Feb 21

Ladies Paddling Weekend: Feb 2017

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Heading up to North Wales, a group of ladies from Bristol, Bath and Exeter university joined coach Lowri (from FlowFree) for a weekend of river reading, leadership skills, safety & rescue tactics and confidence building. We spent Saturday on the Dee, where the group practiced their decision making skills as well as performing real rescues and doing some awesome boofs on Town Falls.

On Sunday it was time to try something completely different, and we headed to the slightly wet rocks of the Gamlan to practice group management on steeper ground while also having fun whizzing down what was some people’s first waterfall!

It was an absolute blast and we saw a huge step in confidence, skills and knowledge. I will put it to good use, when the rain finally comes!

 

#ThisGirlCan

 

Sab

ladiesWE2ladiesWE3

Feb 06

Southwest Polo league 4th Feb 2017

Canoe polo is a game played with a team of 5 and 2 subs, normally with banks of cheering teammates on the side, we decided to buck the trend and play ALL our games with JUST 3 people. The brave trio of myself, Adam Finley and Lowri Peters set off with plenty of time to spare for stops at the *apparently blessed* Gordano Services described as ‘just a very nice services’ by Marco Polo (ey polo pun #1) on his 13th century epic to China.

Upon arriving we threw caution to the wind and made the ballsy decision to attack all the teams full on with our plucky team of 3 (imagine a rowing boat taking on an armada of 15th century galleons, although the galleons are carbon polo boats and instead of wind they are powered by Streamlyte carbon paddles). And if I’m honest it was by far the best decision we made! Playing with a team of 3 doesn’t half tire you out but it was brilliant training for endurance, tactics (OVERLOAD RIGHT) and general polo stuff.

We were very pleased with the results (5:1, 5:1, 6:0, 3:2 – Bristol, we almost had you…) although we may have lost every single one…. Basically we were the underdog of all underdogs, although this did give us an added novelty and much support from all teams attending! This novelty truly came into its own when I swam (cry) and there had to be a timeout due to not having enough players (an event which none of the refs had ever experienced before and may never again!).

All in all brilliant set of games!
HYPE HYPE HYPE for BUCS!

PS. I was a binning machine with 4 bins to my name, and I must say…. Binning is most definitely winning!

Love

Comps Sec
(Ben Cockshull)

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Dec 02

Exmoor River Barle trip: 27/10/16

…Turns out we didn’t sacrifice enough freshers. With the lack of rain in the south-west, Flozza consulted the Captain of timings about what us desperate mortals could do in this hour of need. He remembered a river from a previous life and suggested it. This was on a low at the time of suggestion, the highest river levels around, so Flozza thought he might have telepathic links to the river gods of Exmoor, and trusted the advice.

After hearing the moaning from “experienced paddlers” about how there was no water, and deciding where to get on and paddle, we efficiently left James’s car, without boats, at Exebridge, ready for the shuttle, and put on at the slide in Dulverton. Team drivers went first as the plan was to sort the shuttle before the rest of the club arrived (or at least this was the plan). A group of canoers doing their 4* training were just ahead and slowed down progress for some time. When we overtook them the bumpy rapids of the Barle came to life and the leaders utilised this rare occurrence of decent white water this year to practise some much needed skills. Looming round the corner was a simple low volume weir where a perfect playhole was formed on the other side of the river. This provided the safety, in all manner of boats, with as much fun as their group would let them (David dropping his poggies while surfing and disappearing round the corner to find them, and Matt leading a bunch of fresh off into the unknown) but alas we had to part ways. The river wound down till the get out and everyone agreed it was well worth the time and effort getting there even at low levels.

At the get out team drivers tried to make a hasty and efficient shuttle. However, because James was new to shuttling a river trip, he didn’t ask anyone to take his car keys and left them at the top of the river… This classic mistake was rectified by a local offering to drive Swales up to get the bus, and then Daniel and I could get our cars when James got his keys from the bus. With a quick change and loading of bus, we sat down in the pub with a drink and ogled at the carvery sitting only meters away.

Well done to everyone who hadn’t experienced much white water before and especially well done to Daisy who had her mandatory swim on her first river trip but smiled the whole way down. Still praying for rain, although the season doesn’t show hopes of getting better anytime soon 🙂

Nov 24

Dart Loop trip 20/11/16

So this weekend we remembered write ups are a thing, and it’s quite fitting that the last Loop write up was exactly a year ago.

After the previous night hinting that we should go paddling, by flooding Devon’s Crealy Adventure park, we decided it might be a good idea. After over a month of praying to the rain gods, and attempting to sacrifice freshers to appease them, we managed to get decent levels.
Captain Brearley had to step up to the mark of Trip sec and organize the weekends endeavours. With a mixture of graduates, a PhD student, a masters student and an undergraduate, an advanced group set off relatively early in search of a rare sighting; The Upper Dart on a medium!!! Never before had such levels been seen in recent history. They managed to get down this with minimal difficulty and with a 50/50 split for dry head runs, it could even be called a successful trip. They met the rest of the club at the get in for the loop only 5 minutes after they had arrived in Newbridge car park. After proclaiming Brearley the Captain of timings, they sorted into groups and set off down the river.

Despite it being the first decent trip of the year, only Ella Waples represented the fresh to white water kayaking. Thankfully, David Stephenson had invited two others new to the sport so the safety ratios weren’t totally wasted. After Sam Johnson took a cheeky swim, we managed to get down past triple step with little faff or carnage. This was interrupted when there were 3 swims, all around spin drier, that were quite smoothly dealt with. After a gentle paddle from here to the get out we managed to run the shuttle and be back in Exeter before it was too dark. Well done to Ella, who even after seeing the previous night’s rain, still braved the terrors of the loop and smiled the whole way down, even after her only swim 500m before the end. Fingers crossed the rest of the season continues to be so fruitful and the club can make up for lost time with such a delayed season.

See you on the river soon!

Nov 24

The Adventure Ball 2016

 

Once again, EUCC organised the best university ball money can buy with this years return of The Adventure Ball. Held on Saturday the 19th November, on a rainy night.

Whilst committee set up the venue, keen revelers were filling up coaches (after some pre-drinks) at the Lemmy and were soon on their way.

As always, slides, ball pits, rope swings and foam flooring meant that everyone could properly fling themselves around and act like a child again. Surfing down slides*, going head first down slides* and having multiple people going down the slides at the same time* made for enjoyable viewing, as well as an exhilarating ride for the participants.

Cocktails and vodka slushies were flowing and then as everyone started to get hungry, their desires were fulfilled with a glorious Hog Roast, complete with stuffing and apple sauce, and veggie burgers and coleslaw for the vegetarians.

adballpicAs the evening started to draw to a close, and everyone was completely worn out, people moved to dancing before deciding to head home.

The first coach left at 11.30, and everyone else enjoyed the tunes and had a good dance whilst waiting for the second coach. Unaware of the storm going on outside.

Then, it hit us.

Water started bursting in through the roof in one corner of the adventure zone – security stood there watching, and it wasn’t until it started to flood in from the other side as well that action needed to be taken.

The power was shut off and a siren sounded, as everyone ran out of the adventure zone into the storm outside. It was like a scene from a film, people fell over, puddles got everyone soaked, and everyone was drenched, despite people only being outside for less than 5 minutes until we reconvened in a different building.

Everyone was then safely put back on a coach to Exeter; with our Bus Secretary valiantly piloting our minibus back through torrential flooding to make sure everyone got home safely.

Until next year AD Ball; for now we will all go back to our normal non-adventure filled lives…

(I say that, we’re EUCC – with us there is always adventure. Namely in the survivors paddle, the day after!)

F

 

 

*EUCC does not officially condone any unorthodox slide usage. Any person choosing to ride the slide “incorrectly” did so at their own risk.

Sep 18

Pre-Season North Wales Trip

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On the 9th – 11th of September, committee and returning club members traveled up to North Wales, to get some awesome paddling in before the start of Freshers week.

Driving up on the Friday was slow and steady – our new minibus had a limiter on at 60mph, but we arrived at the campsite in good spirits. Unfortunately these were quickly dampened by having to put up tents in the rain.

Saturday morning we awoke to find Exmembers had joined the gang, and we set off paddling.

Club run of Conwy was a cheeky little river, very good start for many who hadn’t paddled all summer, also threw a couple of curve balls when you’d turn round the corner and realise the rapid was 10 times as long as you previously thought!

Then after experiencing a ‘lovely’ drive past some lakes and Mt Snowdon and witnessing a 24hour iron man, we arrived at the Aberglaslyn gorge. After the whole club checked it out, our strongest paddlers ran it, had a blast (and a couple of swims!).

After that we headed back, stopping off for fish and chips in Bala, then chilled with a few games of frisbee at the campsite. In the evening EUCC returned to Bala to hit the pub for a few drinks, before the day was up.

On sunday we headed to Tryweryn, and got 3 or 4 runs of the Upper course in. As always there was some raft-caused carnage, but everyone had a good time!

Post Trweryn paddle, we started the journey back, and braced ourselves for Freshers Week……