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A Review of 2016

Now that we are a over a month into the New Year I thought it would be a good time to take a trip down memory lane and have a look back at 2016. The list of paddles, training courses and trips is fairly long with the great summer weather providing us with plenty of paddling opportunities. Here's a nostalgic look back to wet your appetite for this years paddling season!

New Years Day Paddle

It all kicked off  with club members braving the cold for the annual New Years Day paddle from Yarmouth Harbour.

Training Courses

The first part of the year saw a group of club members undertake their 3* training, supposedly the winter months gave us the best chance of getting out in some suitable moderate sea conditions!

A number of skills sessions, a navigation lesson and two trips later Andy Eason, Chris Barry, Paul Graves, Sam Graves and Andy Tanner successfully gained their British Canoeing 3* sea awards. Thanks to head coach James Bachelor for putting on this course, we all learnt a lot and had fun to boot!

The training continued in March with a 2 Star course being run for IOW canoe club members in collaboration with the Medina Valley Centre. Well done to Clare, Keith, Sandy, Penny and Alison for braving the murky depths of the River Medina and gaining their 2 star awards.

The club also gained three new coaches this year with Andy Eason, Chris Barry and Paul Graves gaining their Level 1 coach qualifications.

Paddle Pathways

As spring came and the evenings became lighter, the kids Monday evening paddle pathway sessions got underway once again. Coach Dave Lutas gave the younger club members a chance to get out on the water and make use of club equipment at Yarmouth Harbour. These sessions are fully supervised by qualified coaches and give young paddlers a chance to improve their skills both on the river and out to sea.


Adult Monday evening paddling sessions also started up last spring giving newer members of the club a chance to improve their paddling skills and providing those without their own kayaks with an opportunity to use the club boats. Paddles were undertaken down the river Yar and out on the Solent at Colwell bay. Thanks to Mike Tickner and Alex Crilly for running these sessions.


They even stuck it out on the not quite so sunny evenings and posed for an album cover style photo...


Thursday Evening Paddling

Yet again the Thursday evening peer paddles took place every week from April through to September with the venue varying each week usually between Shanklin, Shalfleet Quay and the River Medina. Although there were a few changes made (whilst our glorious leader Adrian Brown was off on his Jollies) including paddles from Yaverland and Freshwater.

A post paddle pint and cheesy chips became a tradition, but no photographic evidence is available as they didn't usually last long enough!

Weekend Trips Around the Island

Various club paddles were arranged throughout the year. A number of weekend trips were organised by Paul Heaven to accommodate paddlers of all abilities and usually involved a pint or hot chocolate afterwards! My personal favourites included:

the Needles trip

picnic at Newtown Creek (complete with lace table cloth provided by Helen!)

and Ventnor to Reeth Bay trip which I don't have any pictures of unfortunately.

Also some longer trips were undertaken including Totland to Cowes, Bembridge to Cowes and a cross Solent adventure to Christchurch.


The year was rounded off with a Boxing Day paddle from Bembridge.


Many thanks to all the club members who organised these outings.

Adventures Further Afield

Well you can't get much further up the 'North Island' than Scotland! Once the windy, wet Scottish weather finally subsided, some fantastic paddling was had along the coast from Plockton over to the Isle of Skye.


A weekend canoe trip from Symonds Yat down the river Wye was also done by some club members back in April. Meanwhile on the River Thames, three club members (Mike Hawkins, Adrian Brown and Helen Parry) tackled the 26 mile long London Kayakathon raising money for charity in the process. Well done guys!

Swim Events

The IOW Canoe Club provided vital kayak safety support for a number of charity swim events in 2016. These included:

Two cross Solent swims for the West Wight Sports and Community Centre and the Samaritans.

The West Wight Sports Centre Needles swim.

The Sandown to Shanklin Pier to Pier swim.



Social Events

Despite having a love for paddling (verging on an addiction in some cases), we are also a fairly sociable bunch and so a number of off the water club events were also organised throughout the year. Back in August Corf Camp was a success yet again with a weekend filled with camping, archery, drinking and being merry! And a bit of paddling down Newtown Creek was  thrown in for good measure.

The club AGM was held in October which included election of  committee members and the awarding of the prestigious 'Crash and Bash' trophy which was awarded to Adrian Brown. I don't have a picture of Adrian receiving his award so this one will have to do:


A Christmas social was held in December at the Blacksmiths Arms with many Christmas jumpers on display. 



All in all I think it's safe to say that 2016 was a great year for paddling! Plenty more is planned for 2017 so dust off those kayaks and watch this space!

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