Leaders Development Paddle

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.

Saturdays November Open Boat Paddle

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

WKCC wet weekend in Wales!

Well no sooner had Ed and I crossed the border into Wales on the Friday evening and the rain started. What we didn’t know then was it would continue for the next 24 hours! I think we were the last to arrive and just as we did the others started to drift back from the pub. Tales of the days activities were told, several members having paddled the Dee at very low levels, others having sat and had a cream tea! Eventually all was quite except for the patter of raindrops!

The next day after a good breakfast plans were devised and the group split into two (with Paul already departed to meet up with his 4* group). The groups were split between canoeists and kayakers, although both groups were intending to paddle the same stretch of the Dee. As we drove up the valley we could see the river had swollen overnight. At the get in much discussion was had, but the reality was plain to see – the conditions were not suitable or safe for the skill set of a large number of the paddlers and paddling had to be abandoned for the day.

After reconvening at the hostel plans for non paddling activities were discussed over tea and cake (and a very good Victoria sponge it was too!). A larger portion of the group decided to visit Betws-y-Coed and Conwy falls, with the remainder of us staying in Llangollen. Apparently the falls were impressive – photos available courtesy of Max on FB.The few of us left in Llangollen took a walk along the canal, stopping to look at Serpent’s Tail – apparently there is a channel through the rocks, but you wouldn’t have known it. We walked on up to Horseshoe Falls which were almost washed out. The volume of water was huge (a technical term used by Rainchasers). We stood on the metal bridge and watched two groups bob along the river. There was also a huge amount of debris floating down. Returning to Llangollen we stood by the bridge and watched a few kayakers pass through, making the whole thing look rather easy. Satisfyingly they followed the line that had been discussed during the day!

After that we retired to the hostel, ate a wonderful meal and waited for the rain to stop.
The next day, after another hearty breakfast, the group again split into subgroups. Some headed for home, some went walking, some went to canoe on Bala Lake and a group of twelve went off to find some white water. The weather for the day was a complete change and we were treated to glorious sunshine. The Bala group enjoyed great scenery and Dave’s poling demonstration!

Those of us that went off to find some whitewater (Max, Graham, Nat, Guy, Sue, Kelli, Matt, Emma, Elise, Owen, Ed and I) headed north into Snowdonia, to Beddgelert and the Glaslyn. After sorting the ferry and looking at the get out we got on at a spectacular lake and set off. The river was still high and flowing fast. We hit as many eddies as we could and stopped to play and practice our skills at various points. All was going well until a clump of rocks decided to jump out at me and after a couple of knocks to my head I watched my boat disappear down the river with Elise shouting Swimmer! At the top of her voice. After a conversation with a man sitting in his back garden drinking coffee (‘how did you get here?’ and ‘good job you weren’t here yesterday ‘ followed by ‘someone got stuck there in their boat back in January’) he showed me how to get back to the road.
Recovery complete we set off again, dropping down to the final get out. Ed, Owen and I took the sensible (easy) get out, most of the others the more tricky get out and finally hats off to Graham, Max and Matt who took the challenging one. Fortunately no-one headed down the gorge! We were soon all off the water, changed and ready for the long trip home. Sundays paddle was a good one and I learnt a lot from it.
Despite the weather I think the weekend was enjoyed by all. Thanks to Claire for organising, to all of those that organised food or cooked, to the coaches for their patience and for everyone for the good company. Roll on the next one!

Simon

WKCC Information

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.

See our Come and Try It page for more details.

WKCC 2017 Review

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.

Download (PDF, 3.34MB)

An inspiring account of how we help others

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. 

Owen

WKCC Introduction Course

Latest introduction to Paddle Sport course is coming up. The course covers the basics skills of canoeing, kayaking and SUP along with safety training and some exploring of the Avon around Pershore.

This course is aimed at families and seniors with some paddling experience who would like to take their paddling further. Content will be based loosely around the two star syllabus. Alex has some great Junior sessions at PRSC so we are not specifically covering this here. Cost of the course is a full Club membership to encourage participants to paddle with the club over the Summer. If current Club member wish to sign up that’s absolutely fine.
Dates are …
Tuesday 10 May, 17 May, 24 May and 07 June.  All sessions are at PRSC from 19:00 hrs to 20:30 hrs.
Please let me know if you would like to join the course or help with the coaching.
Adam Hall
Paddle Sport Development
Wychavon Kayak & Canoe Club

Winter Challenge Final Results

So the results are in: 1,868 Total Miles (up from 1,500 last year); 31 unique locations with 3 or more paddlers (up from 27 past year); 58 paddlers participated. Graham Thomas wins for the Senior Men (140); Rita O’Reilly wins for the Senior Ladies (194) and Emma Witherford for the Juniors (52) closely followed by Jonah Morgan (33) and Max Nutbeem (33). We’ve done really well this year. I will submit to British Canoeing later this week, so let’s see how we compare.