A large group of Hamptoneers decorated their canoes and kayaks to form a psychedlic travelling light-show for the traditional paddle down to Ye Olde Swan at Thames Ditton last Wednesday evening.
Paul Scott turned his canoe into a floating Xmas tree and was awarded the prestigious
‘Best Decorated Xmas Boat 2017’
Hampton CC has just had two excellent training sessions with Teddington RNLI. In the past they’ve dealt with incidents with kayaks, so they were very receptive when approached with the idea of joint training.
First of all, the RNLI came to Hampton, for a joint session with, and at, Hampton Sailing Club. The RNLI told us that their patch includes tidal and non-tidal Thames from Richmond past Teddington to Molesey. The crew are all volunteers living near the lock, 23 good souls in all, and they have two D Class lifeboats there. They showed us how they react to a shout: they’re afloat within three minutes, which I think is amazing; and they get through Teddingon lock in one minute and forty seconds, which is astounding. They shared with us sound wisdom about cold water, life jackets, etc. 23 Hamptoneers attended, together with 16 sailors and 7 from the RNLI. Jenny organised a wonderful lunch for us all afterwards.
HCC goes to Teddington
The following weekend, which was last weekend, we went to their base on the ground floor of a modern block of flats near The Wharf restaurant just downstream of Teddington Lock. In all we were nine, coaches or experienced paddlers. We had given some thought to what we could do with the RNLI that would be worthwhile for them, so we planned the afternoon in three parts:
- land-based briefing from Derek Heath and Mark Lewis: they explained the features of our various boats, and how those differences impact rescues (we showed them a canoe, a WW boat, an open cockpit K1 and a sea kayak). Then Derek and I demonstrated some of our rescue techniques, so they wouldn’t think we were completely clueless !
- on the water, the RNLI rescued the various boats we’d brought. Peter Loy, Richard Fisher and Andy Garbett were on hand to flood the boats, and to explain and encourage effective rescues. The open cockpit Cirrus was the most difficult to rescue, as you’d expect.
- on the water, the RNLI rescued Mike Channon from his WW boat, Michele Springall from her sea kayak or Morten Lunde from his Nordkapp sea kayak with a tiny ocean cockpit (that wasn’t easy). And they tried Hand of God rescues, plucking the ever-grateful Morten from his capsize. Monitoring us all, ensuring that the RNLI didn’t run out of things to do, and taking the photos, was Charles Taylor.Over the course of the afternoon we trained with 15 of their crew (ie four boat crews), and they were grateful and appreciative, and were speaking of a continuing relationship, with another session envisaged for the spring. What’s more, they’re setting up a similar session with another local club, Royal CC (we wouldn’t mind showing Royal how things should be done !!).
And what did the RNLI think of it all? Here is what their training co-ordinator said:
“I wanted to say, for myself and on behalf of all my crew who attended on Sunday 19, how truly fantastic you and your fellow paddlers were! We were all amazed and not a little humbled by the enthusiasm, expertise, hardiness (Morten may just win man of the match on that one), and sheer love of your sport that you all showed. My crew absolutely loved it and were still talking about the afternoon throughout our training on Tuesday – I think some are even keen on having a go themselves, inspired by you guys, and Hampton CC would be a natural port of first call for that after all we have seen.
Saturday 18th November 2017
Mytchett to New Haw – Basingstoke canal
There are 28 locks on this 14 mile stretch of the canal so I was not that surprised that only two other Hamptoneers signed up for the trip of a lifetime! Paul who has not missed a trip since he joined the club and Jenny who is always up for a paddling challenge.
It was a grey, cloudy day but the main colour along the canal was the golden tinge of the Autumn leaves forming a carpet on the canal and blowing off the trees which line the canal from start to finish. There was no other boat traffic once we had left the top Mytchett pound and started descending the locks, just a few dog walkers, hikers and bikers along the towpath.
As the locks progressed we honed our portage routine to be able to hop out of our boats, haul them out of the water onto one shoulder, trot along to the lower end of the lock, drop boat in water and get paddling again to less than 60 seconds. This meant that before long we reached the end of the Frimley flight of 14 locks and got a paddle of about a mile on the pound to the top of the Brookwood lock flight. This is just three locks in quick succession before another nice 2 miles of paddling to the…. dry section of the canal.
In some lock pounds water had leaked out lowering the water level by a couple of feet which made getting out at the portage quite tricky and meant lying down on the river bank to reach down and retrieve your kayak.
We had been forewarned that locks 11 to 7 were being repaired and this section of canal would be ‘de-watered’. We had some food and water and then hoiked our kayaks onto our shoulders for the half mile walk to the next stretch of water. We stopped occcasionally to move the kayak from one shoulder to the other and before long reached the pound above the Goldsworth top lock (#11).
5 minutes later we paddled up to the Bridge Barn pub, a modern Beefeater place meant to look like an old barn. The lunchtime menu had a range of dishes for a fiver which were just what we needed in the middle of a long paddle, with 6 miles and 6 locks still to go you don’t want too large a lunch!
After lunch we had our longest uninterrupted paddle of 3.2 miles so with Paul powering ahead as leaf clearer fuelled by his gammon steak and chip lunch we were soon at the top of the final flight of locks (#6).
The Woodham lock flight is spread over one mile and before we knew it we had reached the apocryphal lock number ONE! Just an easy mile left down to New Haw, turning left onto the Wey navigation under the M25 bridge.
Boats were soon on the roof rack for the quick drive back to Mytchett to collect cars and return to the club house to clean down the boats which were plastered with leaves, twigs and various detritus from the canal.
We all agreed it was a very enjoyable if exhausting day out, next year anyone?
|Basingstoke Canal distances and facilities|
|New Haw – Wey||Easy above lock||0.7|
|Woodham bottom lock||1||0.3|
|Woodham lock #2||2||0.7|
|Woodham lock #3||3||1.2|
|Woodham lock #4||4||1.3|
|Woodham lock #5||5||1.5|
|Woodham top lock #6||6||1.6|
|Bridge Barn Pub||Pub car park||4.8|
|Goldsworth bottom lock||7||5.3|
|Goldsworth lock #8||8||5.4|
|Goldsworth lock #9||9||5.6|
|Goldsworth lock #10||10||5.7|
|Goldsworth top lock #11||11||5.8|
|Brookwood bottom lock #12||12||7.4|
|Brookwood lock #13||13||7.5|
|Brookwood top lock #14||14||7.6|
|Frimley bottom lock #15||15||8.5|
|Frimley lock #16||16||8.8|
|Frimley lock #17||17||8.9|
|Frimley lock #18||18||9.1|
|Frimley lock #19||19||9.3|
|Frimley lock #20||20||9.5|
|Frimley lock #21||21||9.6|
|Frimley lock #22||22||9.7|
|Frimley lock #23||23||9.8|
|Frimley lock #24||24||10.0|
|Frimley lock #25||25||10.1|
|Frimley lock #26||26||10.3|
|Frimley lock #27||27||10.4|
|Frimley top lock #28||28||10.7|
|Mytchett||Car park / café/ toilets||13.1|
|Ash Vale||Station car park||14.2|
|Ash lock #29||29||16.4|
|Wharf bridge, Aldershot||Car park||17.8|
|Eelmoor bridge||Street parking||19.2|
|Pondtail Bridge||Street parking||20.7|
|Reading Rd||Car park||21.7|
|Fox and Hounds Pub||Pub + street parking||22.3|
|Crookham Wharf||Car park||23.8|
|Barley Mow||Public car park||26.3|
|Colt Hill Bridge / Waterwitch||Public car park||28.9|
|N Warnborough lift bridge||Some parking||30.3|
|Whitewater winding hole||30.6|
Last Sunday 29 October, a sturdy crew of HCC members turned up for the autumn clean-up. Some might suggest they were enticed by the offer of biscuits, but I’m sure it was pure dedication to the cause…
At 10am Jenny had upped the game by producing an array of delicious Paninis for the early volunteers – you know your Club is in Surrey when you are given the option of hummus and peppers. What a way to kick off our chores!
Dan and I had compiled a ruthless task list so I set people to work, and very soon we had a truck full of rubbish to go to the tip. We moved a lot of items to the toilet block as they are infrequently used, so now we have a much clearer, open space in the Clubhouse which will mean manoeuvring boats will be much easier.
A big thank you to:
• John T
• Paul D
• Peter McB
• Peter L
• With special mention to Richard Fisher for putting up the towel rail in the toilet block – who’d have thought it would make such an impact!
Thanks in advance to Leon and Andrew, who will be chopping back some of the vegetation at a later date.
There was a good turnout of Hamptoneers for the annual fun regatta on a fine, sunny Saturday in early September. Maxine did a brilliant job of organising proceedings – many thanks to her for making the day happen together with her helpers who did shopping (Tamra) , BBQ and cooking (Frank).
We were split into two teams, the Hamptoneers and the Westellers, who battled each other for points in each event to win overall.
We did warm up exercises with the paddles requiring co-ordination and agility….
There was the canoe race with the aim to paddle a canoe along the river and then portage back, it was a close run event…
The next canoe race was a push-me – pull-you event…which was much more tricky than you might think…
There were races with hands only paddling, going backwards seemed to be fastest…
Then races with one canoe paddle, left handed kayak paddle and all three together!
And lastly a competition to collect the most tennis balls…
With boats going every which way!
We then all headed back to the club side of the river for a BBQ with loads of delicious food – thanks to all for making a really fun morning of kayaking and canoeing.
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|
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
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