First Wednesday Evening Paddle

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?

Phil

Beyond Teddington Lock

Monday 31st March 2014

Monday morning most of us were at work but six lucky Hamptoneers donned their buoyancy aids, hopped in their kayaks and headed downstream to Teddington Lock. Beyond the lock the water is salty and you are now on the tidal part of the Thames leading into central London, Greenwich the Thames Barrier and eventually the North Sea. One Hamptoneer decided the Anglers Arms looked too appealing and so skipped the next leg of the journey down to Richmond with the tide and then a short paddle back upstream to Twickenham.

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Richmond Lock

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The group taking a rest at the lock

Five and a half Hamptoneers!

Sunday 30th March 2014

Six took to the water and five and a half returned on Charles’s 12 mile paddle down the Thames and back.

A benign spring day of slight breezes and gentle stream carried us to Teddington in 1hr 20 mins, past the unlikely charms of Thames Ditton island and gardens only recently underwater.

With the promise of tea and cake at the Royal Skiff clubhouse, we broke the return journey after 10 minutes but, sad to say, Charles’s attempts to tailgate through a locked door came to nowt. No tea, no cake, no body. Danny and I left with a ‘Hamptoneer’ – an improvised collision in the narrow exit….. to read Stephens full report, click on the link on the reports page 

 Stephen Morris

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Busy Saturday at Bell Hill

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.

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Membership renewals

A reminder to all members that membership renewals are due on 31st March.

The easiest and quickest way to renew is to pay directly by bank transfer. You can find details of membership fees, together with the Club’s bank details on the Renewal Form (see the link on the members page)

 If you have any questions please contact Adam or Barnet.

DW Paddlers – Waterside C results

Congratulations to Will/Sam in completing the Waterside C in 4 hours 22 mins. The Vets boat came in at 5 hours 15 mins… 35 portages in 23 miles and took a toll. See the Hampton Canoe Club Facebook page for more pictures

Barnet Heeley

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Picture of Will (bow) and Sam (stern) by Phil Caisley – see his Facebook page for lots more pictures

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Barnet and Andrew

 The Waterside Series of Marathon Races comprises of four races held on the Kennet and Avon Canal in the Spring. They are organised by Newbury Canoe Club. The Waterside Series is recognised as being the classic build up for the Devizes to Westminster Race (24 days to go). However, the Waterside Series offers its own challenge, and to complete the series is an achievement in itself.

Spring trip on the Wey down to Godalming

The weather was exceptional for an early spring day. With bright blue sky, a warming sun and only a breath of air. The Wey had a small but noticeable flow, in contrast to the last few months where red hazard boards have been in force, at long last the Wey is fully open for the first time this year.

The conditions could not have been more perfect for the leisurely paddle to Godalming. All boats from the party were on the water promptly for the upstream paddle towards Guildford centre. Norma and Phil were sharing the big orange K2, Dan in a Hobby and Christine in her tried and trusted boat. My Cirrus was proving to be a tight fit for my feet, due to my clumsy training shoes. Making the steering difficult and resulting in me zigzagging from one river bank to the other…. read Stuarts full account by clicking on the link on the trip reports page.

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Hampton DW paddlers training hard – 5 weeks to go!

DW training update: Will and Sam paddled from Marlow to Hampton and Andrew Wallace and myself paddled from Maidenhead to Hampton. The river is calming down, though we decided to do a long portage through Windsor to give the weir a wide berth. Maidenhead to Hampton (including the long way round the Desborough Cut) – 26 miles in 4.5 hours. Ice cream reward at the end :-)

Thank you to Andrew and Will for driving.

Barnet Heeley

small_DSC04054Sam and Will back at Bell Hill after sunny DW training paddle from Marlow.

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15.03.2014 stream decreasing

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First time this year the Sunbury reach of the Thames has not been on red boards which went up on 21 Dec 2013. There is still a significant flow where the river is squeezed between islands or bridge parapets – take care!