The club provided 12 taster sessions over three days as part of this year’s Reading Children’s Festival. The Festival is a programme of activities around the town over half term. 72 children attended the taster sessions, learning the basics about paddling K1 kayaks and the fun of paddling a bell boat. As a result several children have indicated they would like to try out the under-10 fun sessions and the Junior beginner courses.
Thank you to all our volunteers who helped over the three days.
‘There’s nothing half so much worth doing as messing about in boats’, so said Water Rat in Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows – set nearby on the Thames.
For novices at Reading Canoe Club it can seem a little far away this ‘messing about’, as you are encouraged to join time trials and circuit training, core focus and rowing machine sessions to carefully calibrated rock music.
The offer of a ‘Gentle Social Paddle’ with a pub lunch sounds just the ticket to adjust the balance.
As usual for RCC the proceedings started at the crack of dawn. We were ordered to be at the club by 9 for drill with our paddle and life saver.
A friendly and expectant crowd milled around at the corner of The Warren where the club is located. Boats were loaded, lifts were arranged, satnavs coordinated. Suddenly the trailer rushed off – to deliver the boats to the start point and then to be parked by the finish at Abingdon. Several minutes later a very handsome canoe was brought to the road for loading. O dear! Too late! Back to the shed! I didn’t realise at the time this was ‘my’ boat.
North of Oxford the Thames is split into several streams and one of these near Wolvercote is our start point. One of the first to arrive spotted kingfishers flitting around the water by the bridge.
It was here I learned that, because a boat had been left behind, three of us would be allocated to a boat with two seats.
One of my co-canoers was desperate to get going – maybe to claim one of the two seats, so I felt obliged to join him. We floated around on the water, quite comfortably while others threatened us from the bank.
When Nigel was ready we floated off, pushing hard on the paddles. These Canadian canoes are steered by the person sitting at the rear. Me, I sat in front and just kept at it. I never saw what my steersman (or rather, steerswoman) did, but I could detect a little critical banter between our midshipman, perched on a pile of life vests in the middle of the boat, and the boss in the back. Eventually we got rid of the dissenter when he climbed over to another boat with three seats.
As with T1 we have had unprecedented demand for Thameside 2. Due to the concerns of the impact this will have on facilities at the start and end of the course, we have closed entries for Thameside 2.
It is fantastic that we have such high interest (almost double some previous years with over 350 seats!) but need to manage congestion in order to avoid any potential negative impact on permission to run the event in the future.
You are still able to log in to the site to check details and complete payment.
We currently have 93 on the slow K2 start, therefore currently considering options
If your payment has been received you will now be able to access your race number
Thameside 2 is challenging 18 mile course with 8 portages. Although we take every possible action to minimise risk to paddlers, it is critical that paddlers, coaches and parents assess whether they are able to complete the course safely.
We assess the course on four key measures; flow, temperature, visibility and wind speed.
We then ask paddlers to assess their own competence against experience, paddling ability, equipment and support.
The competencies source needs to be higher than the course score.
Assessment on 9-March
The forecast is currently good, with no additional rain expected. However, the river is on a mix of yellow boards rising / yellow board decreasing. Therefore the expected course score is 6.
At this point no additional safety measures will be applied. However, all boats should be fit for purpose and fitted with sufficient buoyancy. Buoyancy aids are recommended for all paddlers and compulsory for anyone under 16.
Final course inspection is scheduled for Saturday 11-March.
As with previous years entry is online, however this year entry is only online. You will NOT be able to enter or pay on the day!
You can enter online & pay* until 14:00 the day before the race
Thameside 2 – Reading to Marlow 12 Mar-2017
Early bird entry close Friday 10-Mar 12:00 (Junior £11 per seat, Adult £13 per seat)
Last entry Saturday 11-Mar 14:00 (Junior £15 per seat, Adult £17 per seat)
* Only online payment can be received on Saturday before the race. If you are posting a cheque it needs to arrive at the latest Friday 10th.
Well Thameside 1 (final results) done and dusted for another year! A big THANK YOU to everyone who helped out, it was a complete team event which was great given the crazy number of entries.
At the start of the week there were 110 seats entered, almost bang on average. At the point we closed entries we had 307 seats, with a couple of groups and a few disappointed individuals who missed the cut off..
Whatever the size of an event RCC strive to make it the best so that paddlers want to do it again and our neighbours are happy for us to share their space each year. For this to continue we need the following…
Enough resource to run things smoothly – thanks to all
People to park sensibly and legally – most got it right, the rest need to try harder.
It is disappointing that we had to assignhalf our staff to marshall parking!
Remember – you are the public face of our sport.
Flexibility in the schedule to accommodate higher volumes – hence the extended start window to spread out paddlers
Paddlers to finish within the designated window – 22 boats finished too early today, the first by 22 minutes. We were kind and only gave you a time penalty not DSQ
Continual process improvements
Southern region number boards
The new check in approach – less queues, easier for all
Looking forward to seeing you all at Thameside 2 on 12 Mar. As always feedback welcomed