A group of approx. 20-25 members of Aberfan Canoe club met on 20th May at Ross Rowing club (our base for the weekend) for a weekends canoeing on the river wye. The first task was to travel by car approx. 7 miles upstream to the starting point for the weekend. Some members had camped the night at Ross Rowing clubs grounds whereas others arrived the Saturday morning.
Once at the start point, the day started off with us learning the art of getting the canoes and kayaks down a steep embankment and a safety briefing. There were a wide variety of boats being used including open canoes, sea lions, slalom kayaks, as well as the usual
Dagger GTs and Heros etc. We then had a great days kayaking and canoeing down stream learning various skills such as spotting eddies and how to safely get into and out of them, how to traverse from one side of a river to the other, how to spot submerged rocks etc. Only one capsize on the Saturday (and it wasn’t me – I won’t say who it was). The weather was great and the scenery superb. The day ended back at the Ross Rowing club. After a quick change etc we all had “fish and chips” for tea and then watched sun go down. I then went sleep (unlike some).
Sunday: The day started at Ross Rowing club, and once we had watched the rowers setoff upstream, we set off downstream. Once again the scenery and weather was great and there was an abundance of wildlife to see on the river from swans (more swans than I have ever seen before), ducks, birds (swallows etc). We also seemed to have a separate group of “students” in canoes following us for a while and it was interesting comparing the techniques of the far more experienced open canoeists from the club, and the students who looked as if they had just hired canoes for an hour or so (the image of two people in the same open canoe paddling in opposite directions will stick in my mind for a while). More techniques were learned by club members through the day (eg riding waves) and once again there was just one capsize (yes it was me – although I am sticking to the story that the coaches need to practise some more rescue techniques and I obliged without even knowing it). The day ended mid afternoon near Goodrich and we all helped each other sort out boats and kit etc and then made our way home.
A great weekend out and a big thanks to Paul Kent and all the coaches for a superb weekend. Looking forward to next year
– Paul Griffiths