PCC Update

Pangbourne Canoe Club Newsletter report October-November 2018

 Evening sessions

As the days shorten our Tuesday evening sessions are ending but by the time you read this newsletter Circuit Training will have started on Wednesday evenings from 6.00-7.00pm at The Centre.  All members are welcome to this light-hearted work out. Our training sessions over recent weeks have subtly moved towards strength and stamina as we move into the autumn season where races are over longer distances.

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothes” (Alfred Wainwright, A coast to coast walk)

Over the cooler months it’s important to wear warmer kit and perhaps carry an extra layer for training sessions as the water is getting colder as I found out when I had a sudden water emersion moment (swim) last Tuesday.  Several members planning to enter the Devizes to Westminster Race over the Easter weekend are continuing to train in the evenings independently and they certainly carry extra kit.

Elmbridge Hasler

Elmbridge Hasler was on Sunday 7th October.  This is an out of region event so not one that many would attend. However, Peter W and Vicky M were keen to get out and race eight miles so why not enter?  The distance was slightly over nine miles, and this suited Peter very well as he was able to gain ground in the last mile gaining third place in division 5 K1 in 1:23.15.  This resulted in his promotion to division 4.  Well done Peter. Vicky paddled in division 6 K2, coming in fourth in a time of 1:31.26.  The boats ahead of her were all kayaks so I believe she was still in the fastest canoe on the water.

Time Trial

We held a time trial this month in which Simon TC broke the club record, completing the distance in 29:52.  Joost took some photos – spot what’s odd here! No prizes for working it out.

As well as a pretty exhausting time trial there’s been time to play: Daisy had the energy for some seasonal conker collection – guess the number of conkers in this bucket (again no prizes).


Events coming up

Banbury Hasler is on Sunday 28th October and this will be the last Hasler until next spring.  We look forward to a good turnout for this.  Quiz and Chips is the evening before (5.30pm Saturday 27th October) if you feel you need to carbo-load and have an intellectual challenge as part of race preparation.

The Leighton Buzzard Remembrance Day Race is on Sunday 11th November.

Ross Warland Memorial Canal Challenge on Sunday 25th November.

Stour Descent on Sunday 2nd December.

Santa Run Sunday 9th December (good portage practice)

Frank Luzmore Memorial Marathon on Sunday 6th January.

Want to have a go?

If any Club members feel tempted to try their hand in a racing boat don’t be shy, get in touch with any of the race group coaches and we can arrange for you to have a go – you may well be pleasantly surprised at how many of your skills are transferable.

Henley Hasler 16th September 2018

Henley Hasler 16th September 2018

Just one week following the Pangbourne Hasler we were off to Henley for another race. Once again, we were lucky with the weather, just enough sunshine to top up the tan but it was a little windy on the Henley straight giving some challenging conditions. I felt that I was paddling at sea some of the time and in Division five K1 and with twenty-seven boats on the start line wash was horrendous.
Henley is yet another beautiful stretch of The Thames for a race and Henley Canoe Club organised an excellent event. Our thanks to all at Henley for this.
In 3K1 Simon TC paddled a gruelling 12 miles to get a good division three race under his belt. Well done Si! Stuart Q elected to paddle in 4K1 (he could have done 5K1) coming 4th scoring 19 points. This is only his second race after a gap of many years so a good result. Greg W, also paddling for the first time after a long break, flew round the course in 5K1 coming third, gaining another 19 points and promotion to division four. Gavin L and Steve M came 14th and 18th respectively in 5K1. I had a poor start but an exciting finish sprinting to the line and holding off a FOX paddler by only one second. In 9K1 Chris R coped well with the windy conditions to come in 10th. Well done Chris.
In the doubles races Peter W paddling 5K2 with his daughter Eleanor (ex-Pangbourne, now with the RAF) had an exciting race with four boats coming into the finish neck and neck: they finished 4th only one second behind 3rd place. Fay B and Caroline W came 11th in 5K2, both glad to be in a stable boat. Robin T and Tommy F shot off the start line like the star ship Enterprise leading 4K2 up to the portage but eventually being pushed into 4th place. Well raced against strong competition. Conor M paddling 3K2 with a Reading partner had a comfortable win coming in more than a minute ahead of the second crew, a large margin at this level, so a good race there.
Once again, our juniors did us proud with Jensen M coming 2nd in U12Males and Amy G 1st in U12females. More significant for Amy was that she was 6th out of all the junior competitors after only a handful of races, so well done to both of our juniors.
The next Hasler Race is Banbury on Sunday 28th October. It would be good to get out a strong team to see if we can get into this years’ Hasler Final.

The Sun Shines on Pangbourne!

The Sun Shines on Pangbourne!

Sunday 9th September – a date to be remembered for members of Adventure Dolphin: we held our annual Hasler race based at The Centre.  In recent years the race was based at Home Farm but this year it returned to the Centre.

First, a big Thank You to all the helpers both on and off the water, without whom the event could not have taken place.  The races were marshalled very efficiently which made the “on the water” side run smoothly and everything from car parking to catering went well “on the land”.  With over 300 competitors it was a big undertaking and its success was a real endorsement for the charity.  There was a wonderful atmosphere and Georgie kept everyone entertained with her commentary and eclectic musical taste.

This was the first race in the 2018-19 series and for the first time there was an extra race – division ten, an Open race (i.e. in any craft) of 4 miles for under twelve paddlers who want to race a longer course than the Lightnings.  Races are held over 4 miles (divisions 7-10), 8miles (divisions 4 to 6) and 12 miles (divisions 1-3).  In division 9 singles Nick A came sixth and was promoted to division eight and Daisy was our top junior performer coming tenth out of 30 in a strong field where the top seven paddlers were promoted. Chris R and Hazel B also paddled well, Ruth S did her first ever K1 race and Mike H his first ever race.

In division eight Ian P paddled hard to gain fifth place just 17 seconds short of promotion.

In division five singles Gavin L came in the top half and Stuart Q, racing for the first time in many years gained a podium place (third), proving that paddling is like riding a bicycle – you don’t forget.

In division three singles – a twelve-mile race – Conor M managed eleventh and Jarvis M fourth.  These are good results considering the quality of the competition.

In the doubles races Peter W and James B were second in division eight C2 resulting in promotion to division seven despite hitting a tree at the island.  In division five Fay B & Caroline W and Steve M & Paul A came tenth and eighth respectively with close times, similarly in division four Tommy F & Robin T were eighth pipped by Owen B & Mark W in seventh place.

In the Junior race Jensen M was second in K1 and first in K2; Amy G was third in K1 and third in K2. She was buzzing as she got off the water from the K2 race as she only entered at the last minute and was not expecting such a good result.

Jensen receives his certificate from Vicky

Regional Standing 2017-18 season

The Hasler season runs from 1st September to 31st August each year.   In the 2017-18 season Pangbourne Canoe Club were 7th with 36 points.  Only the first five clubs qualify for the Hasler finals, so we didn’t make it.  Realistically, we need to increase number of paddlers to qualify.  In the Geoff Sanders Trophy competition for Lightnings we scored 73 points with a team of only two: the winners, Leighton Buzzard, scored 570 points with a team of eleven.  Again, simply by increasing numbers we can gain more points.

Regional Standing 2018-19 season

Club points after the first race (Pangbourne Hasler) in the 2018-19 season put Pangbourne Canoe Club in 6th place – can we go one better and get into the Hasler finals this year?

The next Hasler race is Henley on 16th September then Banbury on 28th October.  After this there are some longer races including the Ross Warland Memorial Relay Canal Challenge, Basingstoke Charles Hicks Canal Challenge and the Frank Luzmore Memorial Race all around 12 to 20 miles taking us into the winter season. Then it’s the Watersides, Thamesides and Devizes to Westminster Race.

If you would like to try your hand at racing, please email one of the race coaches and we can arrange a time for you to have a go.

Allier 2018

Allier 2018; from wings to white water!

Although not my first time to this amazing, beautiful and stunning river, it very much felt like it. As many of you know, I regularly train hard with the marathon group, preferring to race competitively, instead of throwing myself down crazy rapids; and with GCSE results day looming, going on this year’s French trip seemed like a bit of a ludicrous decision………how wrongly I interpreted the situation.
From start to finish, I can honestly say that this year’s trip was firmly the best French trip in recent years. After setting up camp on a (thankfully!) dry day, we rested in hope of regaining some energy lost from a long exhausting drive down to Langeac.
On the Sunday, a nice gentle warm up paddle from Langeac to Lavoute Chilac to get back into the flow of things (excuse the pun). On the Monday, after having loosened up, we tackled the Parades to Langeac; having to face the mighty weir flume – a personal highlight of the section, with some potential laughs as a few swims occur here.
Then on the Tuesday a very, very early start (a tough life getting up at 7:30am) was well worth it for the gorgeous paddle from Chapeauroux to Alleyras – otherwise known as ‘that section with 40 rapids’ – with a few technical bits to keep us on our toes. Although a great paddle, we returned to a half- swamped campsite which may have been a good paddle in itself, but morale was bought up by a quick change to pizza and chips for tea (a wise move by the trip leaders some would argue).
Then came Wednesday……. the grade 3 section (dun…dun…dunnnnnnn). Not only was I paddling this section to prove others I could still ‘probably paddle’, but I wanted to show myself that I was still capable of paddling a technical section of white water. The doubts disappeared quickly as I tackled the section with relative ease, possibly better than I did a couple of years ago (ask the coaches as I believe I’m rather biased, who would have thought?) reassuring me why it’s my favourite section of the river. Thanks to the dynamic duo of Liam and Boothy for taking me down this section, without which I wouldn’t have realised I can still paddle on moving water.
Thursday. Day off for some. Results for others. Anyone on the trip would be able tell you how fear consumed me the night before, anxious about not being at home to open them. Again, my worries were unnecessary as I passed all my subjects, and gleefully celebrated with a drink on the house from the local bar- a regular evening spot for some on the trip.
Then Friday came, the final day of paddling and the penultimate day in France. The dynamic pairing of Gillespie/Fitzgerald teamed up again (open canoe this time!!) to brave the Parades to Langeac section – no problem for Janet obviously as there were no portages for things to go wrong (I’m sorry Janet, I just had to). Open canoeing was different and very much interesting on white water – an experience I have Ian Flanders to thank for, and would definitely recommend to those who haven’t endeavoured before- challenging me in new ways as an already confident paddler.
Saturday was interesting to say the least. The group started with an early morning high rope session beside the river (so we can technically claim that it was still a river trip). I would like to thank the Frenchman who ran the high rope course for putting up with laughing Brits during their briefing for the sole reason that the briefing was in French. Camp was quickly dissembled and we were on our way……to Ikea, for MEATBALLS!
A long drive was ahead of us, and being in the trailing bus, was very confused when the leading bus (being driven by none other than Mr Dave Booth) detoured into the centre of Paris. A quick photo in front of the Eiffel tower for the Instagram (tommy.fitzy, hit me up) as well as negotiations with a French salesman for a laser (he started at €25 and we ended up at £12, so the real question here is, Why am I not in Brussels negotiating our Brexit deal?
Overall it was a fantastic week away with many laughs – but not so many rolls- made even more enjoyable by the company in which I was surrounded for the week.
I would personally like to thank Dave, Liam, Paul, Ian, Corinna (Fizzy to some), Janet & Jack for collectively help run the trip, without who the trip may never have ran. And finally I’d like to thank my Dad (Tony to the rest of you) for working tremendously hard to make this year’s trip possible- whilst committing to his role as treasurer as well as his full time job (plus having children to take care of)- which was enjoyed by all those who were there.

Tommy Fitzgerald

Adventure Dolphin launches new Paddlesport Section

Jack Hulse, one of the Paddlesport Team Leaders said: “We are keen to create new opportunities for our younger members to come together and try something new. The sessions will be split into two groups, and following Adventure Dolphin tradition, they have been named “The Penguins” for our 11-14 year olds and “The Dolphins” for those aged 15-18 years.

Each session will enable participants to develop their skills as we prepare for a special Halloween Spooktacular event on Saturday 27 October 2018, where Paddlesport members will compete against each other to win prizes.”

Session times
The sessions will run fortnightly on Sunday mornings. Sign-in is from 9.30am, to be on the water for 10am, with a 12noon finish.

Don’t forget, the Sunday morning paddle is on at the same time, so Paddlesport members could leave their adults (1 star holders +) with Nick, Chris and Don for a paddle too!

How to become a Paddlesport member
To be eligible you must:
– Be aged 11-18 years old from 1 September 2018
– Be a current member of Adventure Dolphin
– And have attended at least a Paddlesport Fun course or above

If you meet all of the above criteria, please register your interest by emailing: paddlesport@adventuredolphin.co.uk

Paddlesport Spooktacular event
To enter the Spooktacular event, you must be a Paddlesport member (or an associated family member). So, don’t forget to put the date in the diary and further details will follow nearer the time.

Paddle boarding comes to AD

It was a warm Sunday afternoon. The ducks quacked and the swans preened.

The sun was out and 13 people turned up to our inaugural Stand Up Paddle Boarding sessions. We had a fully booked session. We had both families and individuals participate.

We toured around the Mill Pond, Lock Cut and went up to the islands. We covered how to paddle stroke, reverse paddle turn, and the tricky step back turn.

All participants did very well. We had a 100% success rate where everyone stood up on their paddle board; and this includes some who previously had not been able to do that.

We had a great day paddling amongst the ducks and the swans.

Thanks to The Outdoor Academy for the SUP loan and to Claire and Penny for their support.

We are set to hold another session on 30th September. Visit our online calendar for further information.

PCC Update

National Marathon Championships, Reading 21-22 July 2018
Over the weekend 21st-22nd July Pangbourne Canoe Club, the Adventure Dolphin Race group, competed in the British National Marathon Championships at Reading. Over 1000 boats from 55 clubs from all over the UK and some visiting international paddlers competed. Scorching temperatures made the event even more challenging but if you got too hot, you could always take a swim!

The team of 9 K2s (double kayaks), 7 K1s, 1 C2 (double canoe) and 1 C1, did us proud.
Vicky achieved a podium position; Gold for the O59 _ VLK1, this was an outstanding result – Vicky is the top in the country for her group!

Tommy achieved a much deserved promotion to division 4 in U18_JMK1, competing against a field of paddlers ranked largely in divisions 1-3.

Juniors, Amy and Jensen, completed their 3.5km Lightning (junior K1) race in under 30 minutes. This was Amy’s first race and she did well despite a problem with her rudder. Jensen teamed up with a Reading paddler to race in K2 as well. Rhys made his debut in K2 covering 3.5km in just over 30 minutes. Owen showed great fortitude by racing in K1 on Saturday and two K2 races on Sunday. The biggest race of the weekend was the mixed K2 with 81 boats on the start line. The wash was not quite a tsunami but nevertheless quite substantial for anyone in a wobbly boat. Peter teamed up with a paddler from Kirkcaldy for this event. Caroline teamed up with Shirley taking 4th place in O44_VLK2 – a fantastic result. Paul, Steve, Jarvis, Matt, Owen, Hazel and Vicky also raced in K2 on the Sunday.

A great weekend for both competitors and spectators. Many thanks to Reading Canoe Club and their many willing volunteers for hosting the event. It was brilliantly organised.

Report on Longridge Hasler Saturday 25th July 2018 – More Pottery for Pangbourne

It was a bank holiday weekend….and we’re at a loose end…., so a small but select team from Pangbourne Canoe Club/Adventure Dolphin chose to race four, eight or twelve miles in a K1, K2 or C2 in the final Hasler Series race of 2018 at the Longridge Hasler on Saturday 25th July.

The crowning glory must go to Peter W and James B who won division nine doubles. Peter and James are more accustomed to a double-edged sword (kayak paddle with two blades) but swapped their usual weapon for a single blade (canoe paddle with one blade) and won the division nine doubles race in a canoe rather than a kayak. Their prize was a Longridge Canoe Club mug – a trophy to be cherished and certainly not put in the dishwasher or the writing rapidly vanishes. They were also promoted to division eight. The challenge now is to win division eight.

Paul A and Steve M raced in division six doubles, coming second so gaining a much sought-after Longridge Mug. Paul was promoted from division seven to division five, so quite an achievement.
Chris R delivered a steady performance in a strong division nine singles field where the first nine paddlers were promoted to division eight or higher. The winner was actually promoted to division six.

Fay B and Caroline W did a good time in division five doubles despite the times being fast and Fay having to paddle up a division.
Steve McCluskey

Introduction to Kayaking and Rolling

Pool Courses

Adventure Dolphin is set to run two pool courses this Autumn. “Introduction to Kayaking” and “Kayak Rolling” start on 14th September at The Oratory Preparatory School Swimming Pool, Goring Heath, in Oxfordshire.

The first course will run for six weeks: Friday 14th, 21st & 29th September, 5th, 12th & 19th October, while the second, four week course is on Friday 2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd November.

Introduction to Kayaking
This course is ideal for people wishing to try out kayaking in the warmth of a swimming pool. You will be introduced to the sport through a variety of activities and games that will develop:

– Safety Awareness
– Boat Handling
– Boat Balance
– Water Confidence both in and out of your boat
– Paddling Skills

Time: 18:15 – 19:15 (45 Min in water session)

Minimum age: 8 years old

Kayak rolling
Through the guidance of our coaches you will be given the opportunity to learn how to roll or develop your existing rolling skills in our pool kayaks.

Please note course pre-requisites:

– You must be able to swim 25 metres
– Be both water and boat confident
– Be able to capsize with a spray deck on

Time: 19:00 – 20:00. (45 Min in water session)

Minimum age: 12 years old

Course prices
Course 1 – £60 for members and £66 pounds for non members
Course 2 – £40 pounds for members and £44 pounds for non members

Click here to book your place.

For further information contact: Corinna Bailie – membership@adventuredolphin.co.uk


PCC Update

Simon and Conor faced their first Men’s regatta both putting in very strong performances in k1 and k2 Conor setting the best time in k1 with a 47s 200m and Simon taking the 500m with a 2:04 time. In k2 they partnered up and almost broke the two minute mark in their final over 500m and doing a fast 44s over 200m. Matt then joined them in k4 where thy took 2nd place in 40.90s and 4th in 500m in 1:51minutes.

Moving on the boys class the improvement from our junior boys was incredible, Both Tommy and Owen completed over both 200m and 500m and improved their times from last year. In the finals Owen posted a great time of 48.47s for 200m just pipping Tommy who did 48:89 coming 1st and second in final two. Again in final two over 500m the boys both improved significantly on their heat times to come 5th and 6th getting times of 2:12:53 (Owen) 2:13:66 (Tommy)

Our other Boys member that was completing although for Reading was Jarvis. He was completing in the selection races in a variety of k1,k2 and k4. It was exciting watching and he again came away with some very fast time.
In the K1 he made final three which is no mean feat as he was competing in a mixed A/B class, so over 1000m a time of 4:14:40, and over 200m in final 3 a time of 43:54.Over 500m Jarvis made final two and set an impressive time of 1:55:55.

Finally, but no means least we have three lightening paddlers out. Daisy was promoted last year to lightening A and put in a super race and managed 3:15:40 for 500m in k1.

Jensen – This was his first ever regatta and he put in a fantastic performance in both k1 and k2, over 500m he came 3rd in 3:37:18.

Daisy and Jensen then partnered up for k2 and set their best time in the heat of 2:40 progressing to the final and then managed a 2:43 which is a fantastic achievement.

Rhys – at only nine Rhys was competing at his first regatta and partnered up with a reading paddler who both enjoyed their first race completing the 500m course in three minutes

Well done to everyone thank you to everyone who supports the team when we are there. No calls up the tower for the team leader so that made for a pretty good weekend!

Next up September Regatta, would be great to have a big team out and to finish the year on a high.

Abingdon Round and Swift Ditch

On Sunday 1st July a group of 21 Adventure Dolphin members met at the paddler friendly Abingdon Marina to sample the Thames, the River Ock and – a perennial favourite of the club – Swift Ditch (this latter always known as Swift Ditch by paddlers but more boringly identified as merely “Back Water” by the Ordnance Survey on their maps).

The group met with a typical mixed bag of craft – kayak, OC solo and OC tandem – and the paddle was ably lead by Ed Edwards assisted by Claire Hardwick, Ian Flanders and Adrian Moon. Ed doubled as our tour guide for the day with enlightening snippets about the buildings and entertainment opportunities of Abingdon appearing to know a great deal about Abingdon jail and which pubs were best to impress girlfriends.

After the obligatory faffing, and Claire’s comprehensive “A to G” briefing, we left Abingdon Marina and set off upstream on the Thames but soon left the major river by passing under the old iron bridge at the entrance to the River Ock. The name Ock apparently originates from a Celtic word meaning salmon – a useless piece of information from Adrian.

The Ock was at a better level than might have been expected after the dry spell of weather and after a few hundred metres paddling and wading upstream we reached the spot at which a portage took us over onto the Wilts and Berks Canal and our return via a small shoot back onto the lower Ock. Back on the Thames Ed put on his tour guide hat and took us on a small diversion into the mill stream requiring some undergrowth removal by Claire (quicker on the draw with the pruning saw than Ian on this occasion).
Having passed up through Abingdon Lock (far too hot for all that portaging business) we headed across the top of the weir into the upper mill stream (more pruning work) and on to a suitably shady spot in the Abbey Gardens that happened to be in striking distance of toilets and an ice cream van – what more could we want.

Our numbers swelled (by 1) after lunch with the arrival of Jane Edwards who hadn’t been able to join us earlier as she had been otherwise occupied with the latest addition to the Edwards clan, one Quinn Alexander, born to son Ash and partner Kate in the early hours of that morning.

Lunch having been duly consumed we headed back across the top of the weir and on up the Thames towards the highlight of the day, Swift Ditch. The entrance to this gem, and the original course of the Thames, involves a 2 metre high drop over a weir at the former flash lock. A number of our group entertained us here by taking a cooling swim – their maiden swim in some cases, no names mentioned. Having restored all parties to their respective boats the paddle down Swift Ditch went without further incident and provided some welcome shady trees and respite from the sun and high temperatures that we have become accustomed to in recent weeks. Unusually for Swift Ditch no pruning work was needed.

Just a few hundred metres below Abingdon Marina Swift Ditch re-joins the Thames and the circuit was completed – a varied trip just a little different than the conventional downstream paddles we are more used to taking. Thanks to Ed who manged to stay awake all day despite having been involved, like Jane, in the early morning run out for that Edwards family addition.


To see all the pics click here.