British summer paddling weekend

After some strong hints from Kaylia that she wanted to paddle this weekend a  group of us had some fun on the Tryweryn and the Wnion with Andy Ince’s Birthday BBQ party in-between.  Was not great weather for a BBQ but we didn’t mind as it was good for paddling.

Saturday saw me, Will, Lloyd, Andy R, Kaylia, Matt C, Katie and Bob (Wigan) have a nice free paddle at the Tryweryn.  Three descents of the upper, two broken sets of paddles, a raft stuck in the bottom of ski jump and a few swims from Katie later we headed back to Chester to Andy’s for a party.

We hit the pub for a few pre party beers and then headed to Andy’s laden with beers and burgers trying not to get too wet in the rain. Cheers for the party Andy.

It rained all night so on Sunday me, Will, Lloyd and Katie got up with sore heads and headed over to the Tryweryn to pick up my kit I had stupidly left there the day before.  We met up with Bob, Frank (Wigan), Matt and Kaylia and headed to the river Wnion. It looked to be a nice level and was a new river for all of us except Will who had run it a few years back in floods and said it would be a nice grade 2/3 bimble.  Hmmmm, not quite accurate but it was a great section particularly for intermediates.  

We discreetly got changed and put on just below the horseshoe shape weir like drop, out of site of the fishermen that had just turned up.  They saw us just as we got on but were very nice and thought us mad for “going paddling down there”.  No access problems at all despite the guidebook saying it is a sensitive area for this.  Parking is limited at the top and we cheekily used the campsite for parking at the bottom. The section starts off a nice grade 2 for a bit then steepens up and drops into a lovely gorge containing several easyish grade 4 pool drop rapids.  The worst drop is the one into the first gorge where the river narrows and drops over a boulder into a hole that spits you out in various directions.  It finishes with a second gorge like a mini chateau Q before you take out at the campsite bridge. The water was warm the sun out and the river at a perfect level.  We finished the day with a quick pub stop on the way home.  It was a great weekend and here’s to more summer paddling weekends.

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London triathlon 2008 Working swim safety

So the 9th 10th of August I went down to london town to help a friend out doing swim safety for the london triathlon.

I did some paddling, caught up with old friends, met some nice new people.  Id like to say all of green team rocked what a great bunch of folk especially Malc for letting the girls war paint him up with his french disguise.
rest of team
Malc
Saturday paddle to work
So Saturday a nice 7.30am start on the water, a day of boatin and then a few quiet drinks in the excel centre after dinner. Had a cracking nite loads of fun and games, starting off playing the box game and I introduced guys from the other unis that were there and the locals to the bake bean can game (using beer cans). A proper hoot was had by all, its amazing how competive paddlers get when having fun. Most importantly though my team won that game by miles (thanks Hazel). BUt early to bed, alseep by 11pm in a local hotel.  Saturday also saw a few decent breaks in the paddling so I went for a wander round the change over area and with all the stalls there it was like freshers fair but for healthly/fitness stuff. I picked up a few nice freebies but gutted as I missed out on getting a free Buff on sunday afternoon.
sunday start 4.30am
Sunday up at 4.15am on the water for 4.30am to paddle from Regatta centre to the Excel centre. Yes that is AM.  A Safety briefing and breakfast later (mmm big bacon bagette) and its on the water to work properly at 6am for the first race at 6.30am. The pros and elites seem to like racing early, havent got a clue why though I’d prefer a lay in myself
Spot dave
Dave and his medal
7AM sees Aussie dave turning up for a dip in the water and then he turned up when he finished to show off his medal.  Dan Waterstone was there too apparently but everyone looks the same in a wet suit and a bright coloured swim hat so I didnt see him. The waves of swimmers went from 498 swimmers a time for the masses down to 30 for the pro women. With about 13,000 people over the weekend competing thats a lot of swimmers.
on the start line
Swimmers

Last race on sunday at 4.30pm and a debrief at 5pm and off back to the regatta centre where we were based for a quick shower and off home or a go in the nice sauna for those that needed it. A great weekend with no swimmer casulaties and only a few people needing to be taken out of the water all weekend due to tiredness/cramp.

Over the weekend there was sun and rain and a pretty constant wind making tougher then last year. BUt it was a great bunch of guys to work with, I had loads of fun, got fed and paid to sit in boat all weekend, it was spot on and would recomend it to anyone.  If im not competing next year then you will probably see me in a boat helping out again. 
our pontoon

If anyone is interested in doing it next year its on the 1st and 2nd of August and they always need paddlers for the swim safety.

London Triathlon

A few LUCC associates were at the triathlon this weekend. Si was there to help all the swimmers be safe… I was there to compete, and on my way out I was spotted by a Dan Waterston (who I didn’t didn’t realise was competing)… anyway
Heaps of fun, took me 3hrs 29min 43secs

But as I the clock says I spent 1hr52 on the bike, and my bike computer says I spent 1hr22 on the bike. I am going to assume I spent 30 minutes swearing at my punctures and waiting for a replacement tube.

Dan did somewhat better, in 2hr41min34sec

Who is up for next years?

Hellrunner: Sunday 2nd Nov

So far on the long road to Hades: Will, Kev, Moik, Clur, Aussie Dave, Alison [edit: and Penny and Laura]. Happy training.

Info from Hellrunner website:

“HellRunner (TM) is over multi-terrain and varying underfoot conditions. There will be everything from running tracks and trails to water-filled areas and plenty of steep hills. Expect to get very wet! It will be nature at its toughest. The course will be probably more than 10 and less than 12 miles in length.”

The route includes Delamere forest’s little-known Hills of Hell and Bogs of Doom. And much mud.

Sounds lovely.

Entries are still open, cost is £22. This gets you an entry, a goodie bag, and a lot of pain.

Balls 2 Africa

OK, more retro photos, this time from the “Balls 2 Africa” project which Jenny, Helen L and Ross were involved in last year. Jenny and her scouts teamed up with Swazi scouts to take a bunch of sports equipment for schools, provide activities and training, and help with building sports facilities there. Oh, and meet the king. Jenny, love the braids.

Photos: Ross