On the Sunday a group headed over to Northampton Active to paddle Nene white water course. It was a mixed group of coaches, intermediates, and beginners all with the aim of brushing up white water skills before the much-anticipated annual Llangollen weekend.
The day started of with the obligatory briefing given by Chris and a short walk though of the course to remind ourselves of the features, and reassure those new to the course that there was nothing to worry about.
Then onto the paddling. We split down into groups and made our way down the course. With everyone taking it at their own pace, there was very quick improvement from the novices, with only a couple of swims throughout the whole day. Carlos, who is very new to whitewater, took to the course well, gaining more and more confidence each lap. Claire was also looking very comfortable after reminding herself that she can kayak whitewater after her short break from this side of the sport!
The second half of the session saw more freedom in the paddling, the groups split up and we all started looking after each other, with less and less reliance on others to show the lines. This made the session even more enjoyable as we could challenge each other and chat about the different techniques we were using.
We then tried our hand at some boater-cross (racing kayaks down whitewater). With Chris, Elise, Jackie and Ben all in playboats, Ed and Ollie decided to give them a head start. It was a hard race, and gave us all an appreciation of the professional’s that do this regularly. The final results were, Chris in first, with Ben and Ed coming in a close second and third. Jackie, Elise and Ollie coming in soon after.
After the session was over, many cakes, coffee and hot chocolate were consumed, with a side of reflection on how the day went. The day was a success, with everyone improving their skills and learning something new. Now onto Cardiff International Whitewater Centre to hone them in!
Paddlers Dan, Jamie, Ollie, Elise, Jackie, Ed, Chris, Carlos, Claire, Adam, Ben, Katy and Fraser