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……

Nov 24

Loop trip 21/11/15

On quite possibly one of the coldest days of November, the intrepid EUCC set forth to paddle the loop. After the traditional faffing and a cheeky stop at Sainsbury’s, we (not so swiftly) arrived at the get in. The need to get changed quickly was evident in the bitter cold and once kitted up, all (except Sam in a shorty wetsuit) were fairly toasty and ready to hit the water. Some more experienced members paddled the steps of the upper whilst waiting for the shuttle and the rest went for a quick race and huddle to keep warm.
Once everyone successfully got on without swimming, we started with some coaching in ferry gliding and breaking out, before heading downstream to conquer the rest of the famous Dart Loop. With some fresh swims early on, we trekked down to the main features, with most surviving until Triple Step, which resulted in several swims from some experienced as well as the lesser experienced paddlers. Once rescued by some of the many other paddlers on the river that day, we set off down to spin dry which was successfully conquered by all. All followed by a quick get change and more huddling.
With only one swim compared with my last record of 3 swims on the loop, I left a very happy paddler. Hoping next time, I can try a river roll and get my swim count down.
Overall, another fantastic trip with lots of fun had by all, even on a freezing cold day!
– Louise

Nov 18

The adventure ball

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The 7th of November was EUCC’s annual adventure ball; a masquerade-themed, black-tie event taking place in Crealy adventure playground- an opportunity to dress up like adults and act like children. After weeks of preparation and advertising both on Facebook and on forum hill, about 160 tickets were sold for the EUCC tradition. Everyone gathered at the bar in the Lemmy at the (very early) start of the night, before loading onto buses and heading to Crealy.
A hog roast (with a veggie option of course) was provided part way through the night to revive everyone’s energy levels. After eating and possibly another drink (vodka slushies proved popular) everyone headed back to the adventure area to run up and down slides and race across obstacles.

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At the end of the night music was put on for everyone to dance to, including classics such as Macarena and Low.
All the bruises and cuts and burns from the slides were definitely worth it and the night was summed up in a completely non-biased comment from EUCC social sec, Niamh Percy; “Probably the best ball on campus!”

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Nov 15

First polo match of the South West League

On a cool brisk October afternoon the EUCC Suckling Otters (formerly known as My Face) had a challenge. After only 3 training sessions it was time for the band of fearsome warriors to be entered into our first real Kayak Polo tournament of the year all the way in Cheltenham. A long bus journey allowed our warriors time to plot, scheme and develop ground breaking tactics to ensure immediate victory. A brief pitstop at a substandard Shell garage allowed us to fill up on cheesy Dorito goodness and before we knew it, it was time. Both our minds and now our bodies were ready for what lay ahead. Upon arriving at the pool a quick scramble ensued to ensure everyone was in the necessary boats and before we knew it we were thrust into our first game. After a quick passionate team talk by the vice-captain it was time. Unsure of the rules, fascinated by our peculiar helmets and still in awe of the goals we’ve never seen, let alone practised in before, the whistle blew.

If our passion was representative of the score line I would be telling you an inspiring and heart-warming story right now. Unfortunately it doesn’t. After being unable to score and losing 4 of our 5 games things got desperate. It wasn’t until the last half of our very last game things began to change, with a cracking display of skill by McAdams (EUCC’s girls’ team vice-captain) on the wing, the ball was suddenly in my hands in the opponents’ half, I glimpsed up. It was quite a distance I thought, although admittedly with ex semi-professional kayak polo players from the other team quickly encroaching upon me I didn’t have much time to think. Weeks of hardcore practise (well not really) led to this moment, I threw it. It was a goal. An almighty roar of happiness erupted by our single fan (a fellow EUCC member) and their mum in the stand. With only a few minutes left, we felt confident. Before we knew it however the Attacking badgers had scored. Not one, not two but three more goals. All seemed hopeless.

With seconds remaining McAdams and I charged into the opposition half and before we knew it were in front of the goal with McAdams on his usual wing with the ball. Drawing in the defence he once again managed to get the ball into my hand, being right beneath the goal it was always going to be an awkward shot but after a couple of seconds of composure I threw it, I slowly watched the ball leave my hand and hit the back of the net before I was plunged into darkness. What had happened to me I thought? Am I dead? Am I in heaven? No. I realised I had been binned (for those whom are unaware, binning is the act of pushing a fellow player who is in possession of the ball beneath the water.) Having only been kayaking three weeks a roll was unlikely, bailing (the act of leaving one’s boat when it is beneath the water) in such a small boat (I am 6ft5” after all) would be difficult and a hindrance to the rest of the team. In this moment of uncertainty I felt a nudge on the side of my boat, it was another kayak preparing for a T-rescue. I grasped the mystery boat and returned to the surface, curious to find the identity of my saviour.

It was McAdams, not for the first time that day his assistance was much appreciated. Seconds after returning to the surface and finding my paddle the final whistle blew. Had we done it I quickly thought? Have we drawn a game? A quick glance at the scoreboard revealed the reality – we hadn’t. 3-2 to the Attacking badgers. Despite being close to glory our warriors weren’t phased and before we knew it we were in a local KFC exchanging valiant tales of the evening’s events before heading on our way to Arena (aka Unit 1) to celebrate the matches we had so beautifully lost.

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Nov 15

First Freshers loop trip 31/10/2015

On Saturday, fifteen intrepid kayakers and five quaking freshers descended on Dartmoor to paddle the infamous ‘Loop’, setting out with the promise of a heavy downpour their hopes were soon dashed by lacklustre rainfall, but this didn’t stop them scraping down the three-mile stretch over the course of about four hours. After stumbling sleepily to the cave for a 9am meeting time, the constantly organised EUCC eventually managed to depart by midday. Luckily, the river proved no disappointment, unlike the presence of hundreds of Bath fresh drifting along around every corner.

This trip provided a true first white water experience for both our freshers and the second years new to the Dart, with features inventively named ‘washing machine’, ‘spin-dryer’ and ‘triple-step’ it was always going to be an interesting ride. The first capsized casualty proved to be our own Ben Cockshull, succumbing heroically to the Steps on the borderline of the Upper Dart, while his misfortune continued by getting caught against a strainer in an (almost) romantic encounter with Swales within the next few hours. Josh Manley bravely took to a play boat for the entire stretch, a daunting prospect even for the more experienced members, seeing him briefly at the mercy of the final ‘triple-drop’, although effortlessly rolling out of the waves.

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As a final pièce de résistance, our own captain, Tom Hopkins, was obligated to shoe a pint for a catastrophic swim the day before. This trip presented opportunities for the members to practise rolls including Florrie with her first ever river roll! Providing many of us with our first taste of grade 3 features, the ‘Loop’ undoubtedly proves a requirement for any future confident kayakers and freshers looking for their first real challenge.