Waterside series 2019

February will see the start of 2019’s Waterside Series, a set of four races organised by Newbury Canoe Club (NCC) that covers part of the Devizes to Westminster (DW) race course, designed to give DW competitors the chance to experience and practise the whole DW course in the weeks before Easter.

Traditionally, Adventure Dolphin members have helped to marshal these races, and in return we have received a financial contribution to our club.  So, here’s our call for help – if you are a marathon paddler who is not racing or supporting a crew, or a paddler within the club, please would you join us as a marshal to assist with a variety of activities such as making sure that the paddlers, supporters and the general public are kept safe when the portages around locks involve crossing roads.

All families are welcome and if it’s your first time, you’ll be partnered with someone who knows the ropes!  Refreshments are provided free of charge and we can assist with transport as locations include: Kintbury, Marsh Benham, Bulls and Aldermaston locks.  The average day starts around 9am, and finishes at approximately 1pm depending on the location.

If you can help or would like more details, please contact Bill Whitaker via email at: bill.whitaker@adventuredolphin.co.uk

Race A: 24th February

Race B: 10th March

Race C: 24th March

Race D: 7th April

The Teign was quite a paddle!

The River Teign white water kayaks and open canoes trip (North Dartmoor) on Saturday 17th November proved to be an excellent day out for all, with some interesting technical challenges, set within the beautiful woodlands of the Teign Gorge in the National Trust grounds of Castle Drogo.
Ian Blatchey (Scampi) organised the trip and took a quick dip as he got on (Shhh don’t tell anyone!). Alison Stephens turned out to be our star paddler, Mike Kew was excellent and Cliff Coombes was our joker!
Many of our paddlers are still confused about the correct way to pronounce ‘teign’! Pub locals called it ‘teen’. Doesn’t match the ‘teign’ in Teignmouth (‘tin’) or Bishopsteignton (‘tane’)!!
Much doom and gloom was posted on Facebook by various people prior to the trip. Their opinion appeared to be based solely on water levels on gauges. One person said the river was ‘empty’ and another suggested it wasn’t worth bothering with. Not true.
Just for everyone’s information we did not paddle the river blind. Sally and Adrian Moon did a comprehensive recce the day before. They walked the entire higher technical section and observed from both sides of the river.

Yes, it was low and certainly technical in places meaning decisions had to be made about lines etc, and the open canoeists decided to portage in places (thanks again for your help Colin Greaves!) No point in risking a broken boat or body. Fallen trees across the river also slowed us up. Although we all agreed that it was a great day’s paddling.

Sally, Lizzie and Jane enjoyed the river side walk, and Tenzing (Ed’s dog) had a fantastic time running around when he wasn’t in the canoe or riding the rapids!

To see what other outings our Trips Planning Team have in store for us visit our online calendar.  December includes the Santa Paddle on the 16th, a trip to the River Barle on 29th December and the Boxing Day paddle starting at Pangbourne, followed by mince pies and mulled wine.

 

Mermaids! What in the Thames?

Our Sunday morning paddlers came face to face with a self-confessed mermaid last month. The mermaid AKA, open water swimmer, Lindsey Cole, swam past them while on course to complete her 200 mile swim of the Thames to  raise awareness of the environmental effects of single-use plastic.

Lindsey took to the water at the beginning of November in a wetsuit, tail and woolly hat about 20 miles from the source of the river at Lechlade, Gloucestershire, and is describing herself as an “Urban Mermaid” as she is appealing to passers-by to litter pick and add to her mermaid sculpture that is being towed by her support canoe.

It is thought that by the end of their travels (Teddington) that they will have created a giant mermaid sculpture made out of plastic bottles that is representative of how we are choking our rivers with plastic.

To find out more about Lindsey’s story visit the BBC News website

A team to be proud of

A team to be proud of

Congratulations to all of our volunteer members who received awards at British Canoeing’s Southern Region (Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Hampshire) award ceremony on Tuesday 20th November, held in Pangbourne.

Attended by various clubs throughout the region, our members received awards for long service, impact and volunteering.

Club Impact Award for 2018
Jointly to Ian Blatchley and John Bethell

Young Volunteer Coach of the Year
Ellie Hatchett

15 Years Service Award for Services to the Southern Region

Kevin Dennis

Outstanding Contribution and 25 Years Service

Adrian Moon
Alan Brown
Cliff Coombes
Ed Edwards
Ian Blatchley
Ian Flanders
John Bethell
Ken Tomkins
Maggie Dennis
Sue Harris
Vicky Metcalfe

15 years service
Andrew Middleton
Bill Whitaker
Claire Hardwick
Colin Greaves
Mark Edwards
Ian Palmer
Kevin Dennis
Lizzy Feuillade
Paul Atherton
Penny Tomkins
Steve McCluskey
Tim Metcalfe

Well done to everyone

LEL course now available

Adventure Dolphin (AD) is set to run a ‘Lowland Expedition Leadership’ (LEL) course in January.
The Level 3 qualification enables delegates to develop essential leadership skills that they can use in the outdoor environment to arrange trips and expeditions.

The course (spread over three months plus an assessment weekend) covers everything from navigation, and remote supervision, to outdoor clothing, camping and cooking, as well as organisational skills and risk assessment leadership.

This course is ideal for anyone working in a wide range of educational and aspirant outdoor professionals, or for those wanting to participate in the delivery of Duke of Edinburgh Bronze/Silver awards.
AD has more than 30 years’ experience in delivering LEL with many of our members completing the course so that they can facilitate overnight expeditions for young people.
A substantial fee reduction is available for Adventure Dolphin members and leaders wishing to undertake this training. Partial funding may be available to DofE leaders based in West Berkshire.
For further information please contact: aat.brown@adventuredolphin.co.uk
Click here for further information about the qualification and relevant course dates.

Safety Alert – Weil’s Disease

Safety Alert – Weil’s Disease

Weil’s disease (Leptospirosis)

We have been made aware of a paddler in the East Midland’s region who was diagnosed with Weil’s disease (Leptospirosis) on Saturday 17th November.  Our thoughts are with the paddler and their family, as they fight the condition.

Please find below some helpful information:

Weils Disease (Leptospirosis)

All water users should be aware of this potentially fatal infection.

This is a bacterial infection normally believed to be spread by rat urine, though can also be transmitted by cat, fox and rabbit urine. Transmission is usually through an open wound or abrasion but can also be coursed by ingestion of contaminated water.

Symptoms are lethargy, diarrhoea, headaches, vomiting and muscle pain; sometimes referred to as flu like symptoms, if untreated can be fatal.

Prevention

Prevention measures against water borne infection are:

  • Cover all cuts and abrasions with waterproof plasters.
  • Always wear footwear to avoid cutting the feet.
  • Avoid capsize or rolling practice in suspected waters.
  • Where possible shower soon after the activity
  • As a minimum always wash your hands after paddling and before eating or drinking

If you feel ill after paddling you should tell your Doctor as soon as possible and let them know where and when you have been on the water.

The NHS publish the following guidance:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Leptospirosis/

Further information and support is available when required by contacting:

safety@britishcanoeing.org.uk

PCC News

Winter Training
Winter training is now well underway with sessions on the water on Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings as well as Circuit Training on Wednesday evenings. All members are welcome to circuits but do just check if it’s your first time to make sure the session is on. The main event for the Race Group since the last newsletter was the Banbury Hasler. All paddlers are now wrapping up well on the water balancing the need to keep warm if you have a swim with the problem of overheating.

Banbury Hasler Report

The Cold and Narrow Canal
On Sunday 28th October we travelled to Banbury to race in their annual Hasler event.  This is run on the canal which is narrow in places (in fact, there are no wide bits) so quite different for those of us used to the Thames. Paddling up to the start was like steering the Star ship Enterprise out of space doc.  It was also cold and windy in comparison with the conditions we have raced in over recent months. There were also portages for all divisions: two in divisions 7-10 (4 miles), six for divisions 4 to 6 (8 miles) and fourteen for divisions 1 to 3 (12 miles).  It is unusual for divisions 7 to 10 to have any portages so the course was quite testing.

Promotion to Division two for Jarvis
The highlight was Jarvis M winning his division 3 singles race in 1:42.34, three minutes ahead of the rest of the field.  At this level, three minutes is a large margin as if he was in warp drive and the other boats were on impulse power! This resulted in Jarvis gaining promotion to division two, a tremendous result.  Jarvis now trains with Reading but maintains his allegiance with Pangbourne in Hasler races.

More Hats for Vicky
Vicky M, paddling in C2 (double canoe) with Liz from Basingstoke came second in division 6 doubles, paddling well against people with double the number of blades (i.e. kayak paddlers).  They were also the fastest canoe on the water that day. Hence, they won a hat, the traditional prize at Banbury. A C2 beating a K2 is rather like a Klingon Bird of Prey beating a Federation Star ship.

A Mixed Bag
The rest of the Race Group had mixed results: Simon TC and Stu Q (paddling with Tommy F as a last -minute arrangement) both felt ill and had to retire from their races. Jensen M also retired due to the cold conditions. Owen B had a good race coming 5th in 1:15.31 in division 4 singles. Steve M came 13th in division 5 singles in 1:20.26, missing twelfth place by just three seconds! Hazel B and Chris R managed a very creditable 7th and 9th place respectively in division 9 singles.

The Next Race
The next race is the Ross Warland Memorial Canal Challenge on Sunday 25th November, again at Banbury.  It’s a 20-mile event where a crew can paddle the full distance or as two teams in a relay.