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.