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
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
firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer to have a also 9th in the K1 event.
hard copy, please conﬁrm this with me so that I can
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,
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: email@example.com. 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!
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.
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.
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-
- If you do fall in, get your boat to the bank as quickly
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)
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