Last week, 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 a 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. However, it wasn’t too long before Ray noticed a few things in everyone’s forward paddling that needed to be addressed so we found a quiet bay and put them right (this proved to be an excellent opportunity for me to watch the issues that Ray picked up and how he corrected them). 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. Our 2 boat rig will probably need development and I know Ray is working on it (to see a photograph of it in action then please click here or here).
Day 2 – River Leadership (River Dee)
We kicked the day off with a quick trip up the Llangollen Canal to get to the Horseshoe Falls along the way we looked at accelerating the boat and fine tuning a few peoples forward paddling. We put on before the Horseshoe Weir and chatted about various river leading strategies before tackling the Chainbridge Rapids which all the group run with ease. We played a little bit with check & setting before we headed off to the Serpents Tail. This raid is out of 4 star canoe remit so we opted for a combination of portaging and lining to descent this rapid. Once past this rapid, the group members too it in turns to lead the series of rapids that brought us to Mile End Mill site where we finished the day off with a bit of poling.
I had a great two days observing on this course and have a host of 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.
To see a few pictures from the course then please click here.