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Wednesday evenings in May got off to a very slow start but picked up after I offered to carry boats for people. I have run a trip every Wednesday even if I was on my own! Our last outing was rip-roaring with very strong winds and a good sharp chop on the surface of the lock. As a huge bonus in the River Fruin we were dazzled with close sightings of not one, but two kingfishers.
Not many people responded to my e-mail asking what it is that you want to do with your club, but many thanks to to those that did. In response to those people in June I am going to change some of the evenings to Sunday. So I have posted trips on the website for Sunday evening on the 9th and 16th June as well as Wednesday 26th. Unfortunately I cannot squeeze in any more in June because I am heavily committed to evening and residential work with school for much of the month.
Also in June I am 56. That’s considerably older than most of the paddlers and older than most of the parents. At the end of June my big black trailer goes into retirement and becomes a storage rack and then this fragile 56-year-old will no longer be lifting and shifting heavy boats for paddlers or parents who are younger, fitter, bigger and stronger than me. Sorry folks. I will continue to run trips but I need to cut down on the lifting and shifting. So I am giving you plenty of notice.
The committee have allowed me to spend over £250.00 over the past 2 months for maintenance and improvements to our fleet of boats. We have a very impressive selection of boats that are in top running order. And lastly the adult beginner course proved to be great fun and certainly very enjoyable for me as a coach. At the end we appear to have gained some committed, regular paddlers which is a grand result. We will run another of these courses this year.
From Wednesday 1st May and for each subsequent Wednesday in May we will resume our summer evening paddle sessions. These are open to adults and aged 14+ paddlers of any ability. There is a limit of 6 paddlers who do not hold a 3* personal skills award. Any 3* or coaches who wish to come along can of course do so with no limit on numbers. Of course anyone coming along will still need to register for each Wednesday on the Trip Page of the club’s website. Please note my trips are not beginner, taster or childrens’ play sessions and in general are unsuitable for paddlers under age 14. I will make exceptions if I know the person’s capability.
For those without a boat there a couple of options. If you have been a regular outdoor paddler over the winter give Colin a call and, subject to a couple of conditions (safe stowage etc), he can arrange to loan you a boat, paddle and deck for the summer. There is limited availability of loan boats. Alternatively you could simply ask a parent with a vehicle to collect a boat from the container for you each Wednesday and return it to the container at the end of the evening. As a last resort and only on request Colin can take a very small number of boats on his trailer – first come first served.
April is here! But where is the Spring! Still waiting in Africa I think before migrating back here when it warms up a bit. However, lets not complain: the sun is shining and its not raining. In Helensburgh these two meteorological phenomena are quite rare.
Dawn and Gill are planning to run a block of 4 adult pool sessions starting on 21st April. 3 consecutive Sunday nights in the pool and then an outdoor session to conclude. A great scheme to try and attract adult paddlers into the club. If you are over 18 reading this website for the first time and think you might like to give paddling a go send Dawn an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sadly, in March Robin decided to leave the club. We wish him well and we will certainly miss his huge commitment and deep coaching expertise.
Also in March our nearest and main kayak/canoe shop – “Stirling Canoes” – closed down. Our nearest dedicated shop is now “Go Kayaking” in Perth (ex Brookbanks who closed down in January.
Pool sessions for Juniors finished on the 24th March and that evening our annual cycle was concluded with a successful AGM. Many thanks to the dedicated people who have once again volunteered to be committee officials or members. Without you the club would cease to exist.
There is a short break in coach-led outdoor trips for the first 2 weeks of April as I am on holiday. Of course all you guys and gals out there could organse your own trips………
Robin paddled the first trip of March on Saturday 2nd and he will be planning more. Watch the trips page for his Saturday paddles. Colin has skills sessions planned for Sunday 17th and Sunday 24th. Get your name down early as popularity is growing and I am can only cope with a maximum of 4 who require boats plus any who can bring their own.
The Club’s ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING will take place at 1830 on Sunday 24th March at the Meadows Leisure Centre. We are looking for support from paddlers of all ages and their parents at this meeting in order that we can keep the club running for another year. Here are proposed committee members for 2013/2014
Chairman Volunteers required
Secretary Dawn Roddick
Treasurer Volunteer required
Child Protection Officer Heidi Volpe
Committee Blair Martin, Tamara Jones, Andy Jones
Coaching Robin Pooley, Colin Redstone
You can see that we are looking for a new Chairman and a new Treasurer. The only requirements are enthusiasm and a basic understanding of IT. We really need help from adult paddlers or parents here – if we cannot form a committee we run into all sorts of issues with insurance and so on. Essentially – no committee – no paddling.
So here we are in February, the last month of winter (ha ha!). January proved as tricky as December as regards weather and we had to cancel a number of trips because of heavy snow or gale force winds. Other clubs have had the same problem and even the ninja sea-kayakers at Helensburgh club have put off trips.
However February started with a glorious Saturday morning paddle on the 2nd with 10 of us taking a relaxed trip on the Loch. (This might have been the first sunny day of 2013!). That’s a great start and I am planning to start my Sunday morning skills sessions in February for budding 2*s and 3*s in kayak and canoe. These will take place on 10th and 24th and include a short journey. If you are not sure if you are suitable for these sessions just ask me by e-mail or text. These 2 sessions will be part of a programme running until June. For those not interested in or not ready for star awards Robin will continue to run his Saturday trips aimed at the younger or less experienced paddlers.
Watch the Outdoor Trips page and sign up as normal.
As we have a bit of spare cash and we hate boosting the bonuses of those wicked bankers by leaving it in the bank I have just ordered 2 more new kayaks from Stirling Canoes. These are medium size Pyranha Karnalis in the Rapid Fit so can be used for just about anything including WW.