Every so often we need to take our volunteer river leaders out for a paddle to work on their personal skills so they can deliver more to our club. Today was one of those days. The theme moving water, open boat paddle. Seven of us headed off to south Wales to hunt for a grade 2/3 river with a group of leaders and a few hand picked guinea pigs :-)
With our usual Usk run being off limits currently we hunted around and found something similar. Levels were good with all the recent rain helped by the heavy rain and hail showers we experienced throughout the day. It was definitely a day for thermals and onesies. As you would expect when exploring a new river there are always plenty on incidents, so here is the swim count for the day: Somehow Clive, Dave and Graham managed 0 swims but we all had a few wobbles. Paul and Matt managed 1 each in locations where a swim would not be expected. Then the competition got a bit seriour with Tim and Iain trying to outdo each other and managing 3 each. There were some good self rescues and plenty of practice for the whole group.
A good turn out for today’s open boat paddle – thanks to all that came: a bit of ferry gliding at Pershore bridges, a stop for a cup of tea at Nafford and taking the opportunity to practise crossings in the strong flow coming out of the sluice, and finally just missing the heavier rain starting as we came into Eckington and loaded up, so managing to all stay dry (well, almost all staying dry). 11 boats and 14 paddlers, an excellent turnout on such a dreary day. And well done to Caroline for her first venture out with us – hope we haven’t put you off future trips
Another successful weekend in Llangollen for WKCC kindly
organised by Claire again.
The weekend started
early on the Friday for some with a meet up for breakfast on the A5 so we could
check river levels and decide as a group where we wanted to go based on various
river apps. The consensus (with a bit of persuasion for some) was to paddle the
Vyrnwy from the dam down to Pont Llogel. This is a really nice grade 2, 2+ with
a 3/3+ section which you can portage. The level was good and involves careful
navigation around many low hanging trees to keep you on your toes.
When we got to the
longer tricky section we were forced to portage as the river right route was
blocked by a tree and the far side of the island could not be inspected and no
cover could be put in place so sensible option was chosen.
We continued onto
the end, retrieved the ferry cars and made our way up to the Hostel ready for a
night out and a meal in a local hostelry.
Back to the hostel
to make plans for Saturday.
Breakfast crew up
at 6:45 to make a full cooked breakfast for all.
We split into a few
groups for the day. A few non-paddlers, a Dee trip from Glyndyfrdwy to
Horseshoe and onto canal, a grade 4 gorge trip and a medium trip on the Conwy
from the A5 road bridge.
A great time was
had by all and only a couple of swims on the day.
All back to
LLangollen for a few beers etc and then the highlight our communal meal. A huge
selection of mains, rice, potatoes, poppadum’s, puddings all made by people in
departure day for some but a majority went for a traditional easy paddle along
the Llangollen canal crossing the mighty Pontcycyllte aqueduct and through
Thanks to all
organisers, cooks, coaches and leaders and to all that came along.
Welcome to WKCC. Please note that only members of our club have access to our WKCC Facebook group which contains all our latest information.
This site is to give you some background information as to what we do as a club and how to contact us to enquire about coming along and trying it out or joining.
It also shows our Google calendar of main activities although there are many short notice events arranged subject to the paddling conditions.
It’s been another great year for WKCC culminating in us winning British Canoeing West Midlands Regional Club of the Year 2017.
The year started well with our usual post Christmas winter social in January closely followed by our traditional South Wales or South West England winter paddling weekend.
In the spring we had a Menai Straights weekend up in North Wales which we had an enjoyable time but the weather let us down and paddling conditions were not ideal.
Spring and summer gave us many enjoyable club nights out on the river at Pershore and other places in the area. We ran courses and come and try it taster sessions in kayak, canoe and SUP.
We continued to develop our coaching and leadership pool with more people completing UKCC L1 and a good size group completing their UKCC L2 training. We had one more comfortably pass their 4* WW Kayak leader who is now moving onto 5*.
We had many members pass various 3* awards and complete both 1 day and 2 day first aid courses.
October was our busiest month. It started with one of our traditional Llangollen weekends which always gets in some enjoyable white water and touring paddles and socialising.
Mid October some of us did a west coast Scotland open canoe wild camping trip on the Spey from Aviemore to Spey Bay.
At the end of October we had another east coast white water kayak trip based around Roy Bridge paddling some of the classic rivers in the region.
Members did paddle trip exchanges with other clubs and took part in many regional and symposium events.
Some members went off to do Alps paddles, canoe wild camping on Scottish lochs and even trips to Nepal.
As usual we kept up our support to protect the environments we paddle with litter pick trips which included recovery of multiple shopping trolleys and an oven.
So a big thank you goes out to all the coaches, assessors, away break organisers, committee and volunteers for all their time and effort during 2017.
Lets keep it going.
Joining WKCC has been one of the best things I have ever done, however getting to that point was not easy for me. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I find it incredibly hard to meet new people and join in with these people if I don’t know them. I first started by going along to a couple of the sessions on a Thursday night at the pool. I came along with Clive, who is an existing member and someone I already knew which made it a bit easier. The first time I just came in and watched to see how the sessions work and who was going to be there. After watching this I decided that actually this is something I would like to join in with. However, when it came to actually joining in with the session the next week, I completely panicked and my anxiety got the better of me. It even resulted in me running away from the pool. After trying and having the same outcome the next week, I thought that was it and I would never be able to do something I enjoy because I was ready to admit my anxiety had won.
This was when my mum who had come along as well started talking to Sue, who is also an existing member of the club. She told my mum about how she was running some sessions on a Monday night for a smaller group and wondered if I was interested in going. It took a lot for me to get myself in but when I did I was pleasantly surprised as to how nice everyone was and how helpful they were. I was given some great coaching from Jonah and all round really enjoyed it. I did a few more of these sessions and some river sessions and eventually after being kindly invited along by Sue attended a session out on the river with the main club. And this turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done, meeting new people who were very kind and helpful to me and it was a session I thoroughly enjoyed. I have never looked back since then, I am glad I have managed to kick my anxiety and join something I really enjoy doing. I have made some great friends at WKCC and to anyone who feels in a similar position to how I felt, I would recommend you just do it, it took me a while but I am so happy I did. And no matter what has happened during the rest of the week, I always look forward to a Thursday evening and doing stuff with the club.
After a great week in Scotland we followed this up with another great week in Llangollen kindly arranged by Claire.
At the time water was hard to find but we made the most of it.
Mel took a group to Llyn Tegid on Saturday and I took a group on the Dee from Glyndyfrdwyr down through to below Town Falls.
On Sunday we had a combined group on the Dee from Horseshoe to below Town Falls.
Mel took plenty of photos which are in the Gallery or can be viewed below.
A great chance to have a try of Slalom. The club has been to these before and have had a great day out.
Coaching and practice on Saturday and an optional first try competition on the Sunday. Details below.