Saturday 17th February saw a convoy of cars containing 19 keen paddlers setting off from the club sheds, for what must surely be one of CUCC’s largest trips to HPP whitewater course (Nottingham). There was a mix of whitewater beginners, a polo player, freestylers, river runners and even a photographer (Dan armed with his gopro-on-a-stick) and a dedicated mostly-bank-based coach (Shahid, sparing his shoulders).
We started the day about half way down the course (after some of us had a few sneaky plays in inlet gate on the way down), with the beginners practicing on the chicken chute and those with a little more experience bopping down the wave trains at the end of the course. Some worked on eddying out and ferry-gliding, others knocked out some whitewater rolls and Matt learnt to tail-squirt; pretty solid for a morning on the water! Before long, everyone was ready to hit the top of the course and blast through some bigger holes and waves….or in the case of one of our newest members, Francois, surf them all! Again, lots of fun was had with relatively few swims.
We were lucky with the weather so after lunch in the sun, those who had been holding back in the morning had no excuse not to throw themselves into some holes! Tamsin kicked it all off with an impressively long side-surf in inlet gate, closely followed by 2/3 of the Matts, Mike, Isobel and Francois. Keen not to miss out on the action, the beginners lapped the river-wide stopper while this was all going on, Aicha demonstrating a classic paddle-spin-to-wall-crash in the process…
The rest of the afternoon was spent running the course until a point was reached when we probably should have called it a day. Instead, we decided to do “just one more lap”….. let’s just say it resulted in the highest rate of boat-rescue practice for the coaches I have ever experienced! Everyone got off/out of the water grinning though so overall a grand day!
Thanks to those who drove, coached, organised (especially Shahid) and threw themselves into the Trent for fun
Check out Dan McGaley’s video of all the inlet-gate action: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf4hOKjCgN8
And all the photos can be found on our facebook page (www.facebook.com/cucanoe)