What's new at Chichester Canoe Club...all the news is here!

Summer 2014 Newsletter

Welcome... the Chichester Canoe Club Newsletter


We hope this newsletter finds you well and you've been able to enjoy paddling (or associated activities) this summer so far. So much has happened at Chichester Canoe Club since the season began at April, we've tried to fit all the news into one newsletter. If anything sparks interest, you'd like more information or you'd like to contribute something to our next edition we'd be happy to hear from you.
Please don't hesitate to contact Clare with any queries.

We hope you enjoy the read...

What's new at the Club

                             Our home at Chichester Yacht Club

We've successfully been holding our Friday night club sessions at Chichester Yacht Club. They've been great hosts to us, and it's enabled us to offer and enjoy a range of activities:

  • many people have been introduced to kayaking through our Level 1 Coaches running the Paddlestart Sport certificates,
  • sea kayaking journeys to Itchenor, Dell Quay and beyond
  • playboating skills enhanced at high tide
  • techniques practiced
....and the cake baked by members and food the bar at the CYC hasn't gone unnoticed!


If you've yet to enjoy our home, please 

follow this link to for information and directions and we'll look forward to welcoming you there.


We were privileged to welcome Nick from Darkside Canoes to one of our Friday night club sessions. He came to explain and share with us his racing C1. He was able to explain and demonstrate it and then was very generous and let club members try it. Some coped very well with it on dry land (!) and others coped a lot better than others taking it out to sea. It was a great opportunity, thanks go to Nick for visiting. 

New website launched

We designed and created a new website to be a source of information to new and existing members. Details about what's happening, links for downloads, tide times and weather reports and news of the club can all be found there. Please check it out at
And if you have anything you want added, please let us know.
Committee Change over

At the AGM held in April, a new committee was voted in and plans for the future were shared. Details of the committee can be viewed on the website here and if you've any questions over what was discussed, please get in touch.

Club Trips

Wye Club Trip - May 2014
written by Barry Eames

This (my first) CCC trip started on Friday lunchtime with an easy drive to Symonds Yat. Not the first time I've been here but the first time to paddle this stretch of the Wye.
Pulling into the campsite at Symonds Yat East the sun was shining and it was pleasantly warm, which, given the weather forecast earlier in the week, was a real bonus.
Parking right next to the river, I noticed a Seal Launching chute for the slightly unhinged kayaker. I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to enter the river by this method when there was a perfectly good set of steps right next to it. But more of that later...
After a stroll down to see the rapids we would be running on Sunday morning, (and wishing I hadn't!) I called Rob to see what time we were meeting in the ‘Old Ferrie Boat Inn.’
At 7 o'clock, with no sign of the others that were camping, I set off to paddle upstream to meet Rob, his brother Tony and friend Neville in the pub. (From now on Tony and Neville will be known as the Chuckle Brothers). 

After some lovely food (very reasonably priced) the other campers, Wendy and Clare, walked in telling me they had got the ferry over. To get back across the river, all you had to do was "flash" your torch at the bar man. He would then jump in the ferry and come and get you.

Joe and Carol joined us for a drink and then Steve rushed in at the last minute to get his food order in - the entire group of Friday nighters had arrived.

Saturday morning started with a quick shuffle of boats and drivers to get everybody to Ross on Wye in time for the 10 o'clock departure, as suggested by Rob. Tim and Tom had joined us as well as Keith, Michaela and Trevor which brought our number up to 13. This made for a good mixture of craft taking to the water.
The Chuckle Brothers, Wendy and Steve being the bravest, tackled the days paddle and weather in ‘opens’. Wendy and Steve opted to paddle one each. This proved to be a temporary arrangement due to the 40 mph gusts of wind which had them pirouetting and careering from one side of the river to the other with little regard for anyone in their path. After a quick landing Wendy and Steve paired up to try and make some headway against the wind which proved very successful.

The Chuckle Brothers took a while to get into their paddling groove and decided to test the strength of their open canoe by ramming into the 1st bridge we encountered. Luckily she was a sturdy craft and I think the stone bridge came off worse.

A couple of hours and 7ish miles later we found our lunch stop where we met Carol. A quick stop here in the sunshine to stretch cramped legs and eat, then we were on our way. The wind continued to get stronger throughout the afternoon which again caused Wendy and Steve some problems but nothing they couldn't overcome with some exceptional teamwork. Rob gave me some lessons on how to catch the eddies and ferryglide and the boys Tom and Joe were looking for every wave, eddy and area of rough water to play in. I started to get a bit nervous about the rapids that we would face in the morning because foolishly I'd gone to have a look at them on Friday when I got to the campsite... Eventually Symonds Yat Rock and soon the campsite came into view.

The boats were all stacked next to Tim, Wendy and Clare's tents ready for Sunday morning.

While we milled around talking, Wendy found out that the large tent that had arrived next to hers contained a stag party so a quick move of tents was called for. Tim decided that no stag party was going to keep him awake so he and Tom stayed put. A while later Simon and Ellie turned up and we all met up at the Saracens Head pub. After a good meal (rather more expensive than Fridays) we all wound our merry way home.

Saturday night proved rather restless for me as I was getting more nervous about the rapids now, but an early start and a couple of bacon butties took my mind off them, for a little while at least. Another excellently organised car shunt took place and by 9.30 most of us were ready to get on the river again. Simon was first as he was going to take the 3 novices (me included) down the rapids and wanted to see how we paddled. He shot off down the shute. For those of you that don't know Symonds Yat, there is a slide for seal launching down the river bank. Now for the seasoned paddler this wouldn't be at all daunting but to me it was terrifying and I was absolutely determined not to go down it. Why would I when there was a far easier option right next to it?

I do have to say there was quite a lot of pressure put on me to seal launch down it, but being the strong willed type...... I slid down it.. I suppose I thought "In for a penny in for a pound!”

I'm not sure how, but I managed to do a 90 degree turn at the bottom, a bit of a low brace and miraculously stayed upright. Things were looking good and my confidence was massively boosted. Paul, Laura, Keith, Steve and Clare also used the Shute and made it look very easy. One day I'll have their confidence!

Steve and Keith had opted to use their white water boats as we had the rapids to play in and it was only a couple of hours further on to the get out at Monmouth.

We slow paddled down to the rapids and Simon explained our best line through. We grouped together to await the signal for us to enter the maelstrom! Now some people may think that's a bit strong but as with beauty I think it's all in the eye of the beholder.

So Simon, Keith and Clare set off to sit in their allotted eddies ready to catch any swimmers. I personally like to get things over and done with so I was eager to be one of the first down. I hate waiting till last, I think my nerves would get the better of me!
Once everyone was in position Simon gave the signal and Rob set off keeping left at the start and still keeping left when he should have been aiming to the right. Simon's hand signals were getting more frantic as Rob was desperately trying to get right to avoid the large boulder Simon was sitting behind With some great paddling he avoided the rock and then serenely carried on down to the eddie beyond the rapids.

Simon signalled again so I took the opportunity to go and with the words “Just keep paddling” and “Keep your hips loose” going through my mind I set off determined not to capsize. Before I knew it I was at the end of the run. No drama. No crisis. I just did it! But the relief was immense. I pulled in next to Rob and soaked up the cheers and shouts of encouragement and had the biggest grin in my face.

Thank you everybody, even those on the bank!

Trevor came next and despite having the least paddling experience he looked very at ease. He absolutely stormed through the first section but unfortunately capsized half way down. He was soon on the bank changing into dry clothes and laughing it off.

Joe came next in Paul's boat and made the descent look very, very easy. Oh to have that teenage confidence and lack of fear back again!

We did have one more swimmer but there was good reason for that. As Joe had used Paul's boat, Paul had to use Joe's boat and not quite being able to squeeze inside he sat astride it. He didn't make it down through but it was a valiant effort. Everybody else seemed to take it all in their stride Even the open canoes came down without any problem - well nothing a little bailing out wouldn't cure. With us all safely through everybody could relax so we pulled down stream where Simon gave us a lesson in how to surf a wave.

The rest of the journey to Monmouth was very relaxed and taken nice and easily until the last 1/4 of a mile which was into a strong headwind. Everybody went quiet and got their heads down to paddle to the get out, and all too quickly it was over. A 100yd carry with the kayaks and canoes to the car park and a change into warm dry clothes.

Being early Sunday afternoon nobody seemed in a rush to go home so after some food and general chit chat about how good the weekend had been, everybody started to drift off home.

I would like to finish off by firstly thanking Robert Hyland for organising a fantastic weekend. Secondly Simon Ablett for getting us down the rapids and thirdly everybody else for making my first (but definitely not last) Chichester Canoe Club weekend away a trip I will never forget. I feel I have learnt so much and I have made some very good friends. So, I'm going to stick at this white water kayaking... After all " what's the worst that can happen" Tim?

White water trips

Cardiff and Lee Valley

In the absence of 'real' rivers those who love the white water discipline head to man-made course to get their 'fix' and this season some new faces headed there. 
Congratulations to all those who have passed their Lee Valley assessment and have gone and conquered the variety of levels Cardiff International WW Centre has to offer! 

Real rivers: Slovenia

So when the UK doesn't have rivers running during the summer season, places abroad do fortunately! Simon Ablett of Live2Flow headed up a couple of trips for CCC paddlers.

Firstly Jean, Jeff, John G and John McC all went to Slovenia. A first for them all. Simon wrote up some of the antics within his blog, which can be read here

Real rivers: French Alps
written by Clare Parker

13 CCC paddlers all headed out to the French Alps with Simon from Live2Flow for a weeks camping and river running in the beautiful area surrounding Briancon. 

Some new faces got to enjoy the rivers the alps have to offer and some veterans returned.

The week started with the 'warm up' rivers, supposedly a gentle introduction to the alps. This does however still mean very fast moving water and at tmes high and bouncy wave trains, which are great fun but a good reminder that we are now on alpine rivers!

This first river on Sunday - after the epic drive down and the camp pitched - was the Middle Durance, starting at La Roche de Rame to Rabioux and the 'wave'. A mixed result to finish our first day...some walked round it, some swam through it and others nailed it. Whatever the method to get to the beach everyone had thoroughly enjoyed the first day of many to come.

Each day the group found water and different rivers to play in/challenge themselves on. My highlight was the Ubaye Racecourse which we did on Wednesday. A challenge for me...I certainly had to concentrate, had a few serious 'hip flick' moments (that worked!) and the reminders of the usefulness of support strokes....but finding eddie whilst still being upright in my boat was always a delight. The ubaye racecourse is a beautiful stretch of water. It was a full days paddle and at times I had to be reminded to look up and see where I was. The mountains surrounded us and we even had an adventure in a gorge...!

Another highlight for most of the group was to head to the Fournell falls on  Thursday evening. To those of us new to 'boofing', Simon taught us on  and off the water how to master this stroke. For those who had prior experience they enjoyed (like energiser bunnies) going from top to bottom perfecting their style.

Fun wasn't only had on the trips, climbing, relaxing at the campsite, SUP-ing on the lake next door, sharing meals (and Chris' s coffee) together and much more made it a great club trip. Thanks to all who went and made it ace and to Simon for organising and leading the trip.


The breakdown of rivers were: 
Sun - Middle Durance (La Roche de Rame to Rabioux)
 Mon - Durance (Briancon to Prelles & l'Argentierre Slalom site)
 Tue - Upper Guisane & Lower Guisane
 Wed - Ubaye Racecourse
 Thu - Middle Guil
 Fri - Lower Durance (St Clement to Embrun) & Le Fournel (boofing!)
 Sat - Briancon Gorge & Durance (Briancon to Prelles)

Sea Kayaking

Selsey: Mixon Rock
 written by Den Healey

A lovely summer evening and low water springs so the Mixon Rocks a couple of miles SSE of Selsey Bill was exposed and explored by Christine, Laura, Paul, Steve and Den. Only a couple of miles off shore and even in three river runner boats we did the trip out in about 40 minutes. 

Paddling back with the tide and a SE breeze setting us to starboard reminded me that we could do with looking at the use of transits for setting and checking courses. Christine also regretted not taking a flag, to claim the Mixon as CCC - maybe next time!

Solent Crossing
written by Christine Howard

What a lovely day for a paddle across to the Isle of Wight! Organised and run by Den Healey, nine of us had a lovely hot sunny day crossing from Stokes Bay, Gosport, to Fishbourne, Isle of Wight. Great fun - especially crossing the main channel when a huge oil and gas offloading ship is heading your way!
The waves from the wake were awesome :-)

Lunch at the pub in Fishbourne before turning back to catch the ice cream van at Gosport. 
  Most of us had sea kayaks/tourers but Paul and Laura used their WW boats - a real work out for them! Really lovely paddle that I would recommend for the future.

Attended by Mark Harrison, Steve G, Christine, Rob H, Barry, Laura N, Paul, Kelly and of course, Dennis.


Wareham and Poole Harbour
written by Keith Heppenstall

 Keith, Michaela, Dennis, Jo, Francis and Steve G headed to a camp site at Wareham, over the weekend of 4-6th July, to do some touring on the River Frome and Poole Harbour. Friday evening was somewhat moist from above but a dry & draughty Saturday followed. 

The Frome runs right past the campsite and we launched from the site, just downstream of Wareham, on a falling tide. At the bottom of the main river we paddled up the River Piddle for a short way. In the shallows at the river mouth we were investigated by the local resident seal, who decided to show off by breaching alongside us. As we navigated the sheltered waters and into the open harbour it became clear that the wind would be more than we really wanted. After paddling out a short way alongside the Arne peninsular we hit the beach for a lunch break while waiting for the tide to turn. Much hilarity was had getting to the sandy shore across the mud bank. After a bright but cooling break with the rising tide we headed back towards the river, and the shelter of the meandering channel.

With the wind against us the paddle back was more of a work out than we hoped for, with wind over tide adding a little excitement to the trip. As we got to the launch point the ladies decided that they had had enough paddling for the day and hit the beach, making the most of the hot showers, while the gents decided that an extra couple of miles would be in order.

The possibility of visiting the pub on the way at Wareham had a minor influence on this decision, and we had a good ogle at the wedding that was occurring at the riverside hotel on the journey. In the event we actually had a coffee at the café rather than a pint at the pub but the thought was there.  
After a further short paddle upstream into the river proper we reversed and ended back at the campsite. That evening the six of us walked to the Granary at Wareham for dinner and refreshments. 

On the Sunday with better weather but wind forecast later we drove to the waterside car park in central Poole, on our way to paddle round Brownsea Island (mind the ferries) and we were joined by Tim, Tom, & Joe. 
Much friendlier weather meant a gentle paddle cross the main harbour and to the west of Brownsea, then followed a drift down the south side of the island to the landing point. Leaving boats on the beach we strolled across the island, catching sight of some red squirrels and plenty of tourists on the way. The NT tea shop did not disappoint with a view over to the harbour mouth and chain ferry, a violin & recorder recital, and more scones than can be eaten by a flotilla, the challenge now is how to find somewhere comparable next time. 
Part of the group then decided that an added excursion to the harbour mouth, to say hello to the chain ferry was desirable. So after returning to the boats they paddled off into the distance while the rest of us drifted north with the tide past the island nature reserve awaiting their return. Some decent waves were experienced by those who paddled to the harbour mouth. After regrouping and against a strengthening breeze we paddled back across the harbour to the vehicles. A great trip that needs to be repeated.


BCU 3* Touring

Competent CCC paddlers have now been able to gain their star award after taking part in a Live2Flow Kayaking Touring Weekend. Christine, Annette, Stuart, Toby, Torie, Keith and Charley all headed down to the west country in June and explored the sunny and not-so sunny parts of the rivers and lakes Devon has to offer. Well done to all those who now can hang their certificates up with pride.

Getting qualified

 Paddlestart Sport 

Numerous Paddlestart Sport awards have been achieved by new paddlers to the club. It's a great introduction for people to get out on the water safely and increase their confidence. Welcome to all those who have started their kayaking journey through this route and thank you to all our coaches that have made them possible to happen.
BCU 2*
written by Steve Granger

So I am told there is a 2* course running and it will teach me how to paddle properly. Forgive my scepticism but I thought I already knew everything. When Toby passes out the activity cards there are a number of ‘looks’ of ‘Mother… help!’. Suffice to say everyone thought they knew something but wanted a 2* security blanket to hold on to anyway.

Warm up antics are met with an equal measure of effort and cheating – standard operating procedure for me and I feel that I contributed to the group’s educational standard in my own little way. The resulting mirth both relaxes and warms the spirit but not the water – ‘it was an accident’ I say, keeping clear of one wet Barry seeking revenge.

‘Let’s start with forward paddling’, Toby says. ‘Ok – humour him’ I said to myself, it won’t last long and should be painless….. 3 sessions later we are still trying to correct basic errors but ‘hey presto!’ reduced strain and no sprains. And what a bonus, Kathy has stopped shouting at me from the canal bank.

We turn to the left, and turn to the right – forwards, backwards and sideways Just how we managed to miss the Hokey Kokey no one knows, but unbeknown to us it does seem our dance routine is becoming more choreographed by the week.

Then it all goes horribly wrong. Who invented a canoe that doesn’t go straight? Everyone knows that ‘J’ is for Joe, Josie, Jeff or John. Even a ‘J cloth’ to dry the splash from boofing fun at the canal. But certainly not a ‘J stroke’ that only seems to materialise on a full moon. But I know what I am doing wrong now…… so practice, practice, practice.

And then the 2* test: To make things more difficult we change location. As we are supposed to perform Swan Lake (mainly to amuse Andy’s dog), we get a turning tide and gale force wind. Not surprising Andy is left judging a bunch of beached jellyfish. For some reason it seems that Robert has swapped arms with Annette and I have lost ‘the force’ The Goddard’s are paddling the African Queen and Joe 90 has lost his special spectacles.

Andy - to his experienced credit, is able to judge our paddle ‘skills’. Most of us pass and commiserations to those that didn’t. We all had boatloads of fun and have become safer paddlers as a result. A big thank you to Toby, CCC is safer because of you.

FSRT: Foundation Safety and Rescue Training

Andy Hall kindly ran the Foundation Safety and Rescue Training course at the canal basin. It was enjoyed by all and I think a few were pleased with their dry suit decision after taking on the role of volunteer 'paddler in need of rescuing'. Vital skills learned, confidence increased and smiles all round at the end of the day.
The social side...

RNLI Raft Race: 
written by team Burgess

After spending several days trawling around charity shops and rummaging in lofts and cupboards 8 intrepid rafters walked from Squadron HQ (aka Christine's House, home of the heart breakfast bap!) dressed in their WW1 flying ace regalia. It was a good turn out from the CCC members offering support and manning the CCC stand. 
After a quick game of beach cricket and British flying ace Steve (loopy ‘d’ loop) Granger telling the Hun to keep of my land the judging took place.
Lucky for us the sun was shining which brought out the cheering crowds and CCC was getting a lot of attention from the local press due to Andy yet again doing a fabulous paint job on our entry

The beach was strewn with rafts and rafters waiting for the starting horn. A mixture of Lobsters, Flintstones, Pilots, and other assorted competitors piled in to the sea some not to successfully!
It seems we got off to a good start and we quickly over took the Flintstones who had sunk like a Bedrock, we were now in pursuit of the next two rafts. One raft fell apart in front of us  but with excellent paddling technique and Barry and Steve on the bow being able to count 1 and 2 our rhythm was impeccable. The Coastguard stood no chance this year as we cruised past them with ease. This left the Selsey Firefighters in our sights and race tactician/expert navigator Andy spotted a gap between the groins and the beach. After a bit of a battle both teams arrived at the same time.

The CCC spectators who managed to make it along the shingle and through the crowds assured us we were 3rd place.

As history now tells us CCC achieved 3rd place in the race and 3rd place in the fancy dress. A record 2 trophy haul this year. As per tradition all winnings returned to RNLI and it was agreed a good day had been had by all.

Thanks to the Germans Barry,Tim, Jo and Keith and a hearty Chin Chin to the British Steve,Tom, Bob (Rhea) and Andy.

SHORE Demo Day
We again had kindly been invited to join SHORE at the Witterings for their demo day/weekend. It was a great opportunity to meet together, have an ice cream or two, chat to other about the club and what we get up to and also for members to enjoy the craft that was on offer too! Most took to the sea and waves in SUP (stand up paddle boards) to differing success, others tried out different types of kayak and kit, but all had a great weekend.

Thanks to all who came along and supported the club and thanks to the guys at SHORE for hosting a great event.
Club Activities...

Every Wednesday
Meet at the Canal Basin at 6pm for an hours fitness session. Interval training, sprints and all things connected to get your paddle fitness at it's peak!

Every Friday
Club night at CYC from 5.30pm.

Weekend Paddles
Peer paddles, keep an eye out for emails for local peer paddles - often followed by a hot chocolate at the pub!

What's Next..

13th-14th Sept: Lee Valley WW Trip
14th Sept: Stokes Bay to Bembridge IOW
21st Sept: East Head to Bembridge
Coming Soon: Monthly Pool Sessions
Coming Soon: FSRT Course
18th-19th Oct: White Water Club Trip

More details can be seen at 

Specific emails for trips will be sent out to members by the trip organisers. If you have any questions please feel free to email the committee via the website above.

In other Club news...

Toby Hamer - Outstanding Contribution to Sport Winner

Congratulations to Toby for wining the Outstanding Contribution to Sport Award via the Youth Sport Achievements Awards held in June this year. This award recognises the sustained and enthusiastic work of an individual who has dedicated a lifetime to supporting youth sport in the Chichester District.

Well done Toby, an award well deserved.
The newspaper article can be read here
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