First time out with Cumbria Canoeists Youth River Running group. We were very lucky this week to find out about the Youth River Running group, via Facebook and the website, whilst our club is quite active with trips it is always good to get more time on the water, meet new people, learn from different coaches and try new rivers.
So Wed afternoon it was quite a long trip from Lancashire, being from a different County isn't a problem, to the Tees Barrage International white water centre to meet Mike Sunderland coach for the group.
We were made very welcome and after signing in with the Centre, Mike walked the course and briefed the group on the risk areas and the fact that it would look very different when the water was switched on and conditions would change.
Hopefully the photos below will give you some idea of the fun that was had by all, including the Adults, everyone was free to do as little or much as they felt confident to do. Mike provided excellent coaching and encouragement - thanks Mike.
If you we have a son or daughter who wants to do more rivers I would highly recommend this group
Thanks to all those who attended for making us feel so welcome, a great afternoon of paddling.
Looking forward to the next event
Link to video & photos
OC Coaching got under way again after the Christmas break - thanks, as always, to Simon McElroy and team.
OCC 4 had more wind than needed - even though the emphasis was on Managing the Wind.
Well done everyone - including the valiant Solo Skills team, with John Sherwen, who had to use the island to gain a bit of shelter !
OCC 5 (Using the Wind) was interesting, with only just enough wind for improvised sailing, but lots of snow, and sunshine. Beautiful, but cold !
A good day, with lots of new skills learned.
The Leven was at a medium high level so plenty of action for the group as you can see from the two video sequences - the first on the route down to the key obstacle at Backbarrow, and the second the individual descents of Backbarrow fall itself - with some stills from the most critical moments showing the advantage of going over the top of the hill!
An international film festival was branded a 'great success' as more than 250 people gathered in Kendal to watch films on paddling
The event was part of an international adventure film tour which presented the world's best paddling films of the year - so far it has been in more than 120 cities and towns across Canada, the USA and UK.
Lakeland Canoe Club arranged an evening where the audience saw almost three hours of film covering all aspects of paddling, from sea kayaking to paddle boarding and whitewater kayaking, at the Brewery Arts Centtre, Kendal.
One of the most popular was 'Ba by Kayak, Australia,' a film about a small expedition party crossing in sea kayaks from the Antipodean mailland to Tasmania.
Proceeds from the event will be divided between Lakeland Canoe Club and the Indonesian Tsunami Disaster Fund.
Windy and wild, bright with some showers - a good day !
For the first time Canoe Sailing was offered as a workshop - thanks to the guys who brought all the boats and kit, and to Mac Knowles for organising.
It turned out to be a rather exciting experience for most, and a rather wet experience for some !! - with the Safety Boat, manned by Nigel Timmins, being called into action several times.
Penrith hosted the first tournament of the 2018/19 Cumbria Canoeist's Polo League on Saturday December 1st at Penrith Leisure Centre. Six teams entered from Penrith, Barrow, Kendal, Whitehaven & Lancaster. Each team played 5 x 15 min matches during the evening. It was a good, evenly matched tournament, with lots of close fought games. Eventual winners were Lakeland Canoe Club from Kendal (15 points) with Penrith P team second (13 points) and Penrith Q team third (10 points).
The weather was benign (a little breezy, but dry and bright), the company was good, and Simon, as always, did a great job as coach and mentor.
Almost everyone braved the water, and everyone had fun!
We discovered knots we didn't know existed, with wonderful names like "Highwayman", and new versions of knots we did know, such as the releasable clove hitch !
Every year Cumbria Canoeists organise two trips to a set of different Hebridean Islands - one over a long weekend aimed at all comers and one longer wild camping usually circumnavigating an Island.
This year was no exception with Mull chosen as the long weekend and Islay for the circumnavigation - either full or partial due to its size and the tidal currents and exposure of its west coast.
The weather was good for Mull and a number of inexperienced and new sea kayakers were supported to paddle the coasts of Ulva and Gometra, wildlife spotting otters and sea eagles, guided out to the famous Isle of Staffa, with its amazing basalt caves and to circumnavigate the Isle of Iona, another iconic Island off the coast of Mull. Both sea and weather gods were with us for all three days and our aspirant leaders had the opportunity to manage the groups and take a lead with the management and decision making for the trip.
As if this was not enough, we returned to Oban, re-stocked with supplies for the next six days and arrived as a fresh team of 11 experienced paddlers at the CalMac ferry terminal, trying to board the very busy and full Kennacraig ferry to Port Askaig - fortunately the load Master squeezed us all on the car deck - leaving us to get a hot meal before we arrived on Islay in the late afternoon.
The weather was not good, it was MYTHICAL, and to cut a long story short we circumnavigated Islay - a first for all in the group - in 5/6 days, paddled approximately 30Km per day, camping out in some remote and amazing coastal areas, away from the madding crowd. Each night the single malt was flowing freely and after the traditional campfire we slept “like logs”.
The only tale to tell was the foggy morning, off the west coast, with a northerly wind against tide, when we wanted to keep in touch with the coast but there was breaking and confused seas in the poor visibility - a rude awakening to the exposure of this coast after the calm and settled waters of the previous days. We all managed well and gave further opportunities of live sea kayak leading to a different set of aspIrant sea kayak leaders.
A trip to cherish, remember and tell your grandchildren about, the Hebridean summer of 2018.
If you are interested in sea kayak trips for 2019 or some coaching workshops check out the Cumbria Canoeists website - www.cumbriacanoeists.org.uk and speak to our sea-kayak rep Alan Ashby
Mull - 23-25 June 2018
Circumnavigation of Islay - 26 June - 1 July 2018