‘Don’t forget your crash helmets’ was the last email from Dan Bownds a couple of days before what I thought was going to be a gentle paddle through the Surrey Hills. The start point was a small residential road in Brockham which looked a bit crowded after five cars and canoes moved in. Ever conscious of the BCU code of conduct we started a ‘polite and friendly’ conversation with a local resident who asked us to keep a look out for some gardening equipment that had been stolen including a new chainsaw…. read Dan Taylors full trip account here
Go Canoeing week is a time to get out on the water in whatever type of craft you can imagine wearing something a bit wacky, Dan organised a Silly Hats paddle followed the next day by a Cardboard Canoe outing. Here are some pictures….
Hamptoneers came from near and far by canoe, kayak, bike, car and Adam ran up the towpath to be at the Annual club prize giving at the Weir pub on Saturday. A few extras turned up but seats were found for all, lunch taken with a drink or two before Phil turned to the serious matter of the day, handing out the prizes for mileage paddled, DW achievements and other more light hearted awards – see full details below. If you were not there to collect your award we’ll get it to you somehow.
Sarah took a few pictures for the record – here they are.
|Ladies champion||Maxine Nelson|
|Mens champion||Peter Loy|
|Vet ladies champion||Chris Bockett|
|Vet mens champion||Andrew Wallace|
|Fastest Westel overnight boat||Tony Leworthy and Richard Fisher|
|DW Courage and Determination – Robin Cooke Memorial Cup||Jenny John Chuan|
|Fastest DW solo paddler||Peter Loy|
|DW endeavour||Daniel Taylor and John Whitwam|
|500 miles of DW (4 DW’s)||Barnet Heeley|
|DW Triple||Mike Channon|
|DW supporter||Dan Bownds|
|HCC best newcomer trophy||Elizabeth Flint|
|Highest mileage newcomer||Daniel Taylor|
|Best singer||Peter McBride|
|Best roller||Elliot Loy|
|Best Christmas Lights||Derek Heath|
|Most improved Member||Jill Cox|
|Most determined paddler||Trisha Stonebridge|
As a relatively new club member, this trip was to be my furthest paddle yet. 10 miles from the Barley Mow to Greywell. A group of 14 paddlers, a double canoe and a K2, the rest in K1’s. The weather was cloudy but the season presented us with plenty of baby chicks following proud Mum’s who sounded the odd warning to us to back off!!
Peter, of course, was in fine form, informing us of the year each bridge we passed under was built. I guess reading the plaques made him feel intelligent? Tamra braved a viper with no mishaps. Michelle, apparently wearing 4 layers of clothing, would surely have sunk had she fallen in!! As we approached Greywell, (where a gate in the canal prevents further access) it became quite an obstacle course of reeds and water plants. Looking into the water was quite fascinating, like paddling through an overgrown lush green garden.
After turning around, we stopped for a snack break at Odiham castle. All but one wimp braved the 2ft step-up to get onto the bank. The group took pity on the wimp…. passing down cakes…. Thanks guys!! Yum!! One lucky dog got a real treat….stolen flapjacks, curtesy of Paul. The poor dog-owner was mortified!!
Amanda, faced with the big step down to get back into her K1, had a tiny moment of panic but she braved it out admirably. Next came the really low bridge. We had all made it through on the outward journey, literally having to lie on top of our boats… but Alan clearly had too many cakes… and took a small blow to the head causing an impromptu dunking! Alan, thank you… for once it was someone other than me!
On returning to the Barley Mow, cars were loaded up and 14 hungry paddlers sat down to some great pub grub and a good old natter.
Thanks, Phil, for leading and coordinating a great day out
This was my first trip – aside from Improvers sessions – so I arrived at the club on time at 8.30 ready to pack and depart with a mix of beginners enthusiasm and trepidation. The two other members of the trip , Dan and Paul were already packing 3 big bright ‘Easky’ kayaks on top of Dan’s fiesta.
Dan’s already done one write up on the first trip to the Jubilee – so I’ll just paraphrase it’s ‘a hydraulic relief channel for the Thames in Berkshire’ approx 7 miles long. Our trip involved paddling most of the Jubilee River – and joining the Thames through to the Bells of Ouzeley” Pub – around 9.5 miles.
We started at a the ‘Marsh Lane’ car park – with a relatively easy entry onto the river via a flat shingle patch at 10:15 am. It was a barmy sunny day – with sufficient cooling winds around the bends to avoid overheating……… read Alan’s full trip report here
This Easter weekend 8 intrepid Hamptoneers will be competing in the Devizes to Westminster canoe and kayak race (DW).
Barnet, Jenny, Peter and late entrant Mike will be racing K1’s in the 4 day race, together with Dan and John in a K2.
Tony and Richard are racing in the non-stop event in a C2.
See below for details on their boat numbers to track them online.
Singles and Endeavour (starts Friday 14th and finishes Monday 17th)
Peter Loy – Viper 51, race number 736
Mike (Peter) Channon – Viper 51, race number 774
Jenny John Chuan – Viper 55, race number 737
Dan / John – Rorqual, race number 611
Barnet – own boat, race number 754
Non-stop Doubles (starts on Saturday 15th and finishes Sunday 16th)
Tony and Richard – own canoe, race number 332
All crews will have trackers which can be followed on the DW website (tracking pages now live) http://www.dwrace.org.uk/ . There are separate links for mobile devices.
Below are provisional timings we are using for the support crew when the first K1’s (Peter/Mike) will be coming through.
The non-stop paddlers will pass by Hampton early on Sunday morning (approx 8:30am but check progress on the tracker) to make the high tide at Teddington.
|Devizes to Newbury|
|Crofton Pumping Station||11.15|
|Newbury Leisure Centre||14.15|
|Newbury to Marlow|
|Marsports (Dreadnought Reach)||11.15|
Sunday 16th April
|Marlow to Thames Young Mariners|
|Bell Weir / Runneymede||11.15|
|Thames Young Mariners||14.45|
Monday 17th April
|Thames Young Mariners to Westminster|
Congratulations to Barnet, Jenny and Peter Loy for completing Waterside ‘C’ and also to Peter for completing Waterside ‘D’, the final race in the run-up to the Devizes Westminster International Canoe Marathon which is happening next weekend over Easter. See next article for details on how to follow the HCC competitors.
Peter at Waterside ‘D’
Congratulations to Barnet, Jenny and Peter who competed at the 17 mile and 19 portage Waterside ‘B’ race yesterday Sunday 5th March. It was by all accounts very windy and wet with a number of capsizes due to the conditions. The race is an out and back from Newbury to Aldermarston along the Kennet and Avon canal, and is one of the classic warm up races before the DW.
Elliot performing an advanced manoeuvre – hand rolling, most people use a paddle!
If you’re one of the more sensible club members to whom paddling on the Thames on a dark, cold winter evening doesn’t appeal, how about paddling in a heated pool? There are several local sessions organised by various canoe clubs that are open to non-members. All the sessions detailed below have a good selection of boats, paddles and decks available to use, included in the session fee. All you need to take with you are your usual swimming things + a ‘rash’ vest or t-shirt.
The boats at the pools are of the ‘closed cockpit’ type, like our Easkys (and the Ethos). If you’re not familiar with this type of boat there are always coaches or experienced paddlers to advise you. For those who are thinking of going out in an Easky during the colder months this is a great opportunity to practise using a spray-deck and how to cope with a capsize (which are much less likely in these stable boats).
See more details and times here