CHMAS – 4 Star Canoe Training

Having fun under the rainbow

Having fun under the rainbow

In the February half term, CHMAS was hosting a four star canoe training course for some returning clients. The course was provided by our Technical Advisor and canoe guru Ray Goodwin and another fantastic couple of days it was too.

Day 1 – Llyn Tegid (Open Water Skills) After quick introductions we soon on the water to look at strategies to cope with the wind (bow to bow, rafted boats, towing and simple lining) which due to the most excellent windy conditions proved to be a real eye opener for some of the candidates! After lunch we looked at improvised sailing rigs and played about with them coming up with possible solutions for a 2 boat, 3 boat and 4 boat rigs. We were also treated with some extremely pleasant rainbows throughout the day which really put the icing on the cake.

Day 2 – River Leadership (River Dee)
Our river trip for the day was to be River Dee between Glynd to Horsehoe falls which has to be one of the best river trips for the grade in the UK. From there we would then portage to the Llangollen Canal to the Pavillion to return to our waiting vehicles.

After a quick look at some of the fundamental white water skills it was soon time to set off. Along the way using the CLAP principles we looked at a variety of leadership strategies to tackle foe the numerous rapids along the route and it was great to watch everyone getting stuck in. Where possible we also took the time to develop poling and lining skills and this proved to be quite popular with the candidates.

By the end of the day all the candidates were grinning like Cheshire Cats although I’m not sure if this was from what they achieved from the day or from seeing some spectacular rainbows. I like to think it was ix of the two judging by some if the feedback received

‘I found it to be a very informative and enjoyable course. I felt at ease with yourself and Ray and found that this enabled me to ask more questions and request demonstrations when needed. I felt throughout the course that my feedback and questions were welcome and valued. The day’s paddling were made interesting by allowing us to ‘play’ on waves and such and also try out different systems for ourselves i.e. the sails. The format was informal and chatting with both yourself and Ray encouraging discussion, which helped me a lot as I find that I learn well through discussion and good demonstrations.’

Steph Heeley – 4 Star Canoe Training

To see a few pictures from the course then please click on the links below:

Full Course Photographs – provided by CHMAS

Sailing Photographs – supplied by Ray Goodwin

Leadership Photographs – supplied by Ray Goodwin


I had a great two days observing on this course and have more new ideas to introduce into my own canoe sessions. If you are looking for a four star training course then I can certainly recommend Ray Goodwin.


This entry was posted in Canoeing. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *