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Tonbridge Canoe Club
Newsletter November 2008
A Note from the new Editor
Thank you to both Jo and Charlie for the great job that they have done with
the previous newsletters and a personal thank you from me, for the support
that they have given me during the hand over of the editorial reigns. Thank
you also to Bryony for volunteering to help me by taking on the more ‘techie’
role of putting together the newsletter.


I n keeping with tradition, I will be distributing the
  newsletter bi-monthly and will be relying on your
contributions, so if you have anything to share with us,
                                                              Latest Club News
                                                              World Champion....almost
please do drop me an e-mail or of course we could have        Congratulations to John Ince who recently attended
a good old fashioned chat!                                    the Marathon World Masters Championships in Tyn,
Going forward, I will be publishing the newsletter on         Checkslovakia, and won a silver medal in the over
the Club website, and will e-mail you the link when the       60’s age group, paddling with Dave Howie from Wey
latest version is available, so if your email address has     Kayak Club. Completing two 90 minute races on
changed please confirm it to me by emailing                    consecutive days (not bad for an old boy!) John was
tessa.dias@hotmail.co.uk. If you prefer to have a             also 9th in the K1 event.
hard copy, please confirm this with me so that I can
                                                              New Boats
properly organise the distribution list.
                                                              Now we have nearly finished the new boatstore
As well as the usual features, tour reports, race calendar,   building we have decided to splash out some money
race results and club news, I would like to gradually         on some new boats. So you should see the following
(space permitting) introduce innovations, such as             arriving at the clubhouse over the next few weeks:
‘member profiles’ and in the spirit of it all, you can check
                                                               – 2 new sea kayaks (1 Valley Aquanaut and 1
mine out on page 2. If you have any other suggestions,
                                                                   Perception Ascent)
please don’t be shy in putting these forward.
                                                               – 2 plastic boats (Acrobats I think)
The deadline for sending in your contributions for the
                                                               – 1 Capel tourer
January edition will be the 22nd December, so that
January’s edition can be available during the first week        – 1 Kirton Tercel
of the month to help us through the post seasonal blues.       – Plus we have finally bought the racing C2 from Nic
                                                                   Johnson that he has ‘lent’ the club for the last 18
E-mail: tessa.dias@hotmail.co.uk.                                  months, so this is now officially a club boat.
Mobile: 07989 438 629.                                        This lot comes at a cost of just under £6,000 and
Skype: Tessa.Dias                                             completes the Club’s boat spending for the year.
                                                              Also, on long term loan we have aquired a Lancer
                                                              CX stable racing boat (its very bright yellow) via Matt
                                                              Stenhouse, plus a red Dancer kindly donated by John
    Christmas Party                                           Mazzey. Many thanks to both of them for these.
                                                              Weirs can be dangerous
                                                              The committee would like to remind members that
    This years Christmas                                      shooting weirs is a hazardous activity and should not be
    party will be held on                                     undertaken without the supervision of experienced and
    Saturday 20th December at                                 qualified paddlers. It is good practice to have a good look
                                                              at a weir to check it out first, and have a contingency plan
    The Plough in Leigh. Full details to                      to rescue anyone who swims/gets pinned/stuck in the
    be confirmed. The cost for the meal                        stopper. The same also applies to seal launching of high
                                                              banks, especially vertical drops.
    and disco event is £27.75 which
                                                              It is particularly hazardous to shoot the radial sluices (like
    must be paid in full to Louise by mid                     the one at Tonbridge Town Lock) on our river when they
    November. Please make cheques                             are pinned open, which they sometimes are in the winter.
    payable to Tonbridge Canoe Club,                          These weirs have anti scour ‘teeth’ in the weir channel and
                                                              create very powerful stoppers which are extremely difficult
    any questions, call Louise Neale on                       to swim out of. While the river downstream is drained this
    01732 361759.                                             winter for landing stage repairs many of the radial sluices
                                                              will be pinned open. Keep well away.
Cardboard Boat Race 2008                                                                   Pool Sessions
This year’s race took place on a warm,       Well done to everyone who took part,          I will be running winter pool
sunny day. There were 4 teams but            not forgetting the supporters; and Sigi
                                                                                           sessions every second and
only 3 made it across the finish line.        for organising/refereeing
The teams were:-                                                                           fourth week of the month
– Apollo – lead by Ollie;                                                                  either on Friday, Saturday
– Bermuda 1 – lead by Will:                                                                or Sunday evening to
– Tulip – Rosemary Clarke decided                                                          make it available to as
  to go solo in the craft’s design and                                                     many people as possible.
  piloting. The boat took its                                                              If anyone is interested they
  inspiration from... well a plain old
  cardboard box really, and;                                                               need to phone me, so I
– Devon Flower 3 – lead by Phil Clarke.                                                    can put them on the list. All
Each team had just 2 hours to build                                                        sessions have to be booked
from scratch, a boat strong enough to                                                      in advance. The sessions
be paddled from the landing station                                                        are run for 90 minutes. I
to the footbridge (by Tonbridge Pool)
and back again. The only permitted                                                         am also happy to arrange
materials being, cardboard and, well,                                                      rolling courses for those
brown tape.                                                                                who are interested. Please
After a hearty BBQ lunch, the race                                                         contact me for further
began. Tulip unfortunately sank at the
start line, (but hey, it’s not the winning                                                 information and to book.
that counts...), leaving Apollo to take
first place, followed by Devon Flower 3                                                                                Sigi
and Bermuda 1 respectively.



  Member’s Profile                                                  Q5. What was the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
                                                                       Sea kayaking around a couple of the smaller
  Tessa Dias                                                           Hawaiian Islands, at times the waves felt like they
 These ten ice breaker are designed                                    were 6 feet high. It was an awesome experience. I
 to help us get to know a little more                                  even caught a glimpse of a sea turtle.
 about our fellow paddlers.                                       Q6. What was the last book you read?
                                                                       I have just spent the last two years studying so I
 Q1. Are you related to any of the other club members?                 can unashamedly admit to reading a bunch of
                                                                       trashy novels, so trashy, in fact, that I can’t even
     I am not related to anyone here (as far as I know),
                                                                       remember the titles! (Although, I did enjoy ‘Getting
     but I have made some really good friends.
                                                                       Rid of Matthew’ by Jane Fallon).
 Q2. What do you most like about paddling?
                                                                  Q7. Who would you like to play you, if a film was made
     Aside from being in the ‘great outdoors’, and that                about you?
     fear factor of taking an unexpected swim, it’s a
                                                                       Keira Knightly – ok so I don’t look a thing like her,
     great opportunity to meet new people!
                                                                       but I can dream can’t I?
 Q3. When was the last time you capsized and how
                                                                  Q8. Where is your favourite place?
     did it happen?
                                                                       I spent a couple of weeks in the Isles of Scilly last
     Last year, sometime in September. I was playing
                                                                       year and I fell in love with the place.
     some sort of ball game with Sigi and some of
     the younger members, I over reached for the ball             Q9. If you were to live on a desert island, what three
     and ended up in the water. Luckily, it was near                   things would you take with you?
     the club house and it wasn’t too cold!                            My iPod (so that I can fill my days with music and
 Q4. What else do you do to unwind?                                    reflect on my downloaded photos), a kayak
                                                                       (naturally) and loads of sun block (because I burn
     Unwind, what’s that? I am always running around
                                                                       as soon as the sun comes out).
     doing something or another, like doing a first aid
     duty with St John Ambulance, cycling, bouldering,            Q10. Who is your favourite band/musician?
     pulling together the newsletter... but I am also                  At the moment, I am lovin’ Chris Brown, but I am
     partial to the theatre or chilling with a good bottle             actually into all genres of music, with the exception
     of wine and a bunch of mates.                                     of metal, I can’t be dealing with the noise levels!
Insurance
The clubs single biggest overhead each year is the cost          well, and that any breakdown cover you have will also
of insuring the clubhouse and its contents, which now            cover the cost of recovering the trailer in the event of a
amounts to £1,000 per annum. This seems like a lot of            breakdown/accident.
money, but covers the current value of the clubs fleet of       - Private boats and equipment are NOT INSURED. You
81 boats, plus the other equipment and contents of the           should insure your own boat and equipment if you
clubhouse, as well as the buildings themselves.                  keep it in the clubhouse.
The club also has public liability insurance through           - The two biggest risks we have are FIRE and FLOOD.
its affiliation to the BCU, the same as any of you who            There isn’t much we can do about flood risk as we
are individual BCU members have as part of your                  obviously need to have a clubhouse next to the
membership. There are a few important facts that                 river, but we need to keep the fire risk to a minimum,
members need to be aware of:                                     hence the no smoking in the clubhouse rule (I guess
- The clubhouse insurance does not cover anything if             that’s illegal now anyway). If you notice an something
  some idiot leaves the doors unlocked and the thief just        electrical not working very well that might be a fire risk,
  walks in and helps themselves. So please keep the              please tell a committee member immediately.
  clubhouse doors closed (including the door in to the         - One of the most likely problems is vandalism. For
  social room) and deadlock them when you go on the              some reason vandals don’t usually seem to pick on
  water.                                                         clean and tidy, well looked after premises, so please
- The club boats and equipment are only insured whilst           do your bit to keep the clubhouse that way. If you see
  they are in the building, not while they are on the            any graffiti or damage please let me know straight
  water. If you damage/lose/write off any equipment              away so we can get it repaired.
  while on the water, the club will have to pay for it to be   - The other likely incident is theft. Previous experience
  repaired/replaced.                                             would suggest the most likely target is wallets
- The boats are NOT INSURED whilst they are on                   and phones left in the changing rooms, which are
  the roof rack of your car. If you are taking a club            NOT INSURED. This is why we have a self locking
  boat away from the clubhouse, you are personally               automatic closing door in to the social room area.
  responsible for its security and safe return. This             Please don’t prop it open, it’s there to stop thieves
  obviously includes tying it on the roof rack correctly         pinching our personal belongings.
  so it doesn’t fall off or get crushed. If you have been      It is now 10 years since we built the main clubhouse
  negligent whilst being responsible for club equipment        and so far we haven’t had to make an insurance claim.
  the club may ask you to facilitate and pay for               We’ve been lucky so far with only one major incident of
  appropriate repairs and/or replacement.                      graffiti, a couple of broken windows, and of course one
- The boats are NOT INSURED whilst they are on the             major flood, all of which we have sorted out ourselves.
  club trailer, and the club trailer is NOT INSURED. If        However, we mustn’t get complacent, and we need
  you are towing the club trailer you need to make sure        remain vigilant and maintain the security of the building
  your car insurance covers a trailer and its contents as      and equipment at all times.
                                                               Clive



Cuckmere Tour 14th September 2008
This tour proved to be very popular and with 24 names on the list, I had to call a halt to the
number of people taking part. My apologies to those who wanted to but were unable to come.
Everyone turned up nice and early so the trailer and boat-carrying cars were soon loaded and
ready for the off. AND when we got there (after a minor diversion!) it turned out that not only
did everyone have a boat, but a paddle and buoyancy aid as well! A small miracle I think!
It was a grand day for canoeing – some sunshine but not too hot. The portage over the bank
and down the steps into the main river was accomplished surprisingly quickly given that there
were 23 boats. Many thanks to those who assisted both on the way out and on the way back.
We missed running up with the tide but with such calm conditions it mattered little and Alfriston
was soon reached. Not too much wildlife to be spotted, just a couple of swans, a white egret,
a heron, and lots of martins, but the countryside round there is lovely. We did see plenty of
para-gliders at all heights from a few inches off the ground to dizzyingly high dots in the sky.
The weather stayed kind while we picnicked, and some visited the local hostelry for a wee
dram or two. Then we were on our way back down, gently assisted by the falling tide.
Thanks to Neil for taking the trailer, and to all those who used their cars to transport boats.
It was great to have such a good crowd, especially all those for whom this was a first.
Sadly it is the last tour for this year, but come next Spring, watch the notice board for
details of the next one.
Alison Wilkins
Winter race training in the dark                             Litter from the river
The racing group will continue training at 6pm through       As noted in a recent newsletter, we are trying to reduce
the winter on Mondays and Wednesdays. Obviously it           the amount of waste the club sends to landfill by having
is pitch dark at this time, so if you are joining in these   a recycle bin in the club. All of the club rubbish and
sessions please remember the following:                      recycling waste gets taken home for sorting and putting
                                                             in my home bins.
- You must have a forward facing LED light
  (preferably red) on you or your boat, so that              The last couple of weeks has seen a large increase in
  everbody can see you approaching. THIS IS                  the amount of rubbish people are pulling out of the river
  COMPULSORY – WE WILL NOT LET YOU ON                        i.e. drinks cans, plastic bottles etc and then putting in the
  THE WATER WITHOUT THIS. Cycling lights are                 club bins for recycling/disposal.
  ideal. No bright torches please as these just ruin
                                                             Whilst I applaud your efforts for keeping the river clean,
  everyones night vision. If you have a rear racing
                                                             could I please ask that if you remove rubbish from the river
  light as well, all the better.
                                                             you take it home and put it in your own bins. My rubbish
- This is not the session to be trying out new wobbly        and recycling bins at home can’t cope with this added
  boats. Use a boat you are confident in and can              volume in addition to my home and normal club refuse.
  survive clipping the odd tree or riverbank without
  falling in.                                                For those Wombles amongst you, we will miss the next
                                                             Medway River Project Litter Pick as we were informed
- Only paddle in the dark if you are familiar with the       at too short notice to organise joining in. However, Sigi
  river in the daylight. You need to know where you          hopes to organise our own litter pick at Tonbridge in the
  are going and where the overhanging trees etc are,         next month, so keep your eyes on the notice board. The
  as you won’t always be able to see them in the dark.       rubbish collected from this is taken away by the council,
                                                             so my litter bin at home is not affected!
- Always pass on the RIGHT hand side of those
  coming in the opposite direction, even if it isn’t the     Clive
  racing line. Only go around the Island in an anti-
  clockwise direction.
- If you do fall in, get your boat to the bank as quickly
                                                              Racing calendar
  as possible to avoid it being rammed by somebody
  else. Keep an eye on the river and shout if you see         30th Nov      Ross Warland Challenge
  the red light of a boat approaching so they know you                      (Banbury – 20 miles/18 portages)
  are in the water and to slow down and help you.
                                                              30th Nov      Stour Descent
- Always stop to help a swimmer in the dark, even if                        (Dorset – 15/3)
  they say they are OK.
                                                              4th Jan       Frank Luzmore K2
- If the river is flowing fast, we may cancel the                            (Weybridge to Richmond – 13/3)
  session and not allow any club boats on the river,
  as obviously it is extremely dangerous to paddle on         15th Feb      Waterside A
  a flood in the pitch dark.                                                 (Great Bedwyn to Newbury – 13.5/21)
- If there is ice on the river we will also cancel the        22nd Feb      Thameside 1
  session as it is impossible to see ice in the dark                        (Aldermaston to Reading – 14/14)
  and damages the boats, besides also being very
  dangerous.                                                  1st Mar       Waterside B
                                                                            (Newbury to Aldermaston & back – 18.5/23)
- The club strongly recomments wearing a buoyancy
  aid even if you don’t normally for training, especially     8th Mar       Thameside 2
  if you are in a K1 and not staying in a group for the                     (Reading to Marlow – 18/8)
  whole session.
                                                              15th Mar      Waterside C
- If you are a junior you MUST stay with your                               (Pewsey to Newbury – 22.5/30)
  accompanying adult on these sessions. Buoyancy
  aids are compulsory for juniors.                            22nd Mar      Royal K1/K2
                                                                            Runnymede to Kingston – 19/6)
This all sounds really obvious but we have already
had one close shave this year, and some damage                29th Mar      Waterside D
to a members boat last year. The common sense                               (Devizes to Newbury – 35/30)
guidelines must apply for everyone on the water,
whether you are race training or not, in order for them       10-13th Apr Devizes to Westminster
to be effective.                                                          (125 miles/76 portages)

Clive                                                         Details for all these from Clive Neale 01732 361759

				
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