Upgrade Wednesday seemed to be a hit with over 10 people turning up and trying out all sorts of boats, Tor’s, a Raven, Viper’s, Hobby’s and so on….
Thanks everyone who came, it was a good evening.
Adam manged to stay dry even though he took a slightly more wobbly boat out – a Tor.
Jenny and Tony got some practice and instruction in Andrews sea kayaks in preparation for their 3* sea kayaking course.
Phil, Lee and Dave headed swiftly downstream into wind, past Hampton Court, Ye Olde Swan at Thames Ditton island to Ravens Ait where a quick 180 degree turn was made. The wind apparently seemed to die as it was now on our backs but the current meant solid, steady paddling was required to get back to the club just as the church clock chimed 8 o’clock.
Lee goes under Hampton Court bridge with the setting sun in the distance
DW competitors past and present (Andrew & Barnet, Emily & Aidan, Will & Sam) congregated at the club last Wednesday to exchange tales of the gruelling 125 mile canoe race from Devizes to Westminster.
A goodly number of club members joined them for the BBQ and were obviously sufficiently inspired (or was it the beer) to announce their intentions to race in the 2015 race which starts on 3rd April. I will leave it to those people to formally announce that they are entering the race! To follow the burgers and steaks Babs had cooked a delicious rhubarb crumble or there was also cheese cake for desert.
Its a terrible cliche but I will use it anyway, ‘A good time was had by all’!
The Weir Pub by the river in Walton played host today to a good sized group of Hamptoneers who had paddled, cycled, walked or driven to the annual prize giving lunch, superbly organised by Kathryn. The awards were many and varied from Best Capsize which went to Peter McBride to the more serious ‘Platinum’ paddling award to Babs and Jeff Simmons for winning multiple Gold awards during their lifetime.
Go to the members page and click on the link to ‘Prizegiving 2014’ to see more pictures
Congratulations to Sam Adams and Will Pope in the Senior K2’s at Thameside 2 last Sunday, completing the 19 mile course in 2 hrs 52 mins.
This is a downstream race with mass class starts, starting in Reading and finishing at Marlow.
Approximate total distance: 19 miles
Wednesday 2nd April 2014
Magically, the stream warning on the Sunbury reach of the Thames that had been in force since December 2013 was at last lifted today, just in time for the first Wednesday evening paddle of the year. With an extra hour on the clocks the sun was still well above the western horizon as five Hamptoneers decided to take advantage of the lighter evenings and get out on the river .
The advice on the national news today was ‘stay indoors’ and avoid the Saharan ‘smog’ if you suffer from breathing trouble! My tickly throat was soon banished and my sore eyes saw clearly as by 6pm a light easterly breeze had blown up some fresh air to push us upstream all the way to the face of the main Sunbury weir which only the day before had been a dangerous seething mass of white water. What a difference a day makes!
Turning swiftly into the midst of the main flow we paddled steadily back down stream into the now pleasantly cooling breeze. Boats away, quick change and into the pub where the chairman bought us a welcome pint – thanks Andrew! And we all demolished the delicious if pricey burgers. What better way to spend a Wednesday evening?
Suddenly every man and his boat were out on the the river today. Bright sunshine was tempered by a stiff easterly breeze whipping up substantial waves on some stretches of water.
Mark and Tony were out early in a Canadian, practicing for their two star assessment. Jenny and Dan (37 today!) were also out in a canoe and did a long trip down from The Bells of Ouzely in Old Windsor with myself in a kayak, 3 hours on/in the water including a quick swim for me, I can only think I must have nodded off paddling along in the sunshine after a bacon buttie at the Walton bridge cafe! We met up with Adam and Christine at Shepperton lock who had come upstream via the loop and we spotted Gabriella out in a Tor heading upstream.
Barnet and Andrew were heading downstream to Vauxhall where earlier in the afternoon a number of racing eights had foundered in the chop kicked up by the wind over tide conditions!
Remember, Charles is running a trip tomorrow (Sunday) downstream for tea and cake at the Royal and on Monday Andrew is going down to Richmond/Twickenham, contact them if you would like to join in.
Some amazing pictures here of the Dusi canoe marathon in South Africa – lots of big rocks and long portages!
The Clubs annual prize giving will be at lunchtime on Saturday 5th April where a glittering array of awards will be handed out. Please contact Kathryn to reserve your place at the pub which will be within a short paddle of Bell Hill. The pub does good food at reasonable prices.
The Thames has subsided back into its bed, leaving a couple of centimetres of mud across the lower part of the wharf. The pontoon is floating on the river again.
The Club does a lot of canoe (and kayak) touring. These notes set out what it’s all about; what you can expect when on a touring trip; what the others will expect of you; there are separate kit notes on what you might bring along. These notes have been prepared based on one person’s opinions and experience; in time you will develop your own habits.