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Frome Canoe Club

Frome Canoe Club has a Champion amongst its ranks. Who is it? Turn to p9 for more

Starts 4th December at the clubhouse. 7pm. Come and help us paddle round the UK! Volume 37

Issue 12 December 2013

Frome Canoe Club is affiliated to the British Canoe Union and is a Registered Charity (Number 1104728) 1


FCC ‘THROWLINE ’ CLUB MAGAZINE

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President Graham Warnecke Vice Presidents Richard and Jane Arney Jim and Catharine Croft Chairman Alun Jones Vice Chairman Gareth McGiveron Treasurer John Kent Secretary Pam Dixon 16 Blagdon Walk, Frome, BA11 2YH

In this issue CALENDAR: details

3 4 4 5 5 6 7 7 8

Calendar in brief River Dart trip New Years Day paddle River Exe trip River Frome trip Pool sessions and Canoe Polo Sunday sessions 2014 Tryweryn 2014 Club Social

REPORTS

10 12 14

What’s The Water Level Like? River Frome trip A day in the life of a SUP

SLALOM

9

Committee Members Arthur Belbin Rich Carter Jonathan Howell Stuart Miles Sally Smiles Kit Officers Tim and Sally Smiles

The Champion in our ranks

SPECIALS

8 16 17 18 20

Kayak Challenge Going Underground Manoeuvre of the month Bits and Pieces Paying by bank card `

Send articles for the next issue to th pam@dixon.org.uk by 27 December 2


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Calendar 2013-4 Date

Event

Standard

Contact

December 4

Kayak-machine Challenge starts All

Pam D

6

Polo at the pool - inexperienced Beginners

Jack S

11

Kayak-machine Challenge

All

Pam D

13

Polo at the pool - experienced

Experienced

Jack S

15

River Dart

One Star +

Rich C

18

Kayak-machine Challenge

All

Pam D

20

NO POOL SESSION

All

Pam D

27

NO POOL SESSION

All

Pam D

29

Sunday morning at Market Yard All

Rich C

January 1

New Years Day paddle

One Star/Passport Rich C

1

Kayak-machine Challenge

All

Pam D

3

NO POOL SESSION

All

Pam D

8

Kayak-machine Challenge

All

Pam D

10

Polo at the pool - inexperienced Beginners

Jack S

12

River Exe

One Star +

tba

15

Kayak-machine Challenge

All

Pam D

17

Polo at the pool - experienced

Experienced

Jack S

22

Kayak-machine Challenge

All

Pam D

26

Sunday morning at Market Yard All

Rich C

Strict adherence to the Club’s code of conduct is expected at all times on club events . 3


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Calendar in detail River Dart 15th December

New Year’s Day Paddle Ist January

Meet 8am at the Clubhouse Cost £15 Organiser - Rich C

Meet 10am at the Clubhouse Cost £3 Organiser - Rich C

There are three sections we can do. It is of course all water dependent.

This trip is likely to be the River Frome from Woolverton to Langham Farm. Well that’s what it has been since anyone can remember. (Apart from Graham!)

Lower - There are numerous small rapids, a lovely boulder garden for eddying in and out and some other gentle play spots for surfing. Good for One Star paddlers and canoeists

You need to have recovered from the partying of the night before because it’s better if we don’t have any sleepy heads on this trip!

Loop - Full of play spots and rapids, it makes a really good paddle. You need to be at Two Star standard and have moving water experience for this one. Upper - Dartmeet to Newbridge, a grade 4 section, and ideal for those with plenty of white water experience who want a challenge.

Seriously, this is a lovely paddle and gets you out of the house, doing something energetic after those days of eating and sleeping and being polite to the family.

Check with Rich, John or Arthur if have any doubt about the stretch you should do.

You do need to have sensible waterproof kit and warm thermals, because it can be very cold.

You need to bring a packed lunch and all your canoeing gear. Of course you can borrow any club kit on the morning.

NOTICE THE MUCH LATER THAN NORMAL START

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Calendar in detail River Exe 12th January

River Frome 9th February

Meet 8am at the Clubhouse Cost £12 Organiser tba

Meet 9am at the Clubhouse Cost £3 Organiser - Rich C This trip will be a good trip for you if you are at Passport or One Star standard (or above) But you will need to remember that at this time of the year the water will be cold and the weather will be cold, so you will need to come prepared with warm clothes and energy food.

The River Exe is the one we paddled at the Tiverton weekend. Generally a Grade 2 but the weirs make it more interesting. Bolham is the first and when water levels are right. I makes a good play spot.

Our local trips are always good fun as we get to do the weirs and play in some stoppers, all on our very own door step.

Then Salmon Ponds Weir with hole below and onto the Town Weir where, if you are not careful the wall grabs you! Not far till Walronds - good for surfing.

The section we will paddle will be decided on the day and will of course depend on water levels. We did the stretch from Creamery to Langham Farm last time but there are many other sections we could do. We could for example explore the new fish/ canoe pass constructed at Iford Weir or take in the Zoom Flume like we did last September.

We leave the town and paddle out into the country for two or three miles to Broken Weir and finally Bickleigh Weir. A beautiful river with its stunning wild life, but it can be freezing in January so bring plenty of food, thermals and warm drinks.

Be prepared for whatever we choose on the day.

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POOL SESSIONS Frome Leisure Centre Fridays, 8-9pm Cost £2.80 young people, £3.30 Adults Come and have fun at the pool! A variety of boats to choose from, you can mess about or get some training in! On two nights a month we have a game of canoe polo.

CANOE POLO December 6th inexperienced paddlers

December 13th experienced paddlers

Remember: 13th December is last pool session in 2013 Ways to help us help you have a good session Flooded boats. - by all means mess about in the boats and have fun. You will be shown by the supervisor how to empty your boat and then it’s up to you! People with flooded boats will be whistled 5 minutes before the end of their session to empty the boat ready for the next person

At the end of your session, help us by: Paddles: return them to the pile by the store door Spray decks: put them by the changing room door so they can be rinsed Boats: help us put the boats away at the end. Own boats: take your own boat out through the fire exit - don’t leave it for others to do! Emergency Evacuation Plan: we leave by the fire exit doors and collect in the College carpark. We do not go back into the changing rooms. Pool staff will supply blankets to keep us warm 6


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Monthly Sundays and Tryweryn weekend MONTHLY SUNDAY MORNING PADDLES On the last Sunday of each month through the winter Market Yard 10am till noon, Cost £2 All through the winter we meet on the last Sunday of the month and paddle at Market Yard. Sessions are more relaxed than the Wednesday club sessions and so you get to paddle around and do your own thing. Or come for a chat and catch up on the club news!

29th December 26th January

Date for the diary Tryweryn 14/15/16th March The Tryweryn is a managed river which means three things. First, the water release is controlled by a dam, so you can paddle on this river all year round and you can find out a few days beforehand what the water level will be. Second, the white water features (waves, stoppers, drops, etc.) are somewhat man-made, but in a way that makes them look like a natural river. Third, there are hot showers and a decent café on site! The section of the Tryweryn that is managed is about 2 km long and has sections on it from Grade 2 to Grade 3. It is a large and powerful river, so it is a great place to develop your skills but it can be a punishing place to take a swim. There are some excellent places to playboat, and the river is also popular with the best slalom paddlers and wild water racers. The lower Tryweryn is a much more gentle river, with three big volume Grade 2+ rapids providing some extra challenge amongst the Grade 1 background. It finishes with the impressive rapid known as Bala Mill Falls, which is a Grade 4, but easily portaged (though not so easily inspected!). Standard required: You need to be happy paddle the Loop to come on this trip. Accommodation: We book a bunkhouse for Friday and Saturday night at £15 per night. Food: is a do it yourself affair! Bala has good cafes for breakfasts and pubs for evening meals. More details next month 7


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Non paddling things

We haven't forgotten our Grand Social event! Normally it is in January, but the upstairs room won’t be ready by then! So the date will slip from January to February. Look out on the website and next newsletter for more news!

Starts 4th December Every Wednesday At the Clubhouse 7-9pm Two ergos - let’s see how many miles we can collectively paddle! 8


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Slalom Champion

The FASTEST SLALOMIST in the Master League M60, K1 Mens. See below an extract from the canoe slalom web site.

http://www.canoeslalom.co.uk

League M60 K1M Rank 1

Name John Kent

Age

Division

Club

Races

Total

M

2

Frome CC

7

1849

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What’s the level like? “Perfect!” I tried to remember every thing that I had been taught, but memory loss comes with fear. The first few drops and rapids went by in a blur of speed and a paddle stroke rate that a sprint canoeist would be proud of. It was at this point that I heard Carl say that it was the highest level he had ever run the Upper! Well it was just as well I couldn’t speak, out of breath from paddling so hard.

Jonathan’s Upper Dart Trip I paddled the Upper Dart for the first time on the Dart weekend. There are a lot of words you could use to say how I felt that Sunday morning but since this article could be read by children, ‘bricking it’ will have to do. We did the shuttle and parked up at Newbridge. We had a look at the levels while we were here and I asked Rich about the water levels. “Perfect” was the reply.

The first swim of the day came from Mark. I thought it would be me. I was next and just to keep me company Rich, Arthur and James did the honorable thing. Four people in the water at the same time, a big thank you to the rescuers - they were going in all directions. It was good that I swam because I needed a rest as I felt shattered. I didn’t know that the human body could produce so much adrenalin. Mark paddled over and asked if I was ok. I replied “I have never seen a river this ……. big before”.

The get on for the Upper is by the bridge at Dartmeet, a lovely spot. Not that I was thinking that at the time - I had other things on my mind. The runin is a gentle paddle, which you use to warm up for what is to come. Well I was already warm, I was sweating. Right let’s get going. “This is where it starts proper”, I was told. Now on most rivers the only time you see a horizon line is when you have a weir in front of you. “Is that a weir ahead” I asked myself. I soon found out as everyone in front of me disappeared from view. At this point I began to wonder what I had let myself in for.

When I got back on Andy told me to slow down and paddle backwards more, to stay in control. It turned my trip around, I followed his lines and did what he did, I really began to enjoy myself and my confidence came back so I would like to say a big thank you to Andy.

The speed and steepness of the river was like nothing I had ever experienced.

I looked at Euthanasia and walked 10


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Dart weekend continued around. Jack ran it twice and George made it look so easy, pesky youngsters! The next swim came at Pandora’s Box and that was Andy. After all the help he had given me I felt it was only right to rescue him, so I had some throwline practice as well, all for the cause Andy. I forgot to say I portaged Pandora’s Box as well. Maybe next time ..! “Well that’s the Upper done, just the run-out now. It’s all easy from now on.” The next section I didn’t get to see because I hit Mark and spun round, did

it backwards but stayed up right. Result! It was on the run-out where I picked up two more swims mainly from not concentrating, but by this time I was exhausted. At the get out I had my final swim, I blame that one on wobbly legs. That has to be the best paddle I have ever done, with a great group of friends. Some things went right, some things went wrong, but I was smiling at the end and that is all that really matters.

Ed: James B here - his first time on the Upper section today and apart from a few swims, he did really well. He has asked to have his thanks passed on to all those who rescued him both days! And the verdict from those taking part in the weekend was that is was blinding! One of the best.

Dart Weekend Paddlers and Points Girls: Gine MBL, Isi M, Boys: Alex H, Ben B (3), Ben L, George Mc (5), James B (24), Keiran C, Will J Ladies: Kath N, Linz K, Mary H, Megan J, Pam D, Men: Alun J, Andy V (3), Arthur B (6), Ben T (6),Bill F (9), Carl G (4), Gareth M, Jack O (3), Jack S (2), Jim R (14), John G, John K, Jonathan H (15), Mark B (3), Rich C (3), Rich T (3), Stu M (6), Terry O (6), Tim C (2). One dayers Ladies: Bex T and Paula B Men: Alex N, Bob B (3), Chris H, Chris W, Nick K and Ryan C. 11


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River Frome, 17th November The weather gods were looking after us today: with a little window of ‘warm’ weather between two cold snaps. So a group of 15 paddlers in ten kayaks, three canoes and one SUP headed off to the Creamery. With near perfect water levels we all thought ‘no walking today’. And we were right. Not only that, Beckington weir was just a little sticky today - perfect for stopper practice. And we had some moving water at intervals along the way with a good play wave at Langham Farm. Beckington Weir

Surprises were the order of the day:  Jack on his SUP. He didn’t fall in getting in!  But George on the SUP got so many points we have just written them off!  Gareth provided a little entertainment at Beckington weir. Can you guess?  Ian getting trapped in the hole at Cliffords Mill weir. We don’t normally paddle into that one, but he did. The onlookers watched and waited. Was he all right? No, Rich decided, and paddled in to push him out. George, also deciding it had gone on too long and edged along the weir top to help too. All safe.  Jude paddling all the way (without a spray deck) and saving the inevitable capsize until he was playing in the moving water at Langham Farm. Well done Jude on your first river trip!  Some wonderful wildlife with a couple of kingfishers keeping us company at one point, and three herons politely flying off leaving the river to us. 12


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River Frome continued From Back Page Ian was indeed well and truly stuck in the hole! But Rich to the rescue! A nifty little push and Ian is freed. George also is on-hand, just in case!

Below - someone always has to show off, don’t they?

And look!¬ Proof: Gareth can Paddlers and points stay upright in a weir descent! Ladies: Kath N and Pam D Boys: Alex H, George M, Jamie E (3), Jude G (3) and Keiran C Men: Gareth M (3), Ian J, Jack S (6), Jonathan H, Mark B, Rich C, Richard H and Terry O. Thank you to John for doing the shuttle and to George for leaping out of his canoe at every weir to help us all. And finally: Gareth didn’t get to use his chainsaw today because the threats of trees down just didn’t materialise. Shame! 13


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A day in the life of a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP)

The Get-In. A bit undignified to say the least. But help is near at hand!

We’re off. Yes! Afloat and looking good so far!

Well we’ve made it to Clifford Mill weir. Does Jack stay upright? 14


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SUP continued

On to Shawford weir. Where’s the SUP now? Looks like Jack has abandoned it in favour of a more traditional craft.

Still at Clifford Mill weir. So far, so good!

Ed: It was really good to see you on the SUP, Jack. Thank you for providing us with some entertainment all the way along! We are awarding George with the armband prize for taking so many swims we lost count. On a more serious note, it was an impressive achievement, well done! Good to see other disciplines within the club.

Ah! Over to George. 15


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Going Underground by Kath Norton “We might come back up that” said Jack “Not in this lifetime” I thought to myself.

Alas, the combined navigational skills of Norton and O’Neill were no match for the random and inaccurate road signs around Priddy. This was unfortunate because it made us half an hour late for Jack’s caving exam and this probably wasn’t what Jack had hoped for when we had volunteered to be part of the group that he would be leading. The reputation of FCC wasn’t completely ruined however as Keiran F managed to get there on time, and be suited and booted with time to spare.

Surprisingly, all the things that I imagined would be scary – narrow, confined spaces for example – were actually the most fun. Jack was excellent at giving instructions, rigging up ropes where necessary and pulling/pushing the odd person who got stuck! By the time we got to Jacob’s Ladder I couldn’t wait to give it a go. The only disappointment on the trip was that we didn’t see any bats, or the Crunchies that Jack had allegedly brought with him. On leaving the cave we did have an extremely cold and wet yomp through the fields back to the car but once there we changed into dry clothes before making our way home.

Un-phased by our lateness, Jack kitted us up in overalls, wellies, caving belts and helmets and we set off through the fields to get to the mouth of the cave. Swildon’s Hole is the longest cave in the Mendip Hills running at 9,144m (30,000 ft) and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The upper series of the cave has lots of features including stalagmites, stalactites and curtains (thin, wavy sheets of calcite that look a bit like...curtains!)

On the homeward journey O’Neill and Norton’s navigation showed great improvement, although some of Terry’s comments about my driving suggest that I probably shouldn’t drive on trips especially when its dark.... “Have you got your headlights on?” “You might want to slow down - this is a really bad bend......YOU

Jack had told us to bring a complete change of clothes for later and it was easy to see why. Swildon’s Hole is a wet cave, and to get in it, we basically had to sit down in a torrent of water and slide! The overalls did quite a good job to begin with but wading through water, crawling in water and climbing and descending waterfalls eventually meant we were completely wet through.

PROBABLY WANT TO SLOW DOWN - THIS IS REALLY BAD BEND” “wheelspin!!!”

What can I say? I am a student of the Belbin school of motoring! Anyway all was well, Jack passed his exam, everyone had a great time and we all got home in one piece even if we haven’t quite warmed up yet!

On our way in, we passed Jacobs Ladder which had the appearance of a very deep, very dark, very narrow hole in the ground. 16


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Other events/courses Weymouth Outdoor Education Centre Spring 2014 BCU / UKCC Awards 2 Star Training & Assessment Foundation Rescue & Safety Training 3 Star Training Sea UKCC Level 1 Coach Award UKCC Level 2 Coach Award UKCC Level 2 Transfer Coaching the mind foundation module First Aid (2 Day)

3 & 4 April 28 April 27 April 29 April to 2 May 22 April to 25 April 12 Feb Jan 13 or 12 Mar 13 & 14 Feb

£134 £69 £69 £242 £242 £120 £30 £115

Recreational events River Dart loop trip Kayak Skills Coaching Canoe Skills Coaching Sea Kayak Skills Coaching

24 Jan 3 April 4 April 27 April

£55 £67 £67 £69

For full details of these courses and a booking form please contact the centre. Address: WOEC, Knightsdale Rd, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 0HS Tel: 01305 784927. Email p.hurrell@dorsetcc.gov.uk

Manoeuvre of the month - Synchronised Swimming FCC synchronised swimming team does its final practice while paddling the Upper Dart. Said Jack, co-ordinating the demonstration, “It was a very successful rehearsal for the national championships later this month” He went on to say that really the team should have five swimmers, but FCC went for just four on this occasion. Rich, Arthur, James and Bill were each judged 10/10. Unfortunately Tim didn’t managed to swim on account of doing a roll, and so his score was 8/10. “Still,” says Jack, “It wasn’t bad for our first club attempt!”

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Bits and Pieces Get all your canoeing things from the Family Adventure Hilperton, BA14 7PJ Don’t forget your club card gets you 10% off purchases. Hello Everyone Check out our website for the latest deals on all stock, www.suescanoes.co.uk We are still a family run business which as been trading for over 20 years in the sport, this year we have opened up a bike side to the business where we stock bikes from Clauld Buttler, Dawes, Raleigh, Lapierre and Ghost Mountain bikes. The bike website will ready soon so keep an eye out for lots of good deals on bikes and kit. And check out this good deal: http:// www.suescanoes.co.uk/Mens-DrySuits/Yak-Titan-Drysuit with free next day delivery!!

Store at

Hi All, from Andy My 2014 European Alpine trips are now advertised. Corsica 5th - 13th April Italy Val sesia 24th - 31st May French Alps Classics 21st - 29th June (grade 3/4+) French Alps Improver 13th - 20th July (grade 2/3+) Austria 26th July - 3rd Aug and the 9th - 17th Aug All trips include FREE Travel over from the UK in minibus and trailer so you can take your own boat. Excellent chalet self catering accommodation and all guiding and coaching. See website or contact me for more details and a booking form. www.escapetoadventure.com

An invitation to a ‘regional club weekend’ at Kayaks and Paddles. We will be hosting an exclusive only event with mince pies, refreshments and up to 20% off all boats, clothing and equipment – for one weekend only. This will include any items ordered and paid for on the night if we don’t have them in the shop. It’s also a great opportunity to pop in and sign up for our new KP Loyalty Card which gives your club members discount all year round.

Saturday 14th December 10am – 5pm Sunday 15th December 10am – 4pm We have a large showroom with over 80 boats on display and many more in stock, plus loads of kit! We’re easy to find too - we’re just of the A38 at Lee Mill, less than 20 minutes from the River Dart. 18


FCC ‘THROWLINE ’ CLUB MAGAZINE

Bits and Pieces THE DIFFERENCE ONE MONTH MAKES!

Christmas comes to the Clubhouse! Sam spent an hour decorating the Christmas tree at the Clubhouse on Sunday.

What would we do without you, Andy? Thank you so much for welding up the small trailer for us.

Top: October. Bottom: November. The floor is done ready for carpeting. The walls need last sand and paint. Roof lights are in. The skirting is fixed. Still a lot to do though! But it’s coming on.

www.thepaddler.co.uk October’s issue is here Joomag http://www.joomag.com/magazine/thepaddler-ezine/M0151422001368812110 Issuu http://issuu.com/thepaddler/docs

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CONTACTS Chairman Alun Jones 01373 823513 Vice Chair: Gareth McGiveron Treasurer: John Kent 01225 765168 jfkent@blueyonder.co.uk Secretary: Pam Dixon 07740 472982 pam@dixon.org.uk Head Coach: Rich Carter 01373 864623 Youth Rep: Stu Miles Volunteer Reps: Jonathan Howell and Sally Smiles

Ian here in the hole at Clifford's Mill weir on the Frome trip. We don’t usually go back into this hole because it is bit grabby, as Ian found out. But what happens next? Turn to p13.

Kit Officers: Sally and Tim Smiles

You can now make payments using the new remote terminal!

www.frome-canoeclub.org.uk

Follow us on facebook Check out the photos of club events on the website. And refer to the calendar for all the club activities.

Debit cards only and for payments over £5 please. We are introducing a way of paying for several club sessions in one hit, so that you have flexibility about attending. Ask at the desk about our new system of Upfront Payments for club sessions!

Canoeing and kayaking are “Assumed risk” – “Water contact sports” that may carry attendant risks. Participants should be aware of and accept these risks, and be responsible for their own action and involvement. 20


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