River Tees Trip Day Two – Barnard Castle to Winston Bridge – by Hannah Bellamy

River Tees Trip Day Two – Barnard Castle to Winston Bridge

After a group meal out in the local pub on Saturday night, we had a leisurely start on Sunday. Everyone busied about eating breakfast, packing up their things and making sure the hostel was tidy before we met for a briefing with Stuart outside. The rain Gods had been again and low force was too big for all of us to run, so we set off to run a section of the Tees between Barnard Castle and Winston Bridge (made famous when Ray Hanna flew a spitfire underneath it at 250mph for a TV programme – woah!). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf3UtmHLKUU

The water was quite fast flowing, wide and bouncy with lots of features – again quite like the sunshine run in the Alps! The autumnal colours of the trees were lovely as we paddled down in groups of five, chatting away.

The first feature was a weir, which everybody sailed over, and next came Abbey Rapids. As our group was first, we got out to have a recce. Fiona and I decided to portage, joining at the bottom to be ready to catch anybody if needed! John came down first, followed by Stuart and Sarah and then everyone else one by one, all picking quite different but equally successful lines down the two drops. The first swimmer of the day was John, when he slipped off a rock whilst pointing out the line – Sarah was quick to the rescue with her paddle shaft!

When everyone was through the feature safely, we carried on in our groups until we reached another weir type feature with a larger drop. We went over one by one, the trick is to keep straight, at right angles with the edge of the weir and to keep paddling. Leanne was caught out by a sneaky edge that you could only see once you had paddled over, but she was quickly back in her boat and ready for the lunch stop. When about half of us had paddled over and got out on the bank with our sandwiches, Keleigh and Craig took heroic dips just above the weir (I’m sure they only did it for the rescue demonstration). The rescue was impressive to watch as both paddlers were on the opposite sides of the river to their boats, and some of the rescue team already over the weir three foot below. Those of us on the bank stayed on the bank as we didn’t want to crowd, and there were plenty of paddlers still on the water. Well done rescue team, and to Keleigh and Craig, who tried really hard to roll up.

With everyone fed and watered and back in their boats we carried on, stopping to play on many waves (there was even a slide sort of feature made of lots of smooth pebbles which was fun!) to the get out just before the bridge.

It was a super river, paddled with super company – thank you to everyone for a great weekend!

Hannah Bellamy

Festive Paddle (Conway Estuary) – Coordinator Kirk Williams & Brian Green

Festive Paddle (Conway Estuary) – Coordinator Kirk Williams & Brian Green
Click here for more information and to book….

Sunday, 15 December ’19   10am – 3pm

 Beacons Car Park LL32 8GN

Festive Paddle (Conway Estuary) – Coordinator Kirk Williams & Brian Green

The plan is to take the tide up the Conway Estuary from Beacons Car Park LL32 8GN – Meet at 10:00am. The Conway Estuary paddle is suitable for all types of craft (Sea Kayaks, Open Boats, SUPs, General Purpose Kayaks) so no excuses for not joining us. Questions to  Kirk Williams…..

Expect 4 hours on the water with 8-10km with the tide pushing us both ways. Please ensure that you have adequate clothing to protect from the conditions.
Previous photos and information

The Club compound will be open at 8:00am and an hour after the finish of the meal to collect and return any borrowed boats. Please reserve them using the booking form on the website…..


Beacons Car Park LL32 8GN

Festive Christmas Meal – Coordinator Kirk Williams & Brian Green

Festive Christmas Meal – Coordinator Kirk Williams & Brian Green
Click here for more information and to book….

Sunday, 15 December ’19   4pm – 7pm

St Georges Hotel, St George’s Pl, The Promenade, Llandudno, LL30 2LG,
Phone: 01492 877544

Hi folks it’s THAT TIME of year again and the 11th Annual Liverpool Canoe Club Christmas Meal is taking place on Sunday 15th December 2019. We seem to get more and more people each year, with nearly 50 of us sitting down last year. The price for the superb three course festive lunch is just £22.00

Following on from the very positive feedback received following all the previous post paddle Christmas Meal at St Georges Hotel in Llandudno I have made a booking for Sunday 15th December for 4.00pm in our own private function room, which will be the Menai Suite again. The food, the venue and the service are always really good with everyone thoroughly enjoying the day.

In order to work up a good appetite the plan is to take the tide up the Conway Estuary from Beacons Car Park LL32 8GN – 10:00am. Please book onto this using the separate bookwhen form so that we have an exact register for attendance on the paddle and can send you any last minute information. The Estuary paddle is suitable for all types of craft, so no excuses for not joining us. Maybe even some ‘hardcore’ SUP folks may join us? (4 hours on the water expect 8-10km)

We are booked in for 4.00pm which will give us plenty of time to sort out boats, kit and cars.

For the three-course festive lunch the price this year is just £22.00 Booking and payment to be made via the club website booking page.

The tides on this day are very favourable with local HW at 12:28 PM (springs).

Christmas Menu

Roast Pumpkin Soup, Ricotta Cream, Truffle Oil V
Ham Hock Terrine, Apple Puree, Sourdough DF
Smoked Salmon, Celeriac Remoulade, Horseradish Emulsion DF, GF

Traditional Turkey, Sage & Onion Stuffing, Sausage, Red Wine Gravy DF
Bream, Lemon New Potatoes, Broccoli, Chicken Beurre Blanc GF
Salt Baked Celeriac Risotto, Parmesan GF

Traditional Christmas Pudding, Brandy Sauce V
Lemon Sponge, Vanilla Ice Cream V
Welsh Cheese & Biscuits, Fruit Chutney V

Tea / Coffee served at the end of the meal

V – Vegetarian GF – Gluten Free DF – Dairy Free
(Note: there is no need to pre-order food so please don’t send me emails regarding your preferences of beef over turkey or vice versa)

As always, some other good reasons to come along include:

  • It’s only a 1-hour drive from Liverpool.
  • Non paddling friends and family are of course welcome to join us for lunch, plenty of big stores in the town centre for ‘Chrimbo’ shopping too.
  • But best of all it’s a superb day out with a very posh Christmas Dinner for only £22.00 !

How not to break out of an eddy – by Craig Ford

How not to break out of an eddy – by Craig Ford

The theory of breaking out of an eddy is relatively easy to remember … When exiting the eddy, paddle upstream with good hard strokes and as the bow of the kayak begins to cross the eddy line, begin to shift your weight and lift your upstream knee, thereby tilting the upstream edge of the boat up.  Continue to paddle forward until you have passed over the eddy line allowing the water to turn the bow of the boat downstream.

Don’t do what I did and paddle at 90 degrees to the eddy line, with no edging at all to, or even worse shift your weight onto your upstream knee, thereby dipping the upstream edge in to the river.

Here’s a short video showing what happens when you get it wrong.


Craig Ford

For Sale – Dagger Honcho £220 ono and Liquid logic Stomper 90 £120 ono

For Sale – Dagger Honcho £220 ono and Liquid logic Stomper 90 £120 ono NOW SOLD

I have got a couple of boats for sale that I would like to go on the website.

1 Liquidlogic Stomper 90 For Sale.

Large Creek Boat with super comfortable “Badass” outfitting.

Extremely easy to roll and paddle.

THIS BOAT HAS BEEN WELDED and is therefore sold as seen. I have since paddled it on Grade 2-3 water and it has remained dry. It may last for years or it may not, depending on what you do with it.

£120 ono

Both boats are available to try. More photos on request.

Nick Coughlin   Tel 07976 278210       coughlinphoto@sky.com

2  Dagger Honcho For Sale.  NOW SOLD

Large old style slicey playboat that is ideal for the person who wants to play but likes pies.

Fits 6’1″ tall 15 stone man with size 11 feet.

Only ever used it for surfing and “Murderball” so in excellent condition.

Uprated from standard with ratchet adjustable back rest and padding.

Looking for £220 ono



Carrying / Lifting a canoe

As we all know, open canoes can be quite heavy. Therefore, it is important to lift and carry them correctly.

Low level carry

Image result for carry a canoe
2 person carry

2 person

An easy carry over shortish distances is for 2 people to go to either end, bend legs, and then following an agreed command to lift with a straight back.

To ease the load on your wrist, you can support the weight by utilising a sling over your shoulder.

Image result for carry a canoe
Multi person carry

3 or 4 or more person

To ease the load on two people, if there are more of you then simply ask more people to help carry. Again, communication is key to lifting the boat cleanly.

This eases the load on the people carrying, but it is slow and carrying through confined spaces or uneven ground can be difficult.

High level carry

For carrying solo, or on longer distances, it is often easier to carry a canoe up high. HOWEVER, it is very important that we lift the boats properly (otherwise your back will go twang and you wont be paddling that day!).

Below are a selection of videos that show how to lift a boat for a high level carry. My favourite, whether carrying solo or double, is to lift / lower with two people

2 person lift & carry – my favourite, whether carrying as a pair or using the centre yoke. These two vids show 2 person lift and a 1 or 2 person carry.


1 person curl and carry – VERY IMPORTANT TO BE SMOOTH!!! NB, note how you can reduce the weight by resting one end on the floor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZq-nh6kdTM

1 person lift and carry – a great way to lift that puts less risk to your body. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfTrmLTU7Ek

(Thanks to Ray Goodwin for posting the vids)

Mike A

River Tees Trip – by Sarah Gille

River Tees Trip – by Sarah Gille

After a foggy drive we arrived at Langdon Beck Youth Hostel in Teesdale and swiftly diverted to the local pub to book a table for 19 for the Saturday night.

We then settled in at the hostel with a huge portion of homemade lasagna and a delicious brownie that Hannah had baked. We awoke on Saturday to a surprise from the river gods of an unexpected deluge, filling the rivers up to high levels. As a result, plans where swiftly tweaked and we were ready at 9.00 am to set off to the river.

Not too far a dive, the shuttle was organised swiftly and we split into groups to start the racecourse section of the river tees. This was a river most had never done due to low levels the past few years. Craig Ford warmed up on a play wave and tested his roll not far from the get in and we set off down a wide fast flowing river with big bouncy wave trains.

If you squinted your eyes and ignored your numb fingers and toes, it was much like the bouncy waves of the sunshine run in the South of France. We passed a dead cow that had somehow met its demise and swiftly paddled by in case it exploded.

After a lunch stop and wee break we set back off and where reminded of our geography days in the meandering sections of a river. As we progressed more features developed, and Hannah was eaten by a hole. The team worked swiftly and well to ‘pokey pokey’ her boat to the side and she was soon back in her boat.

Further on we entered a gorge like section with a few more waves to manoeuvre, some of which curling and so made it slightly trickier if you didn’t have your wits about you. The team sprung back into action when Fiona decided to test out the seals on her dry suit. All was well as she re-entered her boat.

At the end we walked back to the cars, got changed and drove over to low force. Even if you don’t paddle it. It’s a sight to see and a great photo opportunity.

Some popped into the cafe for a coffee and cake before heading back to the hostel for a warm shower.

A great day was had by all.

Sarah Gille

More Photos……..

For Sale Valley Gemini ST Sea Kayak £1500

For Sale

Valley Gemini ST

Composite epoxy fibre glass construction.

I have had it about 5 years. I have not used it much, perhaps once a month on day trips, all very carefully, mostly to Hilbre Island from West Kirby, and one two-day paddling/camping trip in Scotland. It is a composite boat (composite epoxy-fibre glass) and is in excellent used condition. It has been stored in my garage. I can take it to the LLC for viewing if necessary, for a Sunday morning docks paddle for instance, or you can come along my house.

It is a lovely boat. It is intended for intermediate weight paddlers (65-100 kg); I am actually a bit too light for it and I have now bought a new kayak.

I am looking for offers in the region of £1500, about half of what you can buy it for new.

I paste below some pictures of the boat and information from the Valley website: https://valleyseakayaks.com/our-kayaks/composite-models/gemini

Stan van den Berg

West Kirby

07706152270, vandenberg12@gmail.com

Summary – Our shortest sea-kayak model (14’10”/452cm) and offered in two versions: The SP (sports play) which combines increased rocker and more bow volume to make this our best rock-hopping/surf/rough water kayak. And the ST (sports touring), with the design tuned the opposite way, to improve speed on less challenging water (as fast as many 16’ kayaks), it also uses the advantage of its reduced weight to make it easier to manage both on and off the water.
Background – Before developing the Gemini’s, we wanted to understand, what people were looking for when considering shorter kayaks. What we discovered were two clear groups of people. Firstly, those who didn’t really want to lose long boat performance on the water but who were really hoping that a shorter kayak might be significantly lighter and easier manage, especially off the water. Secondly, at the other extreme, there were those who believed sacrifice some length would actually make the kayak more fun in surf-zones, tide-races and for rock-hopping; basically when “playing the sea”, a descriptive phrase that probably says it all! Unfortunately, focus on one and you invariably compromise the other because for these two groups, there is no perfect all-rounder! Our response: ‘Project Gemini’, the twins! Imagine starting with a strong foundation by creating a base core DNA, a mid-point design that could then be tuned in one direction to create the perfect touring model and in the other to create a play version. Couple this unique design approach with cutting-edge infused composite constructions and you suddenly have the most exciting development to hit sea-kayaking in recent years.
Design – Both the SP & ST, effectively share the same mid-section and thus benefit form a consistent cockpit fit and the initial stability, created by the shallow ‘V’ hull. From this point, it’s easier to imagine how a “Jack-of-All-Trades”, mid-way design would have been and talk about how each improves on that compromise.
Thus, if we had simply done that Jack of All Trade 14 footer, you would be able to clearly notice that the bow of the SP is wider and has significantly more volume, to prevent pearling whilst surfing, yet the ST’s front is narrower, with a finer bow entry, to increase speed in more placid conditions. Rocker also benefits from these subtle differences, the SP has more, to increase manoeuvrability and the ST, less to promote tracking and maximize waterline length. Even the flair from the hull’s chine area to the seam-line differs, The SP having slightly more, increasing secondary stability and overall width, The ST’s sides are more vertical, giving a slightly narrower water-line, again helping to increase hull speed.
Couple this unique design approach with cutting-edge infused composite constructions and you suddenly have the most exciting development to hit sea-kayaking in recent years.
In short, if you do most of your paddling in relatively placid conditions and want the benefit of a light, easy to transport kayak, that has the same on-water speed as many 16+ foot kayaks, choose the ST. Alternatively, if you want your shorter kayak, to be fun in the rough, or manoeuvrable around rocky coves and headlands, choose the SP. Basically, do you primarily tour or primarily play!
Conclusion – Of course you can still play in the touring version and tour in the play because they share the same core DNA. So yes, there is still some overlap, but the further you get to the ends of that intended user-spectrum, the more you’ll benefit from choosing the “specialist” and the more you’ll enjoy your paddling, knowing you are in the ‘right’ kayak.

Spey 2019 – Multi day canoeing in sunny Scotland

Having sorted a shuttle so that we could make the trip to Scotland in one car, Ruth and I loaded the canoes onto the trailer and headed north. It was time to go to the Spey again – one of the best multiday canoe trips in the UK.

We had done this trip before, but with all the recent rain the river was considerably higher and flowing far faster than last time. With some initial trepidation as to what the camping sites would be like (waterlogged?), we loaded the boats with food, camping kit, spare clothes for the shuttle and launched into the ultimate relaxation escape.

With the higher water level, we noted that the river sped by with far greater ease than last time. Although we were in the shadows of the high Cairngorms, this was one of the flatter sections in which we enjoyed the autumnal sunshine and marvelled at the turning of the woodland leaves.

Despite not being quiet, straight away we started seeing fabulous wildlife including several raptors and otters. Even more amazing, no midge, and for paddlers raised on the rivers of Wales, we had only friendly waves from the riverbank!

The first day was a great shake down as we haven’t paddled loaded boats for some time, but all too soon it was time to look for a suitable place to set camp. We spied a location that was perfect, so we landed and set up for a night under the stars – perfect, I do love a good wild camp. Zzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzz, “Oi, stop snoring!”

Morning brought a heavy mist / fog which provided a readily taken excuse for a lazy start – our reckoning was that we couldn’t see far enough ahead to read the river (Any excuse for another brew).

Eventually the fog lifted enough for us to head off. There was a notable increase in the frequency of the easy rapids as we zoomed along under the sun; passing deer, leaping salmon and numerous distilleries.

Having settled into the flow of the canoe trip, we eventually reached the first major rapid (washing machine). Helmets on we ran on sight – far easier with more water – and got through with very little water splashing into the boats.

At the second major rapid, Knockando, we again successfully ran on sight and carried on our merry way towards the sea.

Although through the major rapids, the river never lets up and it was an interesting paddle all the way down towards Spey Bay.


During the last few miles, the river changed its nature again as it became braided. Finally we encountered seals, if you go onto the sea you may also see dolphins, at the river mouth (100km from the start).


What a fabulous multi day paddle with great weather and great company. As Ruth left on the 3 hour shuttle it was time for me to settle in for a long wait. Unfortunately, the café shut at 5pm and the wind was beginning to get up – so it was a case of make a shelter out of the canoes, inflate the thermarest, put on my tunes, lie back, watch the bunnies play, and …………. Relax

Open boats really are the best way to do this type of trip. Can’t wait to get back – hopefully next year. Who knows where we will end up in 2021!


Mike & Ruth

River Dee Llangollen to Ty Mawr Country Park – 20 October 2019

Stuart`s Group

After another wet week the Dee was full and flowing. Once a minimal faff car shuttle was complete everyone safely launched round the trees from the bottom of the car park and 4 groups paddled off down the river. There were not many eddies as the water levels seemed quite high on the banks, but plenty of grade 2 bouncy bits to keep people on their toes. A play wave on one bend with 2 big eddies either side enabled everyone to regroup and enjoy the odd burst of sun while a tennis balls was thrown around. A great spot to practice surfing and ferry gliding. Next stop was lunch in a field beside the river to refuel before the main rapid of the day – Trevor Rocks! They were fast and bouncy, but no problem for the LCC – 100% success. Round the bend the country park came into view. The autumn colours in the valley and a perfect view of the aqueduct made for great end to the introductory river trip. Or was that the trip to the pub afterwards?

Report by Jenny Brown

More Photos……..

Liverpool Canoe Club is open to all and aims "to provide the maximum canoeing and kayaking opportunities for all its members"