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80 years - same dreams - same rivers - new and old paddlers
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SPLASH - January 2016
Monthly magazine of the River Canoe Club www.rivercanoeclub.org
 
RCC Facebook Group
RCC Twitter Feed
RCC Website
New Year Dreaming
To view photographs, video and links - click on the link on the top right corner of the email.
Searching for Conspiracies

Hello all, 
 
The new year brings many resolutions, of which few are obtained.  One of my greatest fears is that each year is a repeat of the last, and rather continuing my journey, I get caught in an eddy of complacency and comfort.

Crossing the invisible line which separates inaction from action requires commitment, planning and support.  It's about marking out which trips to complete in 2016 and then thinking about their feasibility later. Never let reality get in the way of a dream too early.

The best way of turning a plan into action, is to share it with others.  As crazy as it seems, there is often someone just as crazy as you willing to take up a venture. Then you have two crazy people committed to a crazy act - which in law enforcement terms, makes it a conspiracy.

Conspiracies are wonderful things to watch - they build relationships, trust, and friendships, they involve problem solving, planning and arguments, and they develop dedication to the cause and to others - the bond of a conspiracy remain strong well after the deed is done.

So one of our first challenges as a geographically dispersed club is how do we collect dreams.  For all I know there may be four people who individually dreaming of paddling down the Snowy, of crossing Bass Strait, or the Whitsundays, but how would we know. 

But even before we share dreams, we have to dream the dream - for me the NSW Waterways Guide and Google Earth are my two favourite dream weavers. Long hours looking at satellite imagery, and then flicking back to the guide to read descriptions.  Somewhere way back, some else had the same dream, but they turned their dreams into reality.

So somehow in our myriad of club communication streams - email, yahoo, Facebook, submissions to Splash, chalk markings on the club house walls - club members need to articulate and share their dreams with other - as the first step in moving from complacency to conspiracy then commitment.

This edition of Splash is full of trip reports and future trips, training and other activities. If your dream paddle is not on our calendar, then contact our coordinators and take the first step in turning that bucket list paddle into reality.

Regards - Andy

 
UPCOMING EVENTS
Friday 29th January 2016
Canoe Polo - Every Friday Night

Season starts 29 January 2016 - years ago the club fielded many canoe polo teams. The 2015 Spring competition saw a number of members get involved.  So our challenge is to build our numbers to form a club team.  No talent required. Contact: Rob Walker flatwater@rivercanoeclub.org
Wednesday 3rd February 2016
Cooks River
 Mid-Week Paddle

Beginners - Suitable for first timers and those just wanting to get out on water at a leisurely pace. These paddles will generally go up stream on the Cooks River or Wolli Creek. Please arrive at 5.45 pm (latest) for 6.00 pm on the water.
Contact - Nell Graham  0402 267 246 house@rivercanoeclub.org
6th & 7th February 2016 - Barrington River
Beginners White Water Weekend


Trip Leader/Contact:  Will Stone - 0468 745 736

Description: This weekend is an opportunity for any beginners with basic flatwater skills to experience some whitewater and learn some new skills. We will base ourselves at the beautiful Steps campground and paddle both days on Grade I/II sections of the Barrington River. Refer to the RCC website to see the Whitewater skills we will be working on: www.rivercanoeclub.org/whitewater-skills

The Barrington is a great river for beginners and is usually more reliable in Feb/Mar. However, if the level is too low we may need to look for an alternate river. We will confirm closer to the date.

Please contact Will Stone (whitewater@rivercanoeclub.org) if you are interested in attending and if you wish to hire a boat or any equipment. You will need to be a self sufficient camper.

Experienced RCC whitewater paddlers are urged to help with the weekend and all members are welcome to come along and enjoy some whitewater paddling and camping.

Costs:

FREE for RCC members
PaddleNSW members who aren’t RCC members - $35
Non RCC or PaddleNSW members - $100 (you might as well join the club and you’ll pay off membership after two of these events!)
Whitewater boat hire - $50 including all equipment and transport to/from Sydney
Camping at the Steps - $16pp including hot showers and flushing toilets (and a stunning campground next to the river!)
Sunday 14th February 2016 - Berowa Creek
Interested? Contact Rob Walker flatwater@rivercanoeclub.org
Wednesday 17th February 2016
Cooks River
 Mid-Week Paddle

Fitness Paddle - for those who want to paddle hard and increase their fitness. These paddles will go out towards Botany Bay and are suitable for more experienced paddlers as they require a higher level of skill and fitness as it can get windy. Please arrive at 5.45 pm (latest) for 6.00 pm on the water.
Contact - Nell Graham  0402 267 246 house@rivercanoeclub.org
Sunday 21st February 2016 - Cooks River
Summer Beginners Program 1

Volunteers and hangers on are most welcome to assist in the first day of the Summer Beginners Program.

Involvement in the program is limited to those with a confirmed booking through Rob Walker 
beginners@rivercanoeclub.org

Day 1 (21/02/2016) – Introductory Paddle at the Club House
  • Introduction to Kayaking Equipment
  • Basic paddle strokes
  • Correct Posture
Wednesday 23rd February 2016
Cooks River
 Full Moon Paddle

A paddle through the mangroves on Wolli Creek or exploring the Cooks by moonlight! This paddle is suitable for those with good skills and confidence in a kayak as paddling in the dark. Please bring a head torch or light to attach to your boat. Please arrive at 6.45 pm (latest) for 7.00 pm on the water.
Contact - Nell Graham  0402 267 246 house@rivercanoeclub.org
Saturday 27th February 2016
PaddleNSW Marathon Series 1
Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra

This year there are 11 marathon races organised through PaddleNSW. Nine races are hosted by kayaking clubs ranging from Wagga Wagga to the Hunter.  Distances range from 10, 20 and 30 km.  They build in preparation for the longer races later in the year, the Myall Classic and Hawkesbury Classic.  
2016 40th Hawkesbury Classic
This year is the 40th anniversary of the Hawkesbury Classic.  Throughout the history of the Classic, River Canoe Club members have braved the night to seek glory, fortune and fame by overcoming its physical and mental challenges.  Last year we had four members complete the race, while being supported by other members, friends and family.  Training paddles start in March, but the Marathon Series is also another way of preparing. Seem daunting? Well half the entrants are attempting the race for the first time, and almost everyone who makes it to Wisemans Ferry (65 kms), complete the race (111 kms).  

The Classic organising committee is hoping for the return of many past paddlers for this anniversary event. Tempted to relive the glories of your past, or need to create new bragging rights? Contact Andy Singh, 0414922979, president@rivercanoeclub.org
 
Sunday 28th February 2016 - Grays Point
Summer Beginners Program 2 - Social Picnic

Volunteers and hangers on are most welcome to assist in the first day of the Summer Beginners Program.

Involvement in the program is limited to those with a confirmed booking through Rob Walker beginners@rivercanoeclub.org

 
Day 2 (28/02/2016) – Kayaking Skill Workshop
  • Practise the core paddling skills in a protected area
  • Practise wet exits and self-rescue
Wednesday 2nd March 2016
Cooks River
 Mid-Week Paddle

Beginner - Suitable for first timers and those just wanting to get out on water at a leisurely pace. These paddles will generally go up stream on the Cooks River or Wolli Creek. Please arrive at 5.45 pm (latest) for 6.00 pm on the water.
Contact - Nell Graham  0402 267 246 house@rivercanoeclub.org
Sunday 6th March 2016
Cowan Creek
Summer Beginners Program 3

Set this day aside in your calendars.
Trip Leader/Contact: 
Robert Walker
12th & 13th March 2016 - Barrington River
Beginners White Water Weekend
Trip Leader/Contact: Will Stone whitewater@rivercanoeclub.org
Description: 

This weekend is planned as a follow-up from the February 2016 Beginners Program. It will be a great opportunity for new paddlers to experience some whitewater!

We will base ourselves at the beautiful Steps campground and paddle both days on Grade I/II sections of the Barrington River. Refer to the RCC website to see the Whitewater skills we will be working on: www.rivercanoeclub.org/whitewater-skills

The Barrington is a great river for beginners and is usually more reliable in Feb/Mar. However, if the level is too low we may need to look for an alternate river. We will confirm closer to the date.

Please contact Will Stone (whitewater@rivercanoeclub.org) if you are interested in attending and if you wish to hire a boat or any equipment. You will need to be a self sufficient camper.

Experienced RCC whitewater paddlers are urged to help with the weekend and all members are welcome to come along and enjoy some whitewater paddling and camping.

Costs:

  • FREE for RCC members
  • PaddleNSW members who aren’t RCC members - $35
  • Non RCC or PaddleNSW members - $100 (you might as well join the club and you’ll pay off membership after two of these events!)
  • Whitewater boat hire - $50 including all equipment and transport to/from Sydney
  • Camping at the Steps - $16pp including hot showers and flushing toilets (and a stunning campground next to the river!)
Wednesday 16th March 2016
Cooks River
 Mid-Week Paddle

Fitness Paddle - for those who want to paddle hard and increase their fitness. These paddles will go out towards Botany Bay and are suitable for more experienced paddlers as they require a higher level of skill and fitness as it can get windy. Please arrive at 5.45 pm (latest) for 6.00 pm on the water. 
Contact - Nell Graham  0402 267 246 house@rivercanoeclub.org
Sunday 20th March 2016 - Marathon Training - Kogarah to Woronora
Commencing from Kogarah Bay, we will paddle up the Woronora river, grabbing a coffee at the Woronora Boatshed before heading back to Kogarah.  Both the Georges and Woronora rivers are heavily influenced by tidal flows, so provide a good environment for building physical and mental fitness. Estimated distance 25 ams
Training for kayak racing requires moderate speed, and a high degree of self sufficiency as paddlers travel at their own speed and group cohesion is quickly lost.  As a group we support each other to achieve our personal paddling goals, and the more training we do across the year, the easier September and October will be. 
24th & 28th March 2016 - Nymboida River (maybe)
Easter White Water Safari
 
Trip Leader/Contact: Will Stone whitewater@rivercanoeclub.org 0468 745 736
Description: 

The Easter Safari is one of the premier RCC whitewater events held each year. It is normallly held over the four day weekend on the Nymboida River which is often a good level at this time of year. The venue may change, depending on rainfall and river levels.

The river sections are graded 3+ and paddlers must be confident paddling around Penrith Whitewater Stadium and have a good roll.

Camping is at the stunning Platapus Flat campground next to the river. There are basic facilities (pit toilets, fire places and a common gas bbq).

More details will be provided closer to the date.

Paddlesport: 
River or Waterway: 
River Grade: 
Sunday 27th March 2016
Maianbar and Cabbage Tree
Is this Sydney best kept secret?

Trip Leader/Contact: 
Robert Walker
Description: 

Maianbar and the Basin

Paddlesport: 
 River or Waterway: 
 Sea or Open Water Grade: 
More Training Programs
PNSW Sea Leader and Instructor Programs


PaddleNSW has arranged a series of training programs for those interested in developing their sea kayaking qualifications.  See the PaddleNSW website for more details 


Enclosed Sea Guides: 2 days only (Friday/Saturday) February 19 & 20 
Enclosed Sea instructors: 3 days only (Friday to Sunday) February 19, 20 & 21 
Sea Instructors, Sea Guides and Sea Leaders 4 days (Friday to Monday)  February 19, 20, 21, & 22 
TRIP REPORTS
Port Hacking - South West Arm 

A fleet of nine River Canoe Club boats ventured onto the Hacking River starting at Swallow Rock in Grays Point and skirting around the northern edge of the Royal National Park. Passing through Mansion Bay and passing by Northwest Arm, Gymea Bay, Yowie Bay and Lilli Pilli to get to South West Arm creek. The bustle of boat traffic quickly fell away as we paddled up the shallow sections of Southwest Arm Creek. After a brief rest at the end of the tidal section the group waded the 200m along the river bank to reach Winifred Falls, a small waterfall with swimming hole and rocks to jump off. The return journey was a little more challenging with an increase in boat traffic in the afternoon and outgoing tide made the channel off Lilli Pilli Point a challenge. A good time was had by all - Thanks Eke, Simone, Cathryn, Elizabeth, Amelia, Deb D, Deb C, Francis, Petri, Tracy and Gary for a great day on the water.
JOMGOM - Jugiong to Gundagai - Gold Class Cafe-ing

Coffee and eggs with friends in a country cafe is a great way to start a Saturday morning (The Long Track Pantry).  Afterwards we slip into our three plastic sea kayaks (Q-Kayak Shearwater and 2 x Tuis) and launch onto the Murrumbidgee at Jugiong. The previous night was a hellish drive out of Sydney on a stormy Friday - rain, traffic, frustration - now nothing but the calmness of the river to take us forward.

Our plan was for an overnight trip down the 72kms to Gundagi, camping at Sandy Falls Reserve 42kms out of Jugiong.  By way of guidance there was the NSW Waterways Guide, a trip report from the Hunter Paddlers and the NSW Kayak Trail Guide.

The river is meanders through the rolling hills of the south west slopes with plenty to see - the occasional splash of the platypus, the patrolling of the eagles, the hurried take offs by the ducks, the constant squawking by the cockatoos, deer hide along the river banks, sheep sleep in the shadows of the willows and the cattle stare at us with a blank expression.

The river is cold and fast, with water surging and boiling around the bends. There are a number of grade one races and obstructions, and a submerged log tries to create a grade two wave, but we skirt around.
 
Plastic sea kayaks are not built for speed, but we are maintaining a respectable 8.5km/hr average speed. It is soon apparent we could probably make Gundagai in a day - but what would we do with our camping gear? We make camp at Sandy Falls Reserve and let the heat of the day dissipate with a spectacular sunset.  

We are on the water at 7am on Sunday morning, after failing to find all five planets (damn you trees). After five kms we meet the junction of the Tumut and Murrumbidgee rivers - and the flow increases in speed - we are now reaching speeds of above 15km/hr along some of the bends.  In no time we reach Gundagai.

The photograph of Andy, Hillary and Ralph outside Gundagai's Niagra cafe (no website, no eftpos, no Sydney rush) was taken by a local at 10.30am. By this time, we had landed, loaded the car and changed.  Soon we were having coffee and breakfast. It seemed only the day before we were doing the same at Jugiong.  

The kayaking statistics included an actual distance was 65kms, paddled over 7 hours at a moving average speed of 9.4km/hr (not bad for a plastic). The river levels were Jugiong 0.64m and Gundagai 2.46m. The cafe-ing statistics were lots of black coffee, eggs and bacon and heaps of country hospitality.
2015-15 Summer White Water Expedition - New Zealand
Across the summer, the Newcastle crew (Joe & Will Hendriks, Will Stone and Nic Weightman) headed to NZ for a few weeks of whitewater action. Click on photo to watch video.
Over 20 runs were made including four heli trips, three overnighters and one epic 27 hour portage that involved an unexpected night out in the rain and many grueling hours hauling boats up and down steep slippery surfaces.Click on photo to watch video.
GEAR REVIEW
HUNGERBUSTER       24 hour Ration Pack - For me the Hungerbusters 24 hour ration pack is a viable option for time poor Sydney siders who just want hit the highway on Friday night without the tedium of thinking about what to eat*. Selling for about $29, it is favourably priced against the $16 for the single Backcountry meals being sold in Anaconda. 

*Disclaimer - I never paid for this ration pack, but picked it up for free at a conference.
The 24 hour test started at morning tea with the chocolate bar.  Lunch included two cereal bars, crackers and jam, and I started to graze on the M&Ms.  Dinner started with mashed potato and the BBQ beef casserole, then I moved onto the two minute noodles, before finishing off the M&Ms. Breakfast included a satisfying sachet of Muesli.  

Four Critical Questions
Did the ration pack provide me with enough energy over the 24 hours to sustain my paddling? yes
Did the ration pack provide satisfying meals across the 24 hours? yes
Did the ration pack provide a cost effective option other than preparing my own food? yes
Did the ration pack ease my preparations to enable me to depart on time? yes
 
BEST BUYS (Maybe)
Epic Endurance 18 $1390
Epic 18s are fast sea kayaks, nicely built, lots of functionality.  The long rudder on this kayak would provide more control than some of Epic's other rudder systems.  There is a lot to like about these kayaks, especially if you are paddling mostly on Sydney's harbour, ports and rivers.  Worth a look. Available on ebay.
 
Perception Carolina $799
Ex rental kayaks are a good way of securing a kayak at a good price.  Chances are the kayak has survived all the mis-handling and damage that muppet paddlers can throw at them.  They may not be pretty, but they will be stable, safe and tested.  Businesses always seek a premium on the sale of their fleets, but they are also looking for a quick sale, so brush up on your bargaining skills.  See the ad on Kayaks & Skis.
Australis Platypus $299

There is a lot to be said for the Australis Platypus as a beginners kayak. Many club members have taken their first strokes in our Platypi - the question remains whether this is a kayak is too much of a beginners kayak, and the paddler will quickly grow out of it.  Still at $299 it seems a solid buy. See the add on Ebay
Club Information
2015-16 Club Committee
President - Andy Singh 0414922979
Vice President - Lynn Parker - 0406428331
Secretary - Tracy Hudson - 0411024088
Treasurer - Scott Button - 0412392839
Flat Water Convener - Rob Walker
Social - Dee Taylor - 0423831497
Splash Editor - Deborah Doherty - 0418243527
White Water Convener - Will Stone
Safety & Training - Jo Hendricks
House Officer - Nell Graham - 0402267246
Club Enquiries
 
New Member Contact
Andy Singh
0414 922 979
president@rivercanoeclub.org
 
CLUB MEETINGS– held periodically at either the Clubhouse, situated at Richardsons Crescent Marrickville (opposite Tempe Railway Station and next to the Concordia Club), or depending on trips away by a river somewhere.  Check calendar for the dates & venue.
 
This Magazine is copyright to River Canoe Club. No part may be reproduced without permission. Non-profit canoeing clubs may reproduce any article without permission, as long as the source and copyright is acknowledged. 
Kayak Hire
 
Evening hire:            $5
Single day hire:        $30
Weekend hire:          $50
 
Hire price includes:
  • boat
  • PFD
  • spray deck
  • paddle
Helmets: Club policy requires all members to provide their own helmet that fits comfortably and meets relevant standards.  Helmets are required for whitewater and surf trips.
 
Kayaks Available
 
WhiteWater
Necky Jive x 1
Dagger RPM x 2
Dagger GTX x 1
Nomads x 4
Bliss Stick mini
Pyranha Burn
Pyranha Fusion
Jackson Rogue
Feelfree – literally feel free
Eskimo Topo (Double) The Torvill/Dean of WW
 
Recreational
Barker Nymph
Perception Minnow
Perception Spectrum
Australis Platypus x 2
Q-Kayak Tui x 2
 
Open Water
Wilderness Zypher 16
Q-Kayak Penguin
Winner Double

Kayak Hire Booking:
Discuss with trip leader well before the day of the trip.
Access to the club can be arranged through committee members (see contact list)
 
Payment Options
 
Cash to Trip Leader at commencement
 
Payment via Electronic Funds Transfer:
  • Account Name: River Canoe Club of NSW  
  • Bank: St George 
  • BSB:               112 879 
  • Account No: 017455888
Advise the trip leader if paying via EFT
Include surname and reason eg:‘marqueJones’ or ‘boatJones’ in the payment comment. 
Next Splash Edition - Late February 2016

Please send photographs, stories, videos, internet links to splash@rivercanoeclub.org