Award Ceremony Held on Zoom Under Lockdown

Award Ceremony Held on Zoom Under Lockdown

The HCC Annual Awards Ceremony was postponed this year due to Lockdown. The event that is usually held with a bar close by, was rescheduled to take place in Zoom and everyone was encouraged to bring their own drinks. It was a fun night with 24 people attending.
The serious awards were announced by Phil and Tamra announced the voted for by the public awards. 
This was followed by a fiercely contested quiz and a round of treasure hunt where we all had to find and wear a hat. 
Anne-Lise won the quiz and Ainle got the award for the best hat! 

Please see full results below. 

Mileage Awards 


Men’s Champion : Daniel Bownds
Men’s Veteran Champion : Andrew Wallace
Ladies Champion : Maxine Nelson
Ladies Veteran Champion: Norma Morris
Highest mileage new member : Ainle Boyle

Gold badge winners – over 500 miles

Daniel Bownds, Andrew Wallace, Maxine Nelson, Norma Morris, Frank Bench, David Cunningham, Tamra Cave, Ainle Boyle and Chris Brockett

Silver Badge winners – 250-500 miles

Jenny John Chuan, Rick Opie, Philip Tauwhare, Charles Taylor and Amanda Gostelow.

 Bronze badge winners – 125 – 250 miles

Robert Blake, Lesley Bugby, Jill Cox, Lourette Blake, Anne-Lise Christmas and Kathy Page

 Exceptional Service Awards

Dan Bownds for organising so many great trips
Maxine Nelson exceptional service
Paul Scott Hero
Tamra Queen of Events
Tony Kirby Cleaner Goose Award
Kathy Dot Com Girl
John Freeman Weather Wizard (Scotland)
Heidi Happy Capsizer(Winter!)
Frank Comedian First Class (WApp)
Derek & Mark Mussel Scrubbers (Scotland)

Special mentions and thanks also go to:
King & Queen of capsizing last year Peter Loy and Maxine as they lead so many rescue sessions.
Barnet – A1 Number Cruncher

Paul Losse – Most Committed Newcomer

and a big thanks to Tamra and the rest of the Committee for keeping us amused under locked down.

Club Re-opens 14th May

Club Re-opens 14th May

Following the easing of the lockdown rules and the lifting of some of the restrictions on paddle-sport in England the committee have decided the club can open for paddling from Thursday 14th May 2020. 

PLEASE READ and observe these extra precautions to keep safe and minimise the risk of infection:

Paddle safely and locally

·         Paddling safety is important so don’t start paddling on your own if you have not previously paddled solo.  Only competent and experienced paddlers should be on the water independently.

·         Paddle locally, from the club, do not take boats away from the club

·         Please follow the government rules that you may only exercise with one other person outside your household, or with members of your own household

·         Try and paddle at various times throughout the day to avoid any congestion at the club


·         All paddlers must have rejoined as club members before going afloat (Charles sent out email in March about rejoining (membershipsechcc) so check that for details)

·         If you can, please pay 75% of the full fee now, or if money is tight, when you are able to. People who have already paid full fees will get a discount next year. (i.e. first quarter of the years membership fee is waived and the rejoining fee is waived for this year)

·         Pay boat fees in batches of 5 paddles (GBP15) in advance to the club account and avoid cash, if possible


·         Wash hands on entry to the club and before and after paddling and use gloves if possible

·         Use paper towels provided for hand drying, all towels have been removed for hygiene reasons.

·         If you have them use your own BA, paddle and boat

·         If you use a club BA then after use spray with the anti-bacterial/anti-viral spray on the desk

·         Thoroughly wash your boat and paddle with soapy water, especially the cockpit, seat and surrounds

·         Bring your own towel to dry boats or use a club towel and take it away with you for washing

·         Bring your own drinks and do not use the club glasses and mugs

 Stay well

·         Minimise time inside the club-house and always keep 2m from other people

·         Try to arrive ready to paddle but if you need to use the changing rooms then one person at a time in a changing room 

·         If you use the toilet then spray the toilet and basin with the anti-bac spray (arriving early next week)

·         If you visit the club and subsequently experience any symptoms please let the committee know

·         If you have any symptoms, or are self-isolating, please do not visit the club


The British Canoeing announcement also includes:


Further advice for clubs and all club activity:  This stage of return to paddling only allows households to paddle together or for up to 2 paddlers who are not from the same household to paddle together. Clubs facilities should remain closed and there should be no group paddling or club activity at this time. More information about the re-opening of clubs and centres will be shared as it becomes available.”


We interpret that to mean clubs that only operate with group paddling are closed and facilities like bars, and cafes should not open. We think that using club boats for 2 people or a family paddling is permitted. And the club is following the Sports England guidance that “Any facilities associated with outdoor sports and physical activities are permitted to reopen from Wednesday 13 May, if those responsible for them feel ready to do so and if they can do so safely, and in line with this and related public health guidance.” and that equipment can be shared if strong hygiene measures are enforced.


Happy and Safe Paddling

HCC Committee
Hampton Canoe Club      


Hamptoneers Help the Homeless

Hamptoneers Help the Homeless

Edward Alsop Court is a hostel for homeless older men with complex needs in London SW1.  The residents, being ‘locked in’ by the pandemic, found their loss of freedom every bit as hard to tolerate as other citizens.  Boredom leading to frustration and low mood was a common problem, according to Gen Wallace, their clinical psychologist.  The hostel’s appeal to shops and companies for books, games, etc., was producing little.

Hamptoneers responded quickly and generously with books of all types, jigsaws, DVDs, CDs and games.  A Skoda Yeti, full to the roof, back seat, passenger seat and throughout, was soon on its way to the hostel.  The arrival provoked great interest among the residents, who really enjoyed the profusion of topics and titles suddenly available. 

Best of all was the Hamptoneer who knew that a school had just upgraded its tablets, and arranged that 18 working but slightly elderly Chromebooks were donated to the cause.  This was marvellous, enabling residents with modest IT skills to access professional advice, stay in touch with friends and family, as well as general entertainment.  These highly-desirable assets were individually allocated to residents across several hostels.  Gen commented ‘it’s been really helpful to be able to make the lockdown more tolerable for these people, HCC’s donations had a tangible positive effect, and it’s been a lovely gesture which has really made a difference to everyone at EAC’.

Andrew Wallace

Lockdown : Cardboard Boat Challenge April 2020

Lockdown : Cardboard Boat Challenge, April 2020

With paddling off limits for most of us we looked elsewhere for entertainment. Every year the club does a cardboard boat challenge with prizes for speed, length of staying afloat etc. This challenge was much the same only instead of supporting a person the boat had to float supporting the equivalent in weight to a bag of sugar. 

The launch was live on zoom with the participants and spectators voting for their favourite. The basic challenge turned out to not be much of a challenge with all boats floating easily, although nobody managed to get extra points by launching their boat with a pet onboard although Tamra did try. 

Tamra was the overall winner with HMS Covid. A very stylish number with a Monkey on board. Rick was just one point behind with a very robust boat and painted on passengers. 

Maxine and John with Flower of Scotland came joint third with Maxine winning the prize for least/no effort made with her cardboard shoe box.

Ainle got points despite being disqualified for his bending of the rules with his tiny boat and packet of sugar. 

Jana’s boat initially sank but on relaunch it floated and took the prize for the best name with Cardship Enterprise.

Forward Paddle Clinic, 1st March 2020

Forward Paddling Clinic, 1st March 2020

On 1 March 2020, 15 intrepid Hamptoneers attended a forward paddle clinic run by Guy Holmes and Ade Butt on the Kennet and Avon Canal at Great Bedwyn. The focus of the day was on efficient forward paddling, moving our kayaks along with less effort or going faster for the same effort! The aim was to travel further for each stroke using good technique rather than more muscle power. The example we were given is that if you increased your distance per stroke from 2m to 2.4 m you would get from Devizes to Westminster 4 hours quicker!

We learnt the four stages of a stroke; the setup, catch, drive phase and recovery and practiced each indoors on a slider and ergo machine and then on the canal under the watchful eyes of Guy and Ade. 

On the canal we learnt some drills to emphasise different aspects of paddling including reach, rotation and correct set up.

Everyone, including more experienced paddlers, went away having learnt something new. We’re all looking forward to practicing the drills when lockdown ends.

Paul Losse

Basingstoke Canal, Jan 2020

Basingstoke Canal, Jan 2020

With the Thames on red boards for most of the year and with floods and trees down on the Wey Navigation, the Basingstoke Canal has become a frequent destination for HCC Paddles. It’s a 30 minute drive to the Canal Centre and even in windy conditions the water tends to be flat and easy to paddle.
The pictures below are from Andrew’s trip on the 7 mile return trip to Ash Lock. 


New Haw to Newark, Nov 23rd 2019

New Haw to Newark, Nov 23rd 2019

13 paddlers avoided the fast flows of the Thames for the calmer waters of the Wey Navigation for this return trip from New Haw lock to Newark lock.

With a leisurely Saturday morning pace we largely had the run of the river, with only a few other boats out across the morning. It was a good chance to see some Autumn colours. Ably led and organised by Ainle, this 8.6 mile trip was well accessible to improvers.

About a half mile in we crossed under the megalith M25 flyover, improved I think by the artistic graffiti on its main pillars, including a Brexit tableau. The one portage at Pyrford lock required a road crossing but bank levels on either side were good.

Our break at Newark Lock allowed us to take in the views of the Newark Abbey ruins – in its heyday the Abbey would have been well placed to harness the riches of the Wey waters. Shortly below Newark Abbey our gazes fell upon the charming onetime riverside home of the metaphysical poet (and Dean of St Paul’s) John Donne.  

Ainle had chosen this route well as we were rewarded by a decent lunch stop at the White Hart pub in New Haw, adjacent to our entry point.

As a new Paddler to Hampton this year this was my first club trip off the Thames. Hampton Paddlers are a friendly bunch, generous with paddling tips, and I shall look forward to other trips.  

 Lewis Brown

Today’s paddlers were: Áinle, Lewis, Phil, Jana, Jill,  Amanda , Sarah, Stephen, Tamra, Deborah, Rick, Neil and Chris  

Medway Canoe Trail, Nov 9th 2019

Medway Canoe Trail, Nov 9th 2019

8.75 Miles
Grade: Easy when the conditions are fine
Portages/Passes 6
Start: Tonbridge
End :Yalding
Canoes/Sea Kayaks

Guide to Medway Canoe Trail

Guide to Canoe Passes

Map of river level monitoring stations

Video from James 


On a very chilly morning a group of us loaded the canoes onto our cars and headed down to Kent. The plan was to do part of the Medway Canoe trail set in the beautiful countryside between Tonbridge and Yalding.

The satnav didn’t seem to cope well so it was after a few detours that we finally all ended up in the correct car park in Tonbridge.  The group comprised Peter, Paul, Catelin, Frank, Maxine, Jenny, Kathy(me) & Dan (our Leader) from HCC with David(Kayak), James, and Hannah from PDCC along with a small bear.

Having unloaded the canoes, 6 people drove the cars to the end point at the pub in Yalding while the rest of us waited, keeping warm as best we could.

The Thames had been on yellow boards all week and the Medway was also showing the same so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Fortunately Dan had checked the water levels and confirmed that all looked well and he was right. The conditions were actually good no flow, no rain and no wind.

The section of the trail that we were doing had 6 locks on it. All of which had canoe passes. The plan was to do go down the passes with the option to portage for those (me) who didn’t fancy it.

We set off into the mist and after a few miles we arrived at the first pass. This was closed and had no water in it, but we were still able to use the pass to get the boats across rather than having to carry them around. Pass number 2 was open and was a very gentle descent past the lock.  The next couple of passes were closed so we had to portage which also gave us an opportunity for a few well deserved snack breaks.  Fortunately all along the trail there were good platforms making portaging a breeze with only the small bear falling in.

The rest of the passes were open including the final grade 3 pass at Sluice Weir lock which had a steep drop. This (I was told) was the most fun although they did all seem to get wet and fill their boats with water….. Having now seen the passes another time I would be braver and do them except maybe not the last one!

We ended the trip at Yalding at a handily placed pub in time for a late lunch.

This was a great trip just a nice length to paddle in a couple of hours through beautiful countryside, fuelled on Jelly Babies with good company and the added excitement of the canoe passes.

Dan also pointed out that this trip could also be run as an improvers K1 trip using the portages so maybe next summer once it is warmer ……
Thanks to Jenny for the Photos also see link above to view the Video taken by James.

Autumn River Cleanup, Oct 2019

Autumn River Cleanup, Oct 2019

“Up the Thames, Down the Thames, Wombling free, the Wombles of Hampton Canoe Club are we!”

After threatening rain and fast flows all week, the weather and water were kind to the HCC Water Wombles tackling trash on the Thames on Saturday 26 October. The wind had other ideas with a “moderate/fresh breeze” but we still had a great turnout.

Armed with latex gloves, bin bags and litter pickers and fired up on a promise of tea and homemade cake at the end, the 12 intrepid explorers headed out in a mixture of canoes and sea kayaks after the all important safety briefing!

Amanda F, Lewis, Jill, Jana, Kathy, Maxine, Amanda G, Jenny John, Michele and Paul L, Chris B and Heidi headed downstream first, tackling everything in their path. Deflated inflatables, large strips of plastic boat (?) and suitcases were no match for the determined paddlers who took canoes in places they had never been before and loaded kayaks so high, they could barely see where they were going. As you can see from the pictures, a huge amount of rubbish was collected and removed from our beautiful stretch of river. Too many lighters and bottles to mention, a washing up rack, a sack of beans and a hoover pipe as well as a pair of shoes – each shoe found by a different paddler!

Everything needed a good clean after lugging that haul in – so once boats, paddles and paddlers were washed and dried, we gathered in the club house for hot drinks and Jill’s amazing cake.

Thanks to everyone involved with special thanks to Mandy F who supplied the much needed gloves and bags and Jill for the wonderful cake.


Pictures from the day from Jenny. (Click on image to show all as a slideshow)

West Scotland Kayak Trip : October 2019 – 4/5 days

West Scotland Kayak Trip : October 2019 - 4/5 days

14 of us braved the beautiful west coast of Scotland in October and the weather was surprisingly kind to us. It even saw me in a t-shirt on the beach on the first day. 


I scoffed a bit at those wearing dry suits on the first day as the conditions looked great, mild, sunny, no chop or wind. Well, never take things for granted on the sea I’ve now discovered! As a few miles before the end of our 12 mile trip the water got decidedly “spicy” to coin a phrase used by our lovely Scottish guide.


Well “spicy” turned out to be more Vindaloo than Korma for some. We had 3 capsizes on the first day but luckily 2 in dry suits. Jenny unfortunately got properly wet and had to be towed to shore but still retained her huge smile and her Jelly babies.


So we had 2 days of glorious Autumn sun and scenery and one day with overcast weather.

Secluded beaches, a random bothy you had to abseil to, and castle ruins were some of our lunch 




On the last day we met a very friendly local mussel fisherman on the water who ended up supplying us with 7 kilos of mussels for dinner! Though Mark, Derek and Morten did get shafted when it came to cleaning the mountain of mussels and may need till next season to recover.


Our accommodation and catering was organised by John F, who lives in Scotland; and the places were fab. Self catering with 4 very well appointed cottages all next door to one another. One even had a spa bath although not quite rivalling the hot tub on the Denmark trip last year! 


The catering was all in house with a great sense of camaraderie going on in the kitchen. And so much alcohol and cake we couldn’t get through it all…must try harder next time!


Scotland has some beautiful scenery and even if the sea is choppy you always explore the lochs and look for monsters and haggis.


We did enjoy some real wildlife too such as otters, harbour seals, tourist eagles (it wears sandals and socks)  turnstones, oyster catchers, herons, greylag geese, hooded crow, red deer and more.


There was also a lot of fun to be had with a pineapple one night but best to ask Maxine, Jenny or Tamra to show you the video of that….


West of Scotland is a long way to go paddling but really worth it if you have the weather and a good team with you.