last winter, and all sessions will be recorded, and recordings and any resources shared with all ticket holders to be able to watch back and refer to, however CPD points will only be allocated automatically if you ‘watch live’.
Having a ‘watch party’? that’s no problem, we welcome device sharing, but we can only update records of those with tickets ‘automatically’.
To find out more about the webinars you can visit Paddles Up Training website
or click the links below to book now!
By Sally Coleman - photographs from John, Jonathan and Tony
To conclude the sea kayak starter/returner programme, we planned a “Salty Sea Event” based out of Roa Island - across the way from Piel and Walney islands.
As only two participants from the spring programme based from Killington Lake were able to make the day, we invited the Cumbria Canoe Clubs to circulate the opportunity to get relatively inexperienced paddlers out onto the sea - the response was positive and we had 12 enquiries, which turned into a group of 8 paddlers.
As many of the 8 were unknown to us, we decided to invite them all to a Tuesday eve session on Killington lake, for us to meet and paddle with them and for them to meet us - John Soady Cumbria Canoeists sea kayak lead and Mike Sunderland sea kayak - coach/leader.
All went well on the Tuesday eve, until the light failed, so we agreed to meet at 8am on the Saturday morning to share transport and load up both the sea kayaks and equipment.
All went well and on time we arrived at our destination - Brick Kiln Lane (Ulverston) on the Leven estuary, as the wind conditions were too extreme to go to Roa Island.
Adventures are seldom planned, they just sort of happen and thus it proved when 13 of us, including coaches Mike, John & Mac launched our sea kayaks from the beach car park at the end of Brick Kiln Road near Ulverston. The original plan was to meet at Roa Island Sailing Club and paddle to Piel Island but a force four wind from the ENE necessitated a change of plan. Morecambe Bay, it seems, always has something up its sleeve.
After a briefing and explanation of the change of plans, Mike ran a short session on the gravel beach, highlighting the paddlers actions required, in case of a capsize. so we all sat around and practiced the heel hook roll in and shimming down into the cockpit - just in case of a spill.
As we set out, the incoming tide was running swiftly against the flow of the Leven Estuary creating tricky conditions – not a place for the inexperienced – so we spent some time in the small estuary of the Dragley Beck, practicing paddle skills beside strange cliffs of iron ore slag, with a white egret and flocks of waders for company.
By this time, the sun was shining & the tidal flow had slowed enough for us to paddle north up the coast to a bay just south of Hammerside Point where we stopped for lunch, keeping an eye on our kayaks & moving a few up the beach as the spring tide reached its fullest. From there, we rounded the pier at the end of the old Ulverston Canal, avoiding the fishermen’s lines, and paddled into the wind towards the western end of the Leven Viaduct with the lovely Coniston Fells as a backdrop.
A couple of trains trundled across the viaduct as we planned our next moves – first a ferry glide facing the viaduct to cross the tidal race created by the R Leven & ebbing tide and then a sloopy, wavy, slightly unnerving 15 minute downwind dash taking us to the north-east side of Chapel Island. We made a quick recce of the island, once the site of a chapel and a former base for fishermen but now a bird sanctuary. Large flocks of seabirds took off as we made shore, flying off in a big circle & returning. We launched again and paddled to the south end of the island, finding a colony of oyster catchers on the rocky shore. Not one to miss an opportunity, Mike had us practicing breaking into and out of the ebbing tidal race just offshore. Then Mac pointed out that if we didn’t start heading back to the cars, we’d be stranded on the sand banks!
It was only 1km back to Brick Kiln beach. But how best to get there with wind and tide against us? The idea was to paddle in our groups a little way north in slack water and then to ferry glide across the tidal race – simple! However, as we headed across, the wind and tidal stream together built in strength to around 6 knots and we were no longer able to hold our position against the shore. The instruction came to paddle straight for the shore. The stronger paddlers made it first and were then able to paddle slowly up the shoreline in a slight eddy. People were by now all over the place. Some had made it to shore some distance south of the car park and decided to carry their kayaks back along the beach. Others, like myself, finally gained the shore and were able to paddle very slowly back towards the car park. Everyone lent a hand carrying boats, and ensured that all of us made it safely back – phew! It took an hour to do that 1km! It was slightly reassuring when Mike told us afterwards it was one of the hardest ferry glides he’d ever done! Certainly the toughest ferry glide in Cumbria!
“ Thank you and your team for an ‘Amazing Brilliant Exhilarating… (many other interesting descriptive adjectives are available..!) time paddling.. Cant wait to get back……….”
“ Thanks for a memorable day’s kayaking”
Our grateful thanks to Alison and George for assisting and sharing the day with us all, chatting about their personal sea kayak journeys and involvements with Lakeland Canoe Club and Cumbria Canoeists.”
A HUGE thank you to Mike, John and Mac for their leading skills and coaching tips. We all enjoyed our Salty Sea experience – a memorable day out with a great bunch of people. And we have it on record that Mike promises to head straight for Roy’s ice cream van on the main Bardsea road, next time!
A reminder from our chair to check, clean, dry. NZ pigmy weed found in our Lakes!
Continuing the tradition Carlisle Canoe Club invites paddlers young and old to join them on Ullswater for the Jim Wilson memorial paddle.
Meeting at Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater at 10am, 24th September. Paddlers of all abilities are welcome.
You are asked to bring a drink of your choice for a toast to the memory of Jim. The legend who inspired so many people with his friendly personality and knowledgeable love of paddling.
Also bring some food, a suitable craft which you are able to paddle the distance you want to, in the conditions on the day. Or simply bring a chair and sit back and enjoy good company.
The plan is simple, remember good times, share them and create more good memories…
If you have any questions please contact Carlisle Canoe club.
Pictures from some of our adventures