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Six set out on the high seas amid crashing waves and razor sharp rocks...

OK, so it wasn't quite like that. Six of us pottered down to Brighton on a rather lovely sunny Sunday in September and were greeted by calm seas and the lovely people of Martlett Kayak Club. It was nearly five of us as we nearly accidentally left Derek in Godstone. Oops.

After much CAP faff (I suspect that that Martlett faff does not exist, or if it does is a much milder effect) we had sea kayaks that fitted and off we went. Led by their coach, Chris, ably assisted by MKC members Pete and Glen and fuelled by Chis' secret weapon (a big tub of chocolate raisons) we made our way east along the coast, negotiating the entrance to Brighton Marina and passing the refined clifftop perch of Roedeen.

Rottingdean beach made a welcome picnic spot before we turned tail and headed back against wind and tide, fuelled by Chis' back up secret weapon - choc-ices!  As we rounded the harbour wall, the sea state was variously and technically described as choppy, lumpy and bumpy but all made it safely back to base. Apart from Mike, who survived all the way back to the beach and then fell in. Oh well, somebody had to.

Huge thanks to Chris, Pete, Glen and Martlett Kayak Club for a fabulous day out, not to mention  the snacks ;o)



You may have heard of one or two 'alien' species which have arrived here and started causing trouble - probably the most well known of all is the infamous Japanese Knotweed, but not far behind it is the Signal Crayfish, which now lives in all sorts of rivers in the UK.

The more 'globalised' everything becomes, the more likely it is that plants and animals native to one part of the world will end up colonising elsewhere, often in places where there are no predators or natural controls for them.

There's now a set of really useful leaflets and videos available which show how water users (including us CAPpers) can help to avoid spreading these interlopers around between rivers. As they point out, it's in our own best interests as some non-native plants can clog rivers and make them difficult to paddle. We'll also be helping to protect our native species which are suffering due to competition from the non-native versions.

The main message is to:

Check - your kit when you get off the water and remove any bits of plant/seeds etc, If you find any hangers-on, leave them behind in the river they came from.

Clean - your kit, boat and clothing out with tap water in between trips,

Dry - everything (including your boat!) thoroughly between rivers

Please give these a read/listen if you have a minute - they offer some practical advice for how we can help and what to look out for:







The Environment Agency has just put up a great web page on keeping rivers clean:


Read more about it here:

Love your river

Don't litter the rivers, paddle them

Here is a list of the Kit the members of the club have, can you please keep it up to date with your own information:




Spray Deck




Dry Suit

Lee Valley Assessment

Lee Valley Olympic Assessment

Nene Assessment

Date Last Updated

Adam Bailey

 Yes      Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes    Yes  13/10/2013

Adrian Coomber

 Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  yes  Yes      02/09/2014

Alison Hallas

   Yes    Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes      30/09/2014

Andrew Brown


Ben Gilroy


Caroline Dreweit




Charlie Cresswell


Christine Boller

 Yes   Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes      09/09/2013

Darren Ransom

 Yes  Yes    Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  10/10/2013

Derek Poole

 Some  Some  Some  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes   Yes  No  Yes  19/09/2013

Dee Ashley

 Yes   Yes   Yes   Yes   Yes   Yes   Yes        17/09/2013

Gary Ransom

 Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  10/10/2013

Graham Macaulay


Ivan Scattergood

 Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  08/10/2013

Jay Ransom

 Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes   Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  16/10/2013

Jessica Cresswell


Joanne Atkinson


John Jenkins


Keith Morley


Kris Coles

           Yes   Yes        22/09/2013

Mark Easton

 Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes         19/09/2013



Melanie Cheshire

 Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes       06/01/2016

Mike Ransom

 Yes  Yes    Yes  Yes    Yes        

Pam Farmer


Patrick Philips

       Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes      16/10/2013

Reiko Elliott

 Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes      21/10/2013

Remy Smits


Richard Cresswell


Richard Hewett

 Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes Yes  Yes        Cheese and Chorizo column! Yes Check

Rob Evans


Rob Gilroy


Sarah Coomber

 Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes      02/09/2014

Simon Tyrrell


Stuart Elliott

 Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes      21/10/2013

Vicky Woodd


William Ward


 Tom Kindler








 Yes    Yes  14/10/2013

 Paul Littlechild


Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes




 Alexander Littlechild













On Sunday 23rd September CAP returned to the magnificent Lee Valley Whitewater Centre. Having seen it in action during the Olympics we were keen to get back on it.


We hired the course for CAP but to help fill it and spread the cost we also invited our friends from Putney Bridge and Battersea Canoe Clubs to join us.


Prior to the main party arriving Jez, Gary and Jay decided to take on the monster Olympic Course. Both Jay and Jez confess to getting spanked big time. Jay went over the big drop, got sucked in backwards and then did a reverse somersault into the monster's jaws. Not liking the taste of this young Ransom upstart, the monster eventually spat him out and Jay promptly proceeded down the course, upside down and over the next two big drops. Grabbing each precious breath of air, whenever he could, Jay eventually rolled back up, a big smile showing his contempt for the monster! Gary being the more sensible, watched Jay's line and carefully avoided the monster's jaws.


Eventually, after battling the other monster, the M25, the rest of the Club arrived, all cursing the nightmare traffic which existed both ways around that orbital car park. There were fifteen CAP paddlers who quickly got to work in taming the Legacy Course. For six of our members it was their first time at the Lee Valley. Patrick, Caroline, Rich, Adam, Nathan all started off on the final downstream stretch but quickly moved onto tackling the whole course. All did incredibly well and the smiles that they displayed as they mastered the course was evidence of their exhilaration and their achievements!


Young teenager Emily decided that the water was slightly bigger than she anticipated and opted to watch enthusiastically from the side. Having none of this, coach Gary quickly positioned her in the front seat of the Duo and proceeded to take her on about six laps of the course. As the nose of the duo complete with the nose of Emily surfaced from each big wave their was a huge smile of enjoyment on Emily's face, brilliant !!! Granted that smile turned to consternation as Gary surfed the Duo in the bottom wave and Emily lost her paddle but despite throw lines being at the ready Gary paddled out. Next time Emily will be showing us just how to paddle it, on her own, but no doubt with one of our enthusiastic coaches glued to her side. (memories of Ed !) I decided that I should also get my nose wet so my boat and I promptly went for a swim !


At the end of our session, Patrick, Caroline, Rich, Adam & Derek all passed their Legacy assessment. Well done to them all. The assessor said to me afterwards that he was extremely impressed with the dynamics of how the CAP contingent had worked together during the afternoon, the diligent small group coaching, the motivation and the way people were buddied up and he was confident that as our

members progressed onto Whitewater rivers they would be extremely well looked after.


A nice unsolicited compliment, from an experienced level four coach, to the work that Gary and Darren, very ably assisted by Mark, put in on this occasion and indeed on every occasion that they’re out with the Club. With our three day Beginner’s Whitewater Weekend in South Wales looming up in mid October, magnificently supported by 20 members, it will be interesting to see how all their paddling progresses ! We have no doubts of course, they will all perform brilliantly!


Darren managed to find a few minutes away from his pupils and displayed his usual paddling, looping and cart-wheeling skills whilst Chris paddled extremely competently and showed just how she has really progressed since her last visit.

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