Trip and Event Reports

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Please send me your report for the website

All reports unedited as received.

2015

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Antidote to Christmas Shopping.

Sunday the 20th dawned bright and clear - a promising start to the antidote to Christmas shopping. Driving out to Drakeholes was a pleasure with surprisingly little traffic, some warming sunshine, a clear sky and not much wind. There were 7 of us kitted up and ready to launch at 10 a.m. So three sea kayaks, two short play boats, a Canadian paddled by father and son and encouraged by a very friendly good looking 6 year old German Shepherd as passenger, took to the canal and set off for Clayworth in glorious sunshine. Those who went Christmas shopping, or had a lie in or for whatever reason couldn't make it were missing a real treat. From Drakeholes the Canal meanders along towards Hayton, one bend after another with natural tree lined banks which sheltered us from the cool fresh wind. Let's see what's round the next bend encouraged us on. Walkers on the towpath greeted us cheerfully and wished us a Happy Christmas. We paddled under a number or very attractive stone arched bridges which blended in very well with the surroundings. It was a pleasure to be away from any traffic noise and be able to enjoy the bird song and hear the wind in the trees.

We rounded a bend and were at Clayworth Marina with a long row of narrow boats moored to the right hand bank of the canal. We landed by the Clubhouse and lunched at their picnic table. We were sheltered from the wind but the Clubhouse cast a shadow over us so we missed the warmth of the sun. Numerous walkers passed by and were interested by the kayaks and curious about what were were doing. They thought as an antidote to Christmas shopping it was a great idea !! As conditions were so good we decided to paddle on towards Hayton. Paddling out of the shadow of the Clubhouse into the sunshine the extra warmth of the sun was very noticeable. Some anglers wished us well as we carefully avoided their fishing floats. The canal was now more open to the wind as there were less trees on the banks allowing us to see more of the countryside. We paddled past a very large house where some swans were being fed on the canal bank. ( It would have made an ideal Clubhouse but somewhat expensive !! ) We now had a straight stretch of canal in front of us with a head wind, a ruffled surface and glare from the sun. It was time to put some effort into the paddling!! The kestrels were making light work of the wind. At the next bend we pulled in, the German Shepherd had a leg stretch and we decided to turn and head back to Drakeholes. We rafted up, held our paddles up and sailed effortlessly back along the straight stretch to Clayworth. From there we paddled round bend after bend, under the bridges and began to wonder if Drakeholes was round the next bend or the next bend, or the next, or the next. The last bend came and so ended a very enjoyable paddle,

Thanks to Cath and Phill for suggesting this as an alternative to the North Sea, to Martin, Chris, Gordon and son and the German Shepherd for being such excellent company and for some interesting conversations. An enjoyable paddle was had by all. – Hugh

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Sea kayak rescue skills practise, Underbank Reservoir, Saturday 22nd August.

A group of ten of us met at Underbank Reservoir near Stocksbridge. After a warmup paddle, we practised a variety of rescue techniques, including T-rescues, eskimo rescue, self rescue and rolling, and towing techniques.

The hot sunny afternoon helped people to get stuck in. The reservoir was an ideal safe place to practise these essential sea kayaking skills. Mark practised his open boat rescues too, full marks for perseverance!

It was great to have new members take part, as well as friends from Leeds Canoe club. After an unexpected shower in a thunderstorm whilst loading the boats, the day was rounded off nicely with a meal at the Strines. - Julie Jones

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Cliffhanger 11th/12 July. Millhouses Park.

7 am. on Saturday morning saw me at Millhouses Park unloading and I was soon joined by Ian and the Pyranha Team with their van. With the help of other Club members we set put up tents and arranged the displays ready for the public opening at 10.30 a.m. There was a very good selection of canoes for all to try and a stand up paddle board which was very popular with our members.

Lessons had been learnt from last year's come and try it sessions, our booking in team operated a new system which worked extremely well. The day was split into 15 minutes paddling time for 10 paddlers with a 5 minute changeover time before the next group. This meant that we could kit up the next group whilst the earlier group were on the water and they were then ready for the changeover. The public could book in for a definite time slot and were then free to see other parts of Cliffhanger rather than hang around in a large queue waiting their turn. This made kitting up much easier for us and allowed breathing space between the groups - a complete change from last year's frenetic non stop one on one off system and large queues.

The weather was very kind to us on both days so the boating lake water was warm which meant helpers in the water and the paddlers did not have to worry about being cold! I had the novel experience of paddling the Canadian on a new piece of water for me so the official photographer could interview and film some of the come and try it paddlers whilst on the water. It was very pleasing to see how many paddlers were enjoying the sessions and to hear their thanks for the experience, making it all seem so worthwhile.

The clearing up at the end was done very quickly and efficiently. All those who helped in any way did Sheffield Canoe Club proud. A very big thank you to you all and the Pirana Team for your efforts. We had two very successful days. Well done everyone. - Hugh Pashley.

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18th July. Swanning about on the Canal !!

A completely new canoeing event for the Club - A Mute Swan Round-Up on the Rotherham Navigation Cut (Canal ) in the centre of Rotherham. The Club were invited by the Sorby Breck Ringing Group and Yorkshire Swan Rescue to help with the round up of the swans which collect on the Rotherham Canal in good numbers for their annual moult. Swans moult their primary flight feathers during the months of July and August and are flightless at this time. This gives an opportunity to catch large numbers of swans for ringing and health checks. The monitoring of the swans in this way enables their movements and population distribution to be more accurately evaluated.

Twelve of us met at the Swan Lake Tearooms at the Home Flair Complex on Rawmarsh Rd at about 8.30 a.m. to meet Dan, the organiser, who briefed us on our part of the roundup. Access to the canal was through the tearooms. The owner was quite unconcerned about us carrying our kayaks through the cafe. Once launched we paddled in a U-shaped formation towards the flock of about 50 swans and gently drove the birds upstream in a concentrated group towards the catching point. All seemed to be going to plan until one swan turned towards us, spread its wings, took off and flew into the distance! The others carried on slowly to the catching point but sensed that something was not quite right ahead of them. About half of them turned towards us, flapped their wings furiously, beating the water with their wings unable to take off they surfed at speed between us. Quite spectacular! The rest reached the catching area where some were successfully caught and others escaped, some of which were later successfully caught.

The earlier surfing escapees then gathered as a group opposite the cafe. We carefully paddled past them and cautiously drove them to the catching point with more success this time. One managed to surf its way past us and back to the cafe. Four of us then tried to coax this lone swan to the catching point. It defeated us on three occasions so we gave up on it and left it in peace.

The morning was rounded off with tea and coffee at the Swan Lake Tearooms. The ringing group were pleased with the number of swans caught, health checked and ringed and were very impressed with our efforts. All in all a very interesting and useful mornings paddle. - Hugh Pashley.

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Swan Moult Roundup 18th July 2015

About a dozen of us attended the First Annual (if they want us back?) Swan Moult roundup in Rotherham on Saturday morning. The lucky swans were getting themselves weighed, measured and ringed, and our job was to herd them calmly into a pen in a culvert off the canal. The ringing is done at this time of year because the adult swans are moulting their flight feathers and cannot fly away.

A very congenial manager of the Swan Lake Cafe let us traipse all our boats through her diner to the waterfront, where there was quite a substantial drop into the water. Having been briefed to keep the swans calm and not let them panic as we form a u-shape around them and to guide them gently into the awaiting trap, off we went. The flock eyed us suspiciously from across the enlarged area of the canal in front of the cafe. All seemed to be going well as we herded the flock on, but then some of them became restless and suddenly half the flock had taken off, flown over our heads and landed behind us. I guess they can manage with fewer flight feathers than was thought.

After that we managed to get a few of them penned, but then they hopped over the nets into another area. Not as daft as they look. Eventually after splitting into three teams and dealing with some talented individuals who could have taught the England rugby team a few things about dodging and weaving, almost thirty swans were ringed.

To finish off the morning 'The Princess' - a very large barge on a small canal decided to turn around in front of the cafe, with only a metre or so to spare on each side, blocking off our exit; but eventually we got to our free coffee, and we all agreed that it had been a very enjoyable and unusual mornings' paddling.

Looking forward to next year – hope they ask us again.- Patricia

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Trip report. Filey. Sunday March 22nd.

It was a case of third time lucky. It was cancelled as the antidote to Christmas Shopping in December due to stormy weather. It was then offered in March as a warm up sea paddle for Anglesey at Easter but postponed on the 15th due to more stormy weather. After a week of N to NE force 2 - 5 winds which relented for Sunday 22nd to southerly force 2 - 3 it seemed a feasible paddling day.. Neil, Martin, Stuart and I duly met at Cobble Landing at 9.15 and looked out to sea. It was sunny and relatively calm in Filey Bay with some 3 foot surf running but decidedly lumpy off Filey Brigg. As we launched through the surf a few face fulls of salt water woke us up to the challenge ahead. It was a straight forward paddle out to the Brigg as we headed into the irregular lumpy green waves but as we approached the Brigg it was obvious that rounding the Brigg was out of the question. We paddled out towards the Light Buoy in increasingly large irregular lumpy seas. An easy quick decision was made to turn and head back to Filey. The tidal flow was pushing us towards the Brigg and we were making very little progress, if any, even with the help of the following fast moving irregular lumpy waves. Our transits had not altered. We changed our heading towards the Primrose Valley /Reighton Gap area of the Beach and at last our transits showed that we were making progress towards the beach. As we neared the beach the waves settled into a more regular pattern so we were able to make better progress. Landing through the surf was testing as the waves were traveling very fast and followed each other in quick succession allowing very little respite between dropping off one and being caught up by the next one.

Safely ashore lunch was taken on the beach. Our sea kayaks attracted a lot of attention on the beach and one dog, having said hello to me, then helped itself to half a packet of biscuits from my cockpit. I was already eating the other half !! After lunch we put on to paddle back to Cobble Landing. Martin and Neil took on the breaking waves and surfed their way back whilst Stuart and I opted to leisurely bongo ride our way back.

After loading up a visit to the cafe for a cuppa and cake rounded off a good trip with some challenging paddling conditions. It was excellent preparation for Easter weekend on Anglesey. The weather was too good to drive straight home so a visit to North Landing for a walk on the cliffs was called for. At North Landing the wind was bitterly cold, the sunset superb, the tide full and I was surprised by the number of Kittiwake, Razorbills and Guillimot on the cliffs. - Hugh Pashley.

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2014

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Club Birthday Weekend - Bala 13th - 15th June 2014

Saturday report By David Marshall

 

It was another excellent weekend, starting on Friday evening with canapés and aperitifs in the lounge and then moving through into the restaurant for a delicious 4 course dinner with an agreeable bottle of Italian Soave, a dry, crisp medium bodied wine, unoaked with subdued flavours of pear, apple and peach, a perfect accompaniment to the wild sea trout with sorrel sauce and the roast squab pigeon with goats cheese gnocchi and St. George mushrooms.  It was still warm and light as we drove back to the hotel through the rolling hills of North Wales to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep away from the bustle of Bala.

 

On Saturday we did a spot of kayaking and some people may be under the impression that my writing this report is a result of incompetence and my inability to follow Matt’s simple instructions, but the warm weather and the previous evenings repast at Tyddyn Llan left me needing to cool down a little and enjoy a pleasant morning swim in the bracing waters of Treweryn. Having enjoyed my cooling dip, we paddled again in the afternoon and not to be outdone by the youngsters who were keen to tell me how easy it was and despite my missing some key features by going backwards through a stopper (thanks for pointing that out Jake) I managed, with some close supervision, to stay in my boat and complete the entire run.

 

It was a great day, thanks to all who organised it and to all who paddled 

We are still awaiting the report from Paul Fletcher for Saturday night and Sunday as he decided to swim on the Sunday, so please keep pestering him to write his report.

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Flamborough Trip. 31st May/1st June.

Six of us met at N Landing on the Saturday morning. There was high cloud, fair visibility and a gentle swell coming into the bay. The tide was ebbing so there was little chance of paddling into the caves. As it is easier to launch at S Landing we drove across to the Life Boat Station, battled with the parking meter to persuade it to accept £3.90 in small change and launched. It was flat calm to Flamborough Head and the cliffs on the South side are not very interesting. Even the sea birds don't like them. Rounding the headland produced more interesting cliffs with the caves and nesting birds. The tide was ebbing and the gentle swell made paddling through the gaps in the reefs interesting. For three of us it was a good exercise in reading the waves and realising how the sudden change in depth over the reefs made the waves increase in height and break. It was good sport. The others stayed out at sea. The bird life was impressive with Kittiwake their usual noisy selves, razorbill and guillimot in large numbers and some puffins. Several seals inspected us as we paddled past. Lunch was taken at N Landing.

We then paddled round to Thornwick Bay, went into the large cave and paddled back to S Landing, again enjoying the sporty mix of waves and reefs. I was the last to leave the car park and a couple walked past the Forester and looked at the Odyssey. I overheard the following. "I think he's been paddling on the sea" he said. She replied " It looks like a good seaworthy canoe" !! Is that the ultimate compliment to Lofty's design ? By this time the clouds had cleared and it was a superb evening for a walk from N Landing along the sunlit cliffs to Flamborough, take the binoculars and enjoy the birdlife. Then enjoy excellent fish and chips in Flamborough followed by a very good social evening at the campsite.

Sunday dawned bright and clear and we went to Filey, put on and paddled out to Filey Brigg and rounded it on the ebb tide. It was quite sporty at the end of the Brigg where the main currents and eddies met and mixed with the swell coming in from the Scarborough side. As we paddled towards Cayton Bay the sea settled and we landed through some small surf at the secluded small beach of The Wyke - access only from the sea - and enjoyed lunch in the sunshine. There is less birdlife on these cliffs as they are mainly clay. The tide had turned and the paddle back to the Brigg on the flood tide was very enjoyable. Rounding the Brigg again was sporty but very different to running it on the ebb. After the paddle it was ice creams all round. It was too nice an evening to drive straight home so I walked the Cliffs to the Brigg and enjoyed the superb view across Filey Bay to the sunlit Bempton Cliffs and Flamborough Head. Two very good days paddling and company. - Hugh Pashley.

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River Paddling Weekend - Ripon Saturday 3rd May 2014

Once again, the sun shone for us on our visit to Slenningford Watermill. Despite an icy start to the day (much to the delight of those camping in the field in Ripon,), the day’s paddling was accompanied by clear blue skies and warm weather.

We began the morning at Slenningford by splitting into two groups. Ian took those paddlers who wanted to either brush up on their skills or were experiencing this particular bit of the Ure for the first time, while Matt ran an informal skills session to cover improvement in breaking out and in of moving water.

While Ian’s group practiced up river, Matt’s headed down to the drop which is Sleningford’s main feature. For those of us who had paddled here before, the appearance of the river came as a shock following the engineering works which have cleared a number of rocks from the river and increased the flow into the waterfall, transforming it in a more technical challenge. Matt’s group ran the drop several times in order to practice various techniques with yours truly being the only swimmer (due to not quite appreciating the change in flow since I visited here last.) Three or four runs each sorted out any issues and we eventually waited at the bottom of the drop, playing about in the surf until Ian’s group came down river to join us. All successfully ran the drop, managing to stay upright and catch the eddy at the foot of the fall.

After an early lunch, during which the sunshine really kicked in (resulting in a sore, glowing scalp that evening for the follically challenged amongst us who neglected to put the Factor 50 on top…. ahem…), the majority of us headed down the Ure towards Ripon. A few paddlers remained at Slenningford with Matt to practice white water skills, while after a final run down the falls, the rest of us began the paddle southwards.

Although there was more water than last year, certain parts of the journey were a scrape and at one point we all had to portage around a gravel bank. However, the Ure is a delightful and picturesque river with and abundance of water fowl ranging from majestic herons to cute ducklings and wary geese. The first part of the journey is characterised by frequent gentle rapids before the river calms down and widens out to be bounded by verdant gravel banks and colourful geological outcrops of contrasting layered rock.

An afternoon’s paddle brought us directly back to the BCU field in Ripon where the club had made camp for the weekend and planned to barbeque that evening. After a fantastic day’s paddle. it was with regret that a few of us had to leave before this and couldn’t stay for the following day’s events. Although, waking up the next morning with aching arms and a sunburnt head, maybe it was for the best!

Many thanks to Ian & Matt for organising another brilliant day!

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Sheffield Canal trip 29-3-14

12 paddlers went a 5 mile round trip from Victoria Quays to Tinsley locks on the warmest day of 2014. We had 3 sea kayaks (1 home built), 1 canadian and 7 kayaks.

We passed many tall buildings in need of repair and many cleared areas where the supertram was clearly visible. With 2 stops to remove jumpers it took 1¼ hours to reach Tinsley where we had a short break. Less than an hour later we arrived back at the canal basin.

Highlight? – The skeleton driving a car and a skull in a shopping trolley!! Thankyou to all who came along it was a good paddle. Fortunately Jay wasn’t too tired to mow my lawn when we got home!

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2-3-2014  Niagra weir to Meadowhall.

 

First attempt at a trip report and hopefully the last ( lesson learned, either don’t swim, or don’t swim first!!) 

 

We all met up on what turned out to be pretty good weather for early March.  All the redistribution of cars sorted we put in.  A big slide, tree adjusted trajectory and large splash signalled the last entry into the water (Matt). 

 

Lack of water meant we all crossed over to portage round Niagra Weir, re-entering just below.  We were also at this point split into two groups, for better progress and with my kayak having a camera on the front, I tried to keep it aimed on Simon as much as possible,  ready for keeping his swim tally up!   The same lack of water made the first section of the trip, to Neepsend very scrapey, taking lots of effort to make progress.  either that or my kayak was telling me I need a diet?

 

From Neepsend on things went better,  while there were still shallow scrapey bits,  most could be avoided or pushed through reasonably easily.  The Weirs gave us some nice little slides and nice to see the artwork adorning the walls adjoining the river.  Everyone made good safe progress, with little trouble except for the occasional getting stuck.  As we neared Meadowhell get out we all ended up together which meant that as my boat slipped back of the rocks with me half way out everyone was there to see me swim,  hence my writing this report!  Lol

 

Thanks to Matt for arranging and everyone that went.   Jon Brook. 

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2-2-14 - Wortley Top Forge – Club

On Sunday 2nd February due to the cancellation of the club trip due to high water levels,  half a dozen intrepid paddlers met in the car park at Wortley, the weather could not have been better,  not too cold and lovely sunshine.  A few last minute nervous toilet breaks in the bushes a steady warm up on the flat then off on the main run. The first section has a few small drops to get you warmed up and settled in,  playing eddy hopping was a great way to smarten up your skills.  A debris strewn section tried to nick my paddle,  and an errant tree stump left quite an impression on my ribs! Down to the stepping stones, and a difference in opinions in lines saw Simon beached and shuffling. 

Tin Mill weir saw us all out and scoping Matts line, I still don't know how he managed to drop into the small eddy after dropping over the weir! Everyone made a great job of nailing the drop and run off section beyond. The old bridge section below the chequered bridge saw a great move by Simon, managing to find the only rock in the middle of the weir and riding it perfectly. Dave and Eric managed a nice side kick off the rock. There was a nice play wave just below the confluence of the Little Don, which saw us all on it. It almost ended I a mass swim when Dave M got sideways causing a few wobbles. 

Down to the Gorge section!  The first drop into the gorge looked exactly the same as the week before,  so I decided to just run it!  Mistake!  Matt and Simon dropped into the eddies to cover safety,  and off I went. I knew as soon as I dropped in that the levels were higher than the previous week, the middle stopper caught me and put me on a collision course with the large rock before the last drop,  off the side and arriving at the last drop sideways! The outcome was pretty inevitable! After surfacing I was greeted by Neil F and his small group,  how come when you get it wrong there's always an audience?  The rest of the group followed up, but the gorge still had one more victim to claim!  Well done Simon three rivers three swims, keep it up!  All safely back in our boats it was off to the stepped weir.

On approach it looked like Niagra Falls with the spray misting up from the bottom,  a quick scan saw Matt take a line river right, a line which we haven't taken before,  but bowing to his superior knowledge off we went! A bit more of a drop but all good.  A nice steady paddle back to the club finished off a great mornings trip. Thanks to Matt and all the guys,  excellent trip. If Simon could just swim first next time, he can do the next report! - Number 1 swimmer. - Pete W

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11th & 12th January 2014 - Matt’s Birthday Bash

Firstly I am going to name and shame, writing the trip report from club trips has always been done by the 1st swimmer, this goes back to the days of a newsletter printed on paper before the website took over. Failing that and nobody swims it is the organizer. So Simon Corlett took the first swim on Saturday, but he hasn’t written the report yet, so I thought I’d write it as the organizer (Matt Holmes).

SIMON CORLETT SWAM

Saturday morning saw 10 paddlers, 3 Pub goers (non paddlers) and 2 dogs meet at Ripon to determine the plan considering water levels. Plan agreed we went up to Hack Falls, to paddle the Ure back down to West Tanfield. Hiking down the hill with boats, you could see some new kit, some people must have been good for Father Christmas to bring them.

On the water we broke into 2 small groups and paddled down river, suitably warmed up we arrived at Hack Falls, after a scout around the bank ensuring all was ok, we shot the rapids.

The first group was almost through and in the eddy waiting for Simon, he shot the rapids easily and online then just on the eddy line he decided to take a bath rather than wait for a nice warm shower in the bunk house. Swimmer and kit rescued, we watched the second group down the rapids to see their lines. Once safely through we carried on, watching kingfishers and other wildlife along the way. We arrived at the get out, where the 3 pub goers were having a drink or 2. This was a perfect stopping point to enjoy a warming drink before heading to the Bunk House. The pub is a great place but, 2 points were noted, firstly don’t abandon your dogs tied to the bench outside and forget about them. Secondly don’t order pickled eggs as the barmaid can’t stand them.

Saturday night 11 of us stayed in a Bunk House in Brampton on Swale, on arrival we couldn’t work out if it was colder inside or out! With the heaters on the place warmed up a little. Matt the chef soon had curry ready for everyone, there was none left and no one complained which is a bonus, a cake was shared with a few drinks to wash it all down.

Sunday came, breakfast was fried up we were ready for the day ahead. It quickly became apparent it was very cold with a heavy frost and ice, our wet paddling kit wasn’t wet anymore but frozen solid.

The plan was to head to Richmond, look at Richmond Falls and paddle down to Catterick on the Swale. The level was just right for everyone’s ability to shoot the falls. We started putting our paddling kit on but being frozen together it was quite hard. Someone even had to pee on their kayaking boots to unfreeze them so his feet would go in. After a look at the rapid, everyone decided to shoot the falls. Matt took the lead and shot the rapids first to show everyone the line and then provide safety cover. In turn we all shot the falls some slightly off line but never the less successfully shot, except one. He left the falls great but in mid air lent sideways and landed off balance. Swimming Simon is up for another OBE (Out of Boat Experience), his excuse “to wash his boot”, I will leave you to work out why. Halfway down Dave Earp was up for an OBE, with everyone all ok and noticing the temperature not rising we were pleased to reach the get out. We located the 4 pub goers who were sensibly in the pub keeping warm, with cars loaded we had a beverage of some kind before making our way home.

Thanks to everyone for making it a really enjoyable birthday. - Matt Holmes

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1st January2014

First trip of 2014 saw 12 members gather at Oughtibridge for a fresh wake up to bring in the New Year with a paddle on the river Don from Oughtibridge to Niagra Falls (a curved vertical weir). It is an ideal length trip so you still can get off in time to carry on eating Christmas left overs with family and friends awaiting at home.  Everyone enjoyed themselves with no swimmers, hence I’m (Matt Holmes) writing this. Everyone enjoyed themselves and it was a really good trip just a shame the rain came down heavily when loading the cars. Look forward to seeing more people on river trips this coming year. - Matt Holmes

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2013

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Boxing Day

By 9.30am Artists car park, Matlock Bath was quickly filling up with kayakers including 7 from our club.

After some car shuffling we followed the rafts down the river, with time to play on a few waves at the slalom section. Some in the crowds trew flour bombs however the rafts retaliated by squirting water from ‘onboard’ pumps. As we approached a large weir the cheers of the crowds rivalled those heard at football matches. Some rafts negotiated the weir well others ended in pieces.

It was a good paddle to finish the year. Thanks go to our wives who shuffled cars before enjoying a coffee, chat and a walk along the bank, where they admired the attire of one of the crowd – don’t ask!!! – Ian

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REPORT FOR THE RIVER ESK TRIP ON SATURDAY 19TH OCTOBER 2013

Members of Sheffield Canoe Club were invited by Chris from Pennine/Halifax canoe club to join his club on a ten mile trip down the River Esk from Egton Bridge into Whitby Harbour.

There were twenty two paddlers in total. Ten of these paddlers were from Sheffield Canoe Club and were Chris Halligan, Bill, Jim, Paul, Dave, Julie, Eric, Dave Marshall, Nikki and Julie.

We started the trip at 10.15am and paddled down about ten rapids and three weirs. On the second weir the landowner popped up and started to give us a bit of grief. The third weir was a bit like being on a log flume. The channel was so narrow that there was not enough room to use your paddles so you did not feel totally in control as you went down it, especially when you came to the forty five degree bend.

Even though there had been a lot of rain the week before the river was still quite rocky.

We finished the trip by paddling through Whitby Harbour and taking some photos. Some people even paddled further and went onto the sea.

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Bala August Bank Holiday 2013

Got here Friday afternoon and set up the caravan and my tent. Grandma said “the site is immaculately clean”. Paul, Sarah, Matt, Grandma, and I sat by lake Bala eating fish and chips. We all played nerf by the lake.

I sat with the campers chatting and drinking pop by candle light.

Saturday

Paddled down some really massive rapids. I capsized once and was fine. Julie capsized twice and lost her shoe – Grandpa said “not again!”

Grandma and Sarah went on a steam train at the side of the lake. Everyone had a fun day. It was a very starry night.

Sunday

Paul, Dave, Julie, Sammy, Grandpa and I paddled on lake Bala. Julie and Sarah cycled down from the camp site. I got so close to doing a hand roll and I ‘rescued’ Grandpa. We all sat and had a picnic by the lake, then did more paddling and playing. Some went for a pub meal. I played badminton and frisbee, Grandpa climbed over a barbed wire to get the Frisbee back.

Monday

Paul, Sarah, Julie, Dave, Matt Grandpa and I all went white water rafting (5 minute walk from the camp site) Sarah and I sat in the front, it was awesome. We had a snack in the sunshine before packing up to come home – wish we could stay longer. Sammy and Hugh went to the lake for a paddle.

It was a brilliant weekend, pity more couldn’t come – there is something for everyone and the site is close to a river, a very short drive to the lake and not far from another river which is less demanding. – Jay and Ian Holmes

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Flamboro. Sunday July 14th

After a superb warm sunny Saturday , Sunday the 14th dawned dull and  grey with a hint of drizzle which did not encourage the early start to  be at North Landing for 9..00 a.m. These conditions persisted all the  way to N Landing needing occasional use of the windscreen wipers. The  view from the car park extended as far as the sea entrance to N  Landing and then merged into a blank wall of grey mist. The tide was  well in with a slight swell running. Not exactly conditions to make  you rush to get on the water. An old friend of mine, Lofty Wright was  already there and had a welcoming cup of tea ready for me. Phill and  the others who had a superb paddle from South Landing on the saturday  slowly arrived and the sun began to win its battle with the mist which  gave second best and slowly disappeared. We launched in these  improving conditions and made our way towards Flamboro Head. The tide  was ebbing and was at a suitable level for going into the caves but  the swell made it too hazardous so we stayed well out, enjoying the  swell, enjoying the sight of puffins, gannets, razor bill, guillemots,  shag, kittiwake, fulmar and the local herring gulls and black backed  gulls. We landed just below the lighthouse for lunch and had fun on  some small green surf before landing. By this time the sun had won its  battle with the mist  and conditions were very good. We were able to  enjoy the warm sun and have a leisurely lunch. After lunch Martin and  Neil paddled round the Head to Bridlington and Julie, Phill, myself  and the others paddled back to N Landing. The tide was too low to  visit the caves but there was some sport to be had amongst the rock  ledges. There was just enough water to canoe the superb arches before  the turn into N Landing and then moving on to Thornwick Bay to visit  the smugglers cave. All in all a very enjoyable day. – Hugh

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Family Fun Day 7th July 2013

Brilliant hot day at Hemsworth. Played on a surf board, and went on pedalos. Sheila, Hugh and Phill paddled their sea boats.

You’ve been framed moment – Ian falling off surf board on a flat lake!! Well done Liz – who didn’t turn the camera on.

Good family day out,thank you Sheila for organising this. Hope more can come to next year’s family fun Day.

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Bala Mill 2/3 Slalom 4th-5th May 2013

Over the Mayday weekend four club members joined paddlers from around the UK at Bala Mill slalom in North Wales. After an early start we all arrived at the slalom and were bemused at the level of water that there wasn’t in the river. When the release finally turned up at 10:30 we all decided to go for a practice before the main event. After getting feedback from Esther we then waited for the race to begin. After the back-to-back Div 3’s had finished some of us decided that we would judge the Div 2 race. When the last competitor finally finished, and the water quickly receded, at around 5 we could all go and look at the results.

On the Sunday morning we all got up ready for the race. We again waited for the water to be turned on and then all did our practice runs and got our feedback. The day ran similarly to Saturday with the back-to-back Div 3’s and then some of us, again, judging the Div 2’s. The weekend didn’t bring any trophies but did show a marked improvement in some peoples paddling. Iona paddled her first Div 2/3 event, Will achieved his highest finish in Div 3. Andrew also got his highest finish of the season and I came in the top 10 in Div 3. - Matt C

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10- 02-13 River Don Trip6 paddlers braved the snow to paddle from the gorge section to base. Two fallen trees blocked the 1st drop. Ian was the first near ‘swimmer’. But Dave won the ‘best entry’!! An enjoyable snowy morning. - Ian

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01-01-13 New Years Day

Due to the high water levels we paddled around our Oughtibridge base – good morning had by all – see the photos in the gallery Chris Marlow said he didn’t swim!!!! - Ian

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2012

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Saturday 1st December Illuminated paddle

Brilliant evening, well attended despite the cold. Check out the photos. The hot drinks and buns afterwards were well appreciated. Thank you.

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Matlock Slalom Training

On Sunday 14th October Me and Jack joined GreenStar to do some slalom training at Matlock. We were split up into two groups, one of the Div 3 paddlers, and the other of Div 2 and upwards. I was in the Div 3 group and Jack was in the Div 2+ group. We all started at the slalom start and did some practice on the gates that were already up. Then the Div 2+ group moved down the river to give us some room. We then did some basic training on the gates like learning how to attack them properly. We then moved down the river to where we did some practice on a gate circuit in the middle of the course. Then after a brief lunch break we all got back on the water for another session of training. This time Me and Jack were in the same group as Jack did some C1 training. We did a little bit of work on the gates near the slalom start and then moved down towards the middle of the course. Here we were doing a circuit over “Killer Rock”. Here we kept changing the circuit to keep us on our toes and to cover all the possible circuits with the gates up. After this we had all had enough and got off after a long day of strenuous training. – Matt C

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Anglesey sea trip October 2012. sea trip video.

This month’s trip was enjoyed by the members who went down in glorious sunshine and flat seas on both days Saturday and Sunday with Frank Staniland, Cath Waterhouse , John Witham, Neil Furmidge, Alan Riggot and myself Phill Hickson and Julie Jones who was taking her 4* sea kayaking assessment over the weekend.

Over the weekend there must have been around 20 to 30 sea paddlers all taking part in many of the superb trips to be had on the island in excellent conditions, the guy’s who did not manage to get down missed out on a superb weekends paddle just hope you all can make the next trips and no illness stops you from going!

Saturday’s trip went from Porthdafach beach round to south stack lighthouse taking in penryhn maur tide race well done John for getting round without capsizing both outbound and return! A lunch stop was taken just before south stack and then Frank, Alan and Neil continued to the lighthouse while the rest of us returned to Porthdafach and onto Trearddur bay and back to Porthdafach. Sunday was another superb days paddle again in glorious sunshine leaving from Church bay on the far west coast of Holy island above Holyhead harbour paddling up and around Carmel head another tide race which all managed without incident taking in the many caves to be seen and explored along this coastline. Lunch was taken not long after Carmel head looking out towards the Skerries where a couple of groups had paddled out to.

Following lunch we then set off up the coast again taking in some superb scenery and through and past Harry Furloughs rocks another tide race which was nothing to worry about but was just on the verge of turning prior to finishing the trip at Cemlyn Bay.

Thanks to all who turned up and made the weekends paddle most enjoyable, hope to see you on the next trips, good luck to Frank on his trip to India on the Bhutan River in 3 weeks time. - Phill Hickson

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Marple Slalom - Stockport

On 1st and 2nd of September members of Sheffield canoe club took part in a Division 3/4 slalom event in Marple, near Manchester. On the Saturday only Me and Andrew took part. The day was good fun as we met friends that we had made in Scotland at the Slalom training. The day ended with Me coming 5th and Andrew coming 6th. On the Sunday Jack joined us at the slalom. On this day the three of us entered a team event under the name of “Full Montey”. This led to us coming 5th out of the 10 teams that were entered. This day ended with me coming 8th, Andrew coming 3rd and Jack coming 1st , and last, in his one-man class. Overall we had a great two days and can’t wait until Oughtibridge in two weeks. Also a great Thank you to Manchester Canoe Club for letting me borrow one of their Slalom boats. - Matt Crowhurst

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Grandtully Slalom Training - Scotland

Each year Yorkshire slalom go up to Grandtully for training and the slalom. We were all split into groups of ability, for two one hour sessions each day, and each group was assigned a coach. My group started at the bottom of the river, doing simple things like `floating` down the river. Although these were simple things, they were made a lot harder by the faster water. The river was grade 3. Over the week I progressed up the river, Going from the bottom, up to the middle part, and finally going down from the top, albeit only once in my boat and twice out of my boat (known as the big swim). Over the weekend the Slalom took place. I did not enter it because it was a div 1/2 slalom and I am in div 3. Although I did not enter the slalom, I still did some judging, which was a fun experience. Over the week, fun was had by all, and we all made some good friends. - Andrew Crowhurst

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Fairnilee Slalom & Slalom Training - Scotland

After arriving on the Wednesday evening in the pouring rain, we were delighted when Thursday dawned fine. During the training on the Thursday, we practiced various techniques including: Ferry gliding, surfing waves, breaking in and out of the flow and getting a general feel for the water. At the end of the session, we all had to do either a capsize or roll. For the training on the Friday, we had the slalom course up. During that days training, we used the gates to perfect our techniques and got to know the slalom course. On the Saturday and Sunday, the slalom took place. On the Saturday I came 9th and got the best junior award. On the Sunday I came 6th, but sadly didn’t get anything. - Andrew Crowhurst

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The Slenningford Trip Report:

 

On Saturday 18th August four intrepid canoeists, Dave, Warren, Paul and Julie did an initial paddle on the slalom site of Slenningford Mill. the area was in flood after nearly two inches of rain during the previous twenty four hours. The area just below the 999 weir had several good waves for ferry gliding on and doing break ins/outs on.Further down there were several large standing waves.Julie experienced them pushing her into a tree and getting smacked on the head by a tree branch. Dave got stuck in a stopper further down the course but got out okay. Big smiles of relief were on everybody's faces when we got to the bottom of this grade three section of river as any swim would have been a very nasty one.Once the initial paddle was finished we were joined for several other runs down this river section by Jack, Sammy and Morley who survived!!!! – Julie

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No report for canal trip 29-7-12

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A Trip Report & Guide To The Upper Don by Rob and Max Stokoe

Max and I paddled a 5.5 mile section of the Don between Thurlstone and Thurgoland this weekend.  We have lived in Thurlstone for over 10 years and when the river is in spate have seen people paddling this section but never given it a go. A sunny Sunday in June after two days of heavy rain gave us perfect conditions for Max (9) to try his first real river trip beyond the Sunday morning sessions at Oughtibridge.

What follows is a quick guide (letters are marked on the attached map). PDF As ever, getting the river level right is important, too low it will be a scrape, too high and it’s in the trees. At the height we paddled, full and fast flowing with no exposed rocks and just enough space to limbo under most of the trees it was continuous Grade I-II with no slack water:

  • A – Our get in point, at the bridge as you enter Thurlstone turn immediately right into the drive leading to South Yorkshire home improvements. Get in on the left bank after the garages. There are Kingfishers along this section.
  • B – Just after the get in there is a broken weir which can be shot river left or right. Best inspected before getting in and as a gauge to water level. We paddled with a good depth of water  flowing across the full width of the weir and a small chain of breaking waves where the river narrows bellow. A good height but not in spate.
  • C – Nice bit of grade II with standing and breaking waves.
  • D – Not really a weir (no drop) but it does form a stopper across 70% of the width of the river.
  • E – Caution there is a fallen tree across the full width of the river, at the height we paddled it was just possible to get over it far river right but we portaged on the left bank to be safe.
  • F – The bridge here has a height gauge which was at 50cm.
  • G – At lower levels there would be an island / shingle bank in the river covered in vegetation this was flooded enough to paddle over but with a lot of greenery above water level like paddling through a rhubarb field.
  • H – Nice bit of grade II with standing and breaking waves, stopper river left. In the next section we found a snake swimming in the river.
  • I – Large weir, can be run across it’s full width, portaged river right or egress here river left following public footpath to the road.
  • J – After shooting the weir there is a footpath over stepping stones (or a set of small pour-overs at this level). There is another good egress river left following public footpath to the road. If you continue down river be aware that after about 100m there are two sets of steel wires strung across the full width of the river, though the level would have to be very high for these to be a problem.
  • K – We continued to here but don't recommend it the river slows and meanders as the water backs up above the weir, the gradient is less steep and we felt that most of the fun was over by the get outs at I and J. The weir here is steeper and forms a larger stopper than than last so worth a look in high water.

The health and safety bit : At high water levels this is a fast flowing and fairly continuous run with only small breakouts and fairly steep vegetated banks. There are a lot of overhanging trees that block more than half the width of the river and not all of them can be avoided. We had a great day but please don't read this as a recommendation for a first river trip or paddling in a group of less than three people.  

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River Don Trip - On Monday 7th May Julie, Neil, Chris, Warren, Morley and Chrissie went on a paddle from Rivelin Valley to Meadowhall. We went down about 13 weirs and paddled about 6 miles. The water levels were disappointing after the recent rain we have had so it was abump and scrape in places. We had a good audience when we were playing on the stopper at the bottom of the weir at Meadowhall. Morley especially enjoyed himself on that and had a giant smile on his face. - Julie

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