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Mid December, the depths of winter but hey for CAP this was going to be a day to remember !!

Woke up to see the sun streaming through the windows, bright blue sky and for December, a very mild temperature. All good, as about a dozen of us were to visit the Lee Valley Whitewater Centre, soon to be the venue for the 2012 Olympic Kayaking events. Martin and Ed were taking their assessment Martin did well and despite a controlled swim or two still managed to pass for the Legacy Course. Ed jumped in his trusty little red Sub 7 and absolutely thrashed the assessment on both the Legacy and Olympic courses, as Mum Pam proudly looked on. Well done Ed, once again you were a marvel, an inspiration!

 

Ivan and Chris spend a couple of hours enjoying themselves on the Legacy course and Chas, Stuart, Darren, Gary and Jay had a great time descending the course, shooting the big drops, riding the wavetrains and playing in the various meaty holes that followed every drop. Both Ed and Jay were given their Olympic baptism, ended up upright, upside down, in and out of their boats at the meaty mid course hole, the monster didn’t want to let go but eventually spat them and their boats out as they then swam off down the course.

Sunshine yes, blue skies definitely, but even so they seemed to have run the clear blue waters through the freezer virtually turning all our paddlers in to CAP Ice Lollies ! . What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon !

Exhilirated, shattered, exhausted and frozen …. but the day was only just beginning !

Saturday evening wasTHE CAP XMAS DINNER !!!

We all met up at our local, The Crown and Sceptre, and got in the mood with a couple of pints. Then we set off for our return to LITTLE BAY, 30 of us upstairs in their Swiss Cabin style restaurant. As always, the food was good, plentiful and a bargain at £10 pp for the three delicious course. A good time was had by all, lot’s of alchohol smoothed the evening, the Chairman’s top table enjoyed some more sedate laughter and banter.

However, our three coaches, more than ably assisted by John Delrio, ensured that every one on their table had a riotious time. Lots of drinking games and crazy antics. Coach Gary has great memories of the evening, well that is until he fell off his chair catapulting his dessert across the room, did I really do that, did we really go to the pub afterwards, did all those things really happen during the pub lock in ??????

YES they certainly did !

Prior to the end of the evening Chris made a presentation, on behalf of the Club to our three coaches, Ivan, Gary and Darren. Appreciating all the time, dedication and motivation that they constantly put in they were each presented with a bottle of wine. Very well deserved, it’s those guys that have helped many of you to really develop your paddling skills ! I had believed our coaches to all be tee-total but maybe they’ll make an exception this time around ?

Not leaving it there however, Chris then made a presentation to ME, a fantastic shiny brand new bright red paddle, for some supposed work or whatever that I occasionally do for the Club ?

VERY, VERY much appreciated folks, a real surprise and I’m extremely grateful to you all.

I thought the idea was to give an old codger a pair of slippers etc not a shiny new paddle to enable

me to carry on doing much more of the same ? THANK YOU VERY MUCH EVERYBODY !

…. and so the end of the day …… don’t be silly !

off tolocal lively pub THE FOLLY where the local DJ kept us all busy on the dance floor. Gary and Darren landed on the dance floor and were immediately awarded a wee shot each

for their lary distinctive shirts, Gary promptly wipped his off and bared his four pack for all to see, excitement, next thing Gary was pinned on the floor with a pile of writhing bodies on top of him !

The pub was supposed to close at midnight, but we were all having far too much fun for that, so John Delrio promptly negotiated aCAP lock in and we all kept dancing to the music

right through till 01.00am. This truly was then the end to a memorable CAP day. I believe all concerned had a fantastic time, as I said in my little speech, it was good to see everybody

but really great that as the Club expands we seem to be attracting more and more really nice, friendly people, all fitting perfectly into theCAP way of doing things, both on and off the water !

A final big THANK YOU to Martin for organising the evening’s events, once again a brilliant job, WELL DONE !

A HAPPY XMAS and hopefully prosperous NEW YEAR to all our members !

This year we’ve really made an effort to include a number of “Summertime” Whitewater events. This was the latest in a string of such outings but was to be a mix of Whitewater on the Saturday and Kayak surfing on the Sunday.

On Friday night the first contingent set off en route to Bristol,
where the journey was to broken up by an overnight stay. The plan was to get down in time for “A Cap invasion of the Bristol pub scene” but in the event we settled for a sociable en route drink in a Cotswold Pub, followed by more beers in our cosy Travelodge rooms.

Chris was acting as trip organizer and Mum for the weekend and had bought along a selection of flavoursome cheeses and crackers for us to nibble throughout the journey. Full marks for the very spicy Salami cheese, wow, did that have a kick to it. These were then washed down by copious cans of Stella.

U
p bright and early on Saturday and off for the one hour drive to Cardiff’s relatively new International Whitewater Course. We stopped for the compulsory BIG BREAKFAST at the local Morrison’s and then on to meet the others.

Ivan and Mel had stopped overnight near to the course in real Welsh Wales and Rob Gilroy, Remi, Ben and Mark were driving down on the Saturday morning. Sadly, disaster hit Rob’s recently acquired Gilroymobile. Refueling close to Heathrow the gleaming new People mover was inadvertently fed Petrol rather than it’s preferred tipple of Diesel, thus ending that car load’s Kayaking ambitions and they limped back home some eight hours after setting off, a real shame and sympathies to all ! (Maybe you should have tried Stella instead ?).

 

 

 

 

The Cardiff course has been substantially improved since Rob and Mark's first visit a year ago.

 

When both of them had tried to head butt the underwater obstacles and enjoyed a resultant visit to meet the lovely Nurses of Cardiff General and be rewarded with a brace of stitches each. What met them this time was a challenging, relatively shallow but fast flowing course.

Over the day the level of flow was changed at roughly hourly intervals, ranging from 4 cumecs up to 10 cumecs.  It was amazing to see how quickly they could drain the course, move the obstacles around, and within ten minutes or so re-open with completely changed features.

 

 

 

 

Our brave Whitewater paddlers were Ivan, Gary, Chris, Ed, Keith and Tom.

 

Chris gave it her best shot and did a good first run, but after swimming on her second descent decided to chill and watch the others.

Ivan spent most of the day on the course with a very determined and serious looking face
captured by Mel’s ever handy camera.  He was dogged by a rather lengthy Jackson Duo which seemed to enjoy completely blocking the complete width of the River whilst playing in the stopper. On the first encounter Ivan just managed to sneak past one end but on the next encounter that clearly wasn’t an option, quick decision, collide with it, crash over the top or go underneath.

Ivan took the underwater approach, he capsized, went over the drop and then under the Duo,
rolling up on the other side and avoiding their thrashing paddles. Very impressive Ivan, particularly as that stopper was so very shallow.

Keith and Tom were excellent, putting in some really good paddling in a range of different boats, both showing just how much their whitewater paddling has improved, thanks to the encouragement given to them by CAP.

 

 

 

It was good to see Gary in action, really enjoying himself for his own benefit as opposed to looking after others. He’d borrowed Darren’s minute little playboat and repeatedly demonstrated just how precise and technical his Kayaking ability is.

He seemed to enjoy pulling endless cartwheels and blunts etc in the various vicious stoppers that most others just seemed happy to be able to shoot through.

The FEST was due to continue on till 10pm, with four Bands playing and novelty races, but we all decided that following a quick look around the various trade stalls, and collecting lots of helmet stickers that we’d hit the road at about 4.30pm heading for the fabulous Gower Peninsula.

The sun had shone on and off all day but as we headed West along the M4 so the heavens absolutely opened. Torrential rain and very poor visibility did not bode well for our overnight camping plans.

Chris was in poor humour, as driving Mike’s passion wagon for the first time, she was not amused to find that the automatic car did not actually posses a gearstick, but her mood was no where near as foul as that of the weather.

 

 

Lo and behold, as we pulled into the Bank Farm campsite at Port Enyion, the rains stopped and the cloud lifted, enabling us to remain dry whilst pitching all our tents.

That evening we paid a repeat visit to The Smugglers Haunt, a lovely bistro-pub type restaurant serving tasty high quality food and copious amounts of alcohol. A really merry evening was had by all, following which we staggered the two miles back to the campsite, getting somewhat rained upon in the process.

All then crammed into Tom’s tent, for a final late night chat and nightcap, whilst Mike snored away in his sleeping bag.

 

 

Sunday morning and a leisurely start. Really nice as we sat there in our cliff top campsite overlooking the whole of the beautiful bay below. Chris woke us with mugs of steaming hot tea and then cooked us a tasty hot breakfast, superb.

On then to one of the best surfing beaches on the peninsula, Llangennith, much favoured by the surfing fraternity.

Ivan, Chris, Keith and Tom went out and had a good time on the endless rolling surf waves, performing some brilliant surfing maneuvers in the process. Gary once again enjoyed himself flying Chris’ kite, showing just how it should be done.

Eventually the long drive home and an early crash into bed for all, exhausted but exhilarated. A BIG thank you to Chris for agreeing to co-ordinate this weekend, a superb trip very well organized indeed.

Finally, this was probably Tom’s last paddling trip with us, for a while, prior to moving up to Loughborough University to study Mechanical Engineering. We wish you well Tom, work hard and play even harder, as CAP have trained you !! Looking forward to seeing you out on some raging waters with us sometime during the Winter.

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