Update to Club Rules For Safe Paddling with the Covid-19 Pandemic : 04/06/2020

Update to Club Rules For Safe Paddling with the Covid-19 Pandemic : 04/06/2020

The main revisions the Committee agreed on what we can now do to operate in a safe way are summarised below. The full set of rules are at the end of the email and these will also be posted in the club

1. Up to 6 paddlers can now go out together, keeping 2m apart at all times, at the clubhouse, on the pontoon and on the water

2. Boats can be taken away for day trips, people should travel in their own car, up to 6 paddlers maximum on a trip

3. Improvers sessions and courses will restart soon, more details to follow, with a maximum group size of 6 people. (all courses fully booked and waiting list now closed) 

4. A paddler should only go afloat if they are confident they can get in and out of the boat completely unaided, and rescue themselves if required. Nobody should rely on another paddler coming within 2m at any time to help them, except in an emergency. You need to be a self sufficient paddler. Improvers sessions are for improving fitness, confidence and stamina but you must be able to look after yourself if say you capsize or need to get out at a high bank. (we will be arranging some rescue sessions now the water is a bit warmer as lots of people need a refresher on this)

5. If your family has re-joined the club, any family members that have not completed a one star or Hampton Paddler course or an assessment can only paddle with the primary member who has completed one of these. 
 
6. Hygiene at the club and for all club equipment is a top priority so please wash your hands frequently, and thoroughly wash paddles and boats with soapy water and then dry with a towel. Please only use the anti-bacterial spray on BA’s as we are getting through gallons of the stuff.
 
7. Tamra has completed a risk assessment of the club house for COVID-19 safety following BC advice which you will be able to view on the safety page of the club web site as soon as it has been uploaded

 

 

Paddle safely

·         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. 

·          A paddler should only go afloat if they are confident they can get in and out of the boat completely unaided, and rescue themselves if required. Nobody should rely on another paddler coming within 2m to help them except in an emergency, you need to be a self sufficient paddler.    
·         Please follow the government rules and BC advice that you may only exercise with five other people outside your household, or with members of your own household
·         Try and paddle at various times throughout the day to avoid congestion at the club

·          Boats can be taken away for day trips, people should travel in their own car, up to 6 paddlers maximum on a trip  

·          British canoeing advice is that it is not safe to paddle in a K2 or C2 except with people in your household

 

 

 

Membership

·         All paddlers must have rejoined as club members before going afloat, and have completed the membership form 

·         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

Cleaning

·         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

·         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

 

Happy & Safe Paddling
HCC Committee

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

Membership

·         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

Cleaning

·         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. 

 

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.

Heidi.

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

3 Day Thames Trip, Sonning to Hampton, 17th-19th May 2019

3 Day Thames Trip, Sonning to Hampton, 17th-19th May 2019

Click on the link below  to view some video clips including the infamous lamb rescue.

Videos

Day 1, Sonning to Hurley Lock 12.4 mils,  3 locks, no portages.

We met at the club at a leisurely  9:00, to load 3 kayaks and  just one canoe, as John F had already taken a canoe the previous evening.

We arrived at Sonning at approx 10:30 where John F was waiting to meet us with his super fast sleek canoe. Then the task of cramming all our gear into the kayaks hatches, but this was made easier by the knowledge that anything that didn’t fit could go in John F’s car, as he was going to cycle back and fetch it once we arrived at Hurley lock !

Weather was overcast, but dry and not too cold. We departed about 11:00.

We stopped at the Angel on the Bridge, Henley for lunch. We chose a table outside near the bank and ordered our food. Then it was decided it was a bit chilly and windy on that table, so we moved to a sheltered one in the corner, and went and told barman that the 7 orders had changed tables.

After another 5 minutes  we moved again to a small inside bar,… orders amended to new location.

But the bar area didn’t have enough tables so we split into 2 groups in different parts of the pub, poor servers were chasing around trying to keep track of us.

Several of us ordered the small burgers, which when they arrived were surprisingly large and very good.

We paddled on,  and then I heard a couple on the bank, who had two dogs with them calling out to ask if we could help them, I paddled over, expecting to be asked to retrieve a ball from the water, only to be told “There’s a lamb in the water under the bushes”. Hmm, bigger job than I was expecting.  

The rest of our party arrived. The lamb was hiding under the bushes and bracken that overhung the steep bank,

I considered hopping out of my kayak, but it was about 3 feet deep, so instead Phil and Maxine manoeuvred their canoe in. The location of the lamb was found, and with a bit of persuasion from a paddle it was extracted from under the bushes, but it was hard to get hold off, and  there was no easy place to return it to dry land. Phil managed to grab it by a front leg and pull it out. Then with kayaks helping to hold the canoe in to the bank Phil stood up and passed the lamb to the guy on the bank.   Rescue accomplished, hail our hero Phil.

We paddled through Henley where the regatta course is marked by a  floating wood course boundary for about a mile. It was quite windy down the long course straight, waves even, so much so that when we reached a gap in the course boundary, we moved across to the edge of the river, even thought it looked like in the distance the boundary markers got closer and closer to the bank.

Frank questioned whether we would get stuck, I assured him it would be crazy if there wasn’t an exit, Frank decided to continue in the middle of the river, the rest of us went at the edge.

The more we paddled the narrower the gap between the floating log boundary and the bank became, until we reached the point where the logs were touching the bank. Oops.  So we then had the first portage of the trip, hauling the kayaks out and back in further along, whilst the canoe was pushed over the logs and passed to Mr Smug Frank, who towed it further along.

We arrived at Hurley lock campsite around 5:00 and first had a well earned coffee at the lock cafe, whilst John F, retrieved his bike that he had left there, and peddled (not paddled) off back to Sonning to collect his car!

The campsite entrance was via a high metal gate secured with a combination lock,  having paid our fees we had the combination, but sliding the lock bolt was a real fight.

Having setup our tents and used the nice hot campsite showers we proceeded to the Rising Sun pub to eat. There was a closer pub, The  Old Bell, but Frank had been advised by the lock keeper that it was a bit up market and expensive I think he meant too posh for us scruffy lot !

Anyway the food at the Rising Sun proved to be excellent.

We had a noisy nights sleep, with noisy geese, music from a nearby wedding, and according to just Frank, fireworks.  

Day 2 Hurley Lock to Boveney Lock 13.7mls,  5 locks, no portages.

Breakfasts were the usual porridge, biscuits etc, 

We were up early to be ready to watch Tamra fold up her pop up tent, which she had practised  and videoed at home!    After only about 4 attempts she succeeded and packed it away in its bag, quite impressive.   However 15 minutes later she was packing it up again ????. Apparently the first time she had left her shoes inside, doh.

We set off at 9:30  I seem to recall Phil saying something like we could stop for breakfast and coffee after a short paddle, … but somehow he missed it, and we paddled on until we reached The Bounty pub/cafe at Bourne End where we stopped for lunch. 

The Bounty is an unusual quirky establishment. A sign outside proclaims “Welcome to THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF COCKMARSH, Enjoy your visit, The Laws Of Common Sense Apply” next to another sign ”Twinned with Chernoby;”  The get out/in was easy and the food was good, PLUS the sun came out while we lunched, so a very nice stop.

Onwards….towards Maidenhead over the route of the Autumn Colours trip, but without the colours at this time of year.

Despite it being Saturday, there was very little other river traffic to disturb us, and with light winds it was a pleasant paddle We stopped at a cafe at Maidenhead, for ice cream  ( ice cream and coffee for me, no its not a strange mixture)

Leaving the cafe it looked like it might rain,  most of us thought it would pass. One minute after setting off it started raining, quite hard, so had to stop and put cags on.  But it turned out the rain at that time was good, as it meant it stopped before we reached our Boveney lock campsite.

Boveney is a small campsite with limited amount of flat areas, and just one shower, token operated.

Nice view of lots of white scum coming past from the weir, apparently that’s a sign the river is healthy, it not detergent like I thought !

Mark was joining the trip at this point, but had a half mile trek from car to the lock. He delivered his tent and a bag of beer first, with a request that we put his tent up for him to save time while he went back to get his kayak.. With four of us the tent was soon up, then Tamra decided Mark should get a proper 4 star treatment, so she collected some flowers (well daisies)  to decorate his sleeping bag, with a complementary sweet (fruit pastille ) by the side.

With that done Phil, Maxine, Paul and myself set off for the 1 mile walk to the nearest pub The Palmer Arms. Frank promised he would catch us up, and Tamra, John and Mark would come by car.

Food was excellent, some of us had the lamb…..

On the way back it was misty,  and had an interesting ‘discussion’ as to whether the illuminated building in the distance with spire and flagpole was Windsor Castle or  Egham college.

We passed a car parked in the middle of nowhere with a strange woman in it,  she had been there when we were on the way to the pub, and had been flashing her lights at a car on the other side of the common.

Day 3,  Boveney Lock to Hampton, 20.3mls, 6 locks, 2portages.

Quite an early start, as we has 20 miles to cover, on the water by 8:30.

Phil had promised the previous evening that he would get us coffee from Windsor leisure centre which was about 1 mile away,  but guess what….he missed it and we paddled on….

We went through Romney and Old Windsor locks and didn’t stop until Wraysbury NT tearooms,  but found there was a 20 minute wait to be served, so back to the boats and on to Wraysbury Pleasure Grounds cafe, it was 11:00.

While stopped we booked a table at The Bridge pub Chertsey for 12:30,  seemed plenty of time.
But at 12:30 we were only just entering  Penton Hook lock, due to it being very slow getting though Bell Weir lock and into Penton Hook. We realised how lucky we had been with the previous locks, as we never waited for more than a few minutes at any of them

So it was decided we had better sprint from Penton Hook to Chertsey and portage there to get to the pub for the revised time of 1:00. 

When we got to the pub it wasn’t busy, plenty of tables.

Finally on through familiar waters, portaging through Sunbury ( why don’t more locks have rollers) to arrive back at the club by 4:45.

Thanks to Frank for organising, and everyone for making it a great trip.

Participants:Frank Bench (trip leader)
Phil Tauwhare (deputy trip leader and lamb rescue)
Tamra Cave (Tent and hospitality expert)
Paul Scott ( beer consumer)
John Stafford (scribe)
John Freeman (Paddler AND cyclist)
Maxine Nelson ( assistant lamb rescue )
Mark Lewis (part timer, free beer supplier

 

Regatta, August 2019

Regatta, August 2019

It all started with perfect organisation, good weather and a fantastic group of people. Firstly…. to scare away fisherman and get all the participants and numerous kayaks, SUB’s and canoes over to the Hurst park bank. By 10 am we are split into three teams, Hampton, Westel and Molesey and the judges taking their positions on the bank.

 

Warm up exercises began with a little bit of May pole dancing with paddles, standing in a circle, paddles held in front of us vertically, we move stealthily left and right leaving the paddles in situ. Of course everyone was coordinated, worked as one and not a single paddle fell to the ground…honest!

Event one: team relay: get each team member from the start line to the judges stand point, turn the boat around and back to the start line to tag the next team member to go…..without paddles! 

A few capsizes, wonky manoeuvres and one team not finishing led us into the second event; get your team from point A to B as quickly as possible in a canoe. Two tactics available, do you make a few trips quickly or load everyone in your boat and hope you don’t sink? After a couple of submerged teams and sunken canoes a hasty finish ensued and with the re-floated canoes back on land it was a race to the finish line but one team found their canoe had been tied to another boat, an act of sabotage resulting in quick thinking – why waste time untying knots when you can just carry both boats and win.

Next fun with balls…. line up your kayaks side by side, each paddler has a tennis ball, player one has to throw their ball to their adjacent team mate who then throws their ball and the ball just thrown to them to the next team member until all nine balls end up with the last in the line who then has to throw them all back along the line so that each player has their ball back again by the end of the line, all while trying to stay afloat and not drift out of line and into passing rowers and ferry traffic. A crazy race followed where one tennis ball had to be passed to each player before crossing the finish line, I’m sure nobody would have cheated here!

To end the event a ball throwing frenzy from the judges left the three teams darting around collecting the balls from the water (and not a Labrador in sight when you need one)…the winner would be the team that collected the most balls, over 60 balls were counted in but how many were thrown out…. surely no one cheated here.

To round the day off back at the club house with boats dried and put away, not just a bbq but an amazing feast, all washed down with a compulsory slice of chocolate cake, good company and an amazing club.

Amanda Fisher