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W. A.   P A D D L I N G   N E W S ,  M A R C H ,    2 0 0 9

Week 1 /March
Friday, 27th February, 2009

Clean Up Australia Day this Sunday - from Ty Stedman
There are numerous clean up groups organised around Perth including a number of river locations. I have organised one at Banks Reserve, in East Perth, and there are also groups organised for AP Hinds Reserve and Riverside Gardens in Bayswater. You can search for sites in your area at the following address <http://events.cleanup.org.au>http://events.cleanup.org.au. If you can help at the Banks Reserve location please send me an email (<mailto:ty@precisionpaddling.com.au>ty@precisionpaddling.com.au). We need to make a strong representation in showing the general public how environmentally focused we are and how important our aquatic environments are to us. Thanks.

Slalom AGM
The following persons were elected to positions at the recent AGM - Chairman: Margie Jeffery; Secretary: Charlie Collin; Treasurer (Interim): Sue Oliver; Committee Members: Peter Ewing, Sally Whitlock, Greg Kippin, Tarran Fabling, Leesa Collin; Race Coordinators: Joy Lowther; Richard Lowther; Nationals Coordinators: Andrew & Nicky Pope

Slalom Handbook
The 2009 version has just been released. If you need a copy please contact the secretary, <mailto:ccollin@iinet.net.au>ccollin@iinet.net.au or the outgoing secretary, Nicky Pope, <mailto:reality.check@bigpond.com>reality.check@bigpond.com . The next slalom race is Sunday, 8th March.

Bevan Dashwood Dash
This has been postponed from Sunday, 8th March, due to a clash with a slalom race.  It is being organised by the Slalom Tech Committee who could not be in two places at once! The new date will be announced soon.

Slalom Nationals in Sydney
WA's  C1 paddlers continue to do well in major events with international paddlers: check out results on Australian Canoeing's website here. Look for Robin Bell, Kynan Maley (his semi-final) both Swan Canoe Club and Robbie Jeffery, Ascot Kayak Club.

From Margie Jeffery - Australian Canoeing has a page that describes the Finals of the Slalom World Series Australian Open held at Penrith last weekend.  The embedded YouTube video shows a great range of paddlers and really does manage to give a glimpse of the great atmosphere and fantastic paddling by the world's best : <http://www.canoe.org.au/default.asp?Page=16367>http://www.canoe.org.au/default.asp?Page=16367 .

More on the Murchison - Hardabut Rapids
Mostly white water paddlers paddle the sections from Ross Graham Lookout to Z-bend, and from there to The Loop when the river is in flood.  Good winter rains may make these sections paddleable also, with some portages.  

Further upstream, just at the start of the national park, is a section of major rapids, Hardabut Rapids, about 1km long and up to 250m wide. The river drops about 15m here.  There's a pic in flood <http://www.dinghyracing.com.au/Touring/Previous_Expeditions/Photographs/photographs1.php>here (Power Dinghy Racing Club website)  and <http://www.dinghyracing.com.au/Touring/Previous_Expeditions/Photographs/photographs2.php>here (scroll down), from '94 and '95 trips.

Have a look at Google Earth's images, version 4.3, (start of rapid is at about 27°52'53.21"S and 114°33' 57.44" E) then at <http://members.iinet.com.au/~rokhor/canoe/hardabut9.08.html>these few pics of what's underneath! 

You can just make out some waves by zooming in on Google Earth images.  Have not heard of too many people who've paddled this!  In fact, I don't know of anyone who has - do you? I believe you go down the river right hand side. Marty Chambers, author of The Canoe and Kayak Guide to Western Australia, has this to say, "The river . . . drops over house size boulders into other house size boulders. Where there are not boulders house size waves roar, the scale of the thing is lost in its immensity." And then, "Hardabut in flood is a sight to be seen but not paddled."

Albany Canoe Club News
Their recent AGM saw the committee unchanged: President: Paul Robertson; Secretary: Crispin Travers; Treasurer: Andrew Laurens; Editor: Karin Baker. They have an extensive calendar of paddling events at some of the great venues on the southern coast: bays and inlets, rivers and the ocean.  I will update the calendar later today - <http://members.iinet.com.au/~rokhor/canoe/albanycc.html>here. They welcome northern visitors who may wish to join in (with appropriate equipment and skills).  Contact Paul for further info' - 9841 2136, (work) or  0427 412 136 or  <mailto:roberts@omninet.net.au>roberts@omninet.net.au .

Anyone for a Paddle?
All the way to the coast!  Go <http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/images/bridgefortes.jpeg>here for a pic of the swollen Fortescue River after 300mm+ rain in the vast catchment recently. (Thanks to the northern paddler who sent this in.) And there's another low/cyclone heading that way this weekend.  <http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/images/abovebridgfort.jpeg>Here's a pic at normal levels, just upstream of the bridge.

Champion Lakes: Championship Venue
Champion Lakes is the venue for Australian sprint paddlers from 11th-15th March when the National Sprint Championships will be held.  Should make for some exciting viewing if you're not participating.  This event is for non-elite paddlers as well. Check <http://www.wa.canoe.org.au/?Page=16289>here for more detail.

Popular Avon Boats @ Canoeing Down Under
We now have Wavehoppers and Ace 515 double kayaks in stock. Great Avon kayaks. We also have Avon Descent boats from Finn in the lightweight plastic and the new Spirit PRS (the fastest plastic ski). We are soon starting our Flatwater Avon Training sessions. Call Terry now, 9378 1333.

Synergy Surf Skis
Want to progress from plastic skis? Synergy Surf Skis from Custom Kayaks are now in WA  - great entry level surf ski for performance paddling, fast yet stable with good downwind handling, adjustable to fit all sizes - a few left at a very reasonable price of $2,200 ­ Call Steve 0438 993 426 or email <mailto:floyds1@iinet.net.au>floyds1@iinet.net.au .

Ace 515 - 
Preferably good condition (definitely sound hull). We are building a small fleet of them for youth camps held in Albany.
Please email Steve and Jo: <mailto:smpjmp@bigpond.net.au>smpjmp@bigpond.net.au. 
2 kayaks in good condition under 3m, also interested in accessories. Wanted for fun and exercise in river around East Perth area. Phone Tina or Ian 9221 3078 after 6pm or mobile 0408 902 529.
Paddle and spray deck for standard key hole cockpit, wanting to get into playboating, msg Josh on 0403 543 983.
Kayak - plastic, sit-in touring type, 4-5m, with rudder, Gecko, Tsunami 145 or similar. Paddle, PFD, roofrack etc also wanted. Ben 0402 297 754.
Finn Endorfinn - second hand in good condition. Contact: <mailto:james_warren@ihi.aust.com>james_warren@ihi.aust.com .

Finn Endorfinn or Spirit Racing Ski  - Looking for a good condition and reasonably priced plastic ski to get me started in the Avon. Please call James 0424 013 756.

Week 2 /March
Tuesday, 10th March, 2009

New Event
Sunday, 21st June -
The Capel Descent is a 15km race from near Capel Vale Winery, south of Busselton, down river to the open ocean, with about half the race on the river and the other half a loop on the sea. It's open to all craft. All the details are <http://www.geocities.com/capeldescent>here and for further enquiries contact Peter Pavlinovich, <mailto:capeldescent@yahoo.com>capeldescent@yahoo.com .  It's being organised by Capel Apex.

More on Hardabut Rapid - some footage
See what happens when this is in flood! The "Best of the West" is an online video of local paddlers on a couple of Murchison River rapids AND then there's some on a truly mega section of Hardabut Rapids, further upstream.  Paddlers who attempted it are Ryan Cotterell, Matt Hyland and Paul Skuse and the photographer is Matt Hyland.  These are part of the team which organises and participates in the Murray White Water Festival near Dwellingup each winter. Don't miss this video, it has some amazing paddling on some very ferocious looking white water at Hardabut:
<http://www.truveo.com/The-Best-of-the-West-Short/id/2583927685>http://www.truveo.com/The-Best-of-the-West-Short/id/2583927685 . Thanks to Josh White who sent this in.

Blackwood River in Spring
<http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/index.html>New front page pic has Canadian canoe paddlers on the Blackwood River in mid November, between Sue's Bridge and Great North Road . The river level was 10.71m at Hut Pool. Genie Criscione is the front paddler and Steve Moore is in the back. Photographer is Mark Niebieszczanski.

Sent in by Stephen Morup, who says, "We did that leg on the Saturday and then the 10km above Sue's on the Sunday. Our group, the Over 35 Ern Halliday Paddlers, this year ('08) paddled sea kayaks up Flying Foam Passage off Dampier and island hopped for a week. We paddle Spirit CTR every Sunday anywhere between Mandurah and Wedge Island plus the Blackwood and Murray Rivers."

From Sandy Robson, sea kayaker
"Recently I was lucky enough to attend the KASK (Kiwi Association of Sea Kayakers) Forum in New Zealand. It was awesome to see over 100 sea kayakers all camped at Anikiwa for the weekend of sea kayaking activities. After the forum I visited Paul Caffyn on the west coast.  (Paul is still the only person to have circumnavigated Australia by sea kayak.)"

Sandy is known for her great paddle up the east coast of Australia, part of an attempt at the circumnavigation, until she experienced a croc attack in the north.  You can read about it <https://netstorage.penrhos.wa.edu.au/slap/>here. Go to "Trip Diary" and then, June, '07 and Day 166  for the incident with the croc.

New Edition of Paul Caffyn Book
Sandy tells us more, "Paul has ... written a book about his circumnavigation of the South Island of New Zealand. The book, "Obscured By Waves - South Island Kayak Odyssey" sold out and has recently been reprinted in large format. The second edition would make a nice addition to your kayaking library.  If you would like a copy of this book then you can buy one direct from Paul for $40AUS (includes postage across the Tasman). Please contact Paul on <mailto:kayakpc@xtra.co.nz>kayakpc@xtra.co.nz if you would like to order one."

Freya Hoffmeister
Sandy also reminds us that the German paddler, Freya Hoffmeister, "is out there now, giving it (the Australian circumnavigation) a go". Her website <http://qajaqunderground.com/australia-2008/race-around-australia-trip-report/>here, is updated regularly.  At the time of writing (Monday) she is waiting out the cyclone in the Hervey Bay area, having left Victoria in mid January. You can read about her paddling achievements and more <http://www.epickayaks.com/racing/teamepic/freyahoffmeister>here. 

Andrew McAuley Documentary
The date for this has been changed to Thursday, 16th April. This is the documentary on the tragic story of Andrew McAuley's attempt to paddle solo from Australia to New Zealand, when he was lost at sea within sight of his destination. It's called "Solo". View it on ABC 1. (Thanks to Andrew Linton for updating us.)

Over 55 Canoe Club
The O55CC welcomes new members for 2009 on 26th March at Kent St Weir at 8.30am.  The club has a new web site at: <http://www.over55canoeclub.org.au>http://www.over55canoeclub.org.au  if you want to find out more about their activities.

Thunderstorms Bring River to Life
The Avon/Upper Swan River was paddleable for a day or two last week after thunderstorms in the catchment. <http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/images/atupswan3.09.jpeg>Here's a pic to prove it! Posing for the camera are keen paddlers Dave Tupling, AKC, Jo Turnbull and Neil Hannett, SCC, just below Bell's Rapid. It was about 10.48m at Walyunga (0.4m-0.5m); 11.8m at Great Northern Highway.

Paddling Eskimo Style
Andy Jarmon proudly displays his handcrafted (by him) <http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/images/andybt3.09.jpeg>West Greenland boat which is a traditional eskimo design (except for the rudder, I guess).  Note the red cedar paddle, also an authentic eskimo design, not quite like our carbon kevlar wings! He's about to take off up the Serpentine.

For Sale
Double Sea Kayaks, Biwoks from Dag,
 plastic, with rudder, near new,  $1600. Contact Tom at Rivergods, <mailto:rivergods@iinet.net.au>rivergods@iinet.net.au or 9259 0749.

Go <http://www.rivergods.com.au/kayaking.htm>here to see pic of the boat.  You will need to scroll down to the last pic. This is a most interesting exercise owing to a couple of rather good pics on the page as well as the for sale craft with a "whale tail".

Walking at Walyunga
Paddler Dave Osborne is also a walker and has a website with details of walks there, at Bell's and in the Avon Valley. Go to <http://www.walkgps.com/>www.walkgps.com to check them out.

Synergy Surf Skis
Want to progress from plastic skis? Synergy Surf Skis from Custom Kayaks are now in WA - great entry level surf ski for performance paddling, fast yet stable with good downwind handling, adjustable to fit all sizes - a few left at a very reasonable price of $2,200 - Call Steve 0438 993 426 or email <mailto:floyds1@iinet.net.au>floyds1@iinet.net.au  .

Mainpeak Sale
Cottesloe Massive Sidewalk Sale
 - Saturday, 14th March. All outdoorsy stuff like clothing, tents, rucksacks and for paddlers specifically there's thermals, hydration packs and sandals for summer paddling (or apres paddle wear). 31 Jarrad Street, from 8am till 6pm; get there early for the best choice.

Coming Up . . .
Sprint Nationals
 at Champion Lakes, Armadale, 11th-15th March.  Sure to be good for spectators. You can download a draft schedule <http://www.canoe.org.au/?Page=16459>here.
Marathon #5, Sunday, 29th March, 17km from Pinjarra to Ravenswood on the Murray River. Meet at Henry St boat ramp, Pinjarra, for registration, 8:45am-9:45am. Briefing is at 10am. Be early to organise your car shuffle.

Acadia 3.70's, or similar
, by the Over 55 Canoe Club. New members often wish to buy kayaks suitable for our type of paddling. Please contact Daryl Fowler 9364 8327 with your details and these will be forwarded to new members. 
Second hand PRS series SKI (Spirit) / Racing SKI (Spirit) or Finn Endorfinn in good condition. Contact: <mailto:diego_hernandez@ihi.aust.com>diego_hernandez@ihi.aust.com or call 0428 637 187.

Week 3 /March
Friday, 20th March, 2009

New Canoeing Group
Paddlers are invited to check out Champion Lakes as a paddling venue for training and time trials. The kayak 'arm' of the wider boating club is just starting up, with regular fitness training and a new Thursday evening club night. Have a look at  www.championlakes.canoe.org.au . The club particularly needs a handful of regular paddlers to decide to base themselves at our venue, to help the fledgling group develop into a functional club in the South Eastern corner of Perth. Dave Boldy

Friday Nights - Paddle Bash Series - Swan Canoe Club
Commences 27th March, 6:20pm start 

Include this as part of your Avon Descent training. The series goes right up until the week before the event in August. Race distances are either 6, 9 or 12 km and there's one 16km race in each month starting from May. They are time trial based so you can easily monitor your progress throughout the series. This helps to keep you motivated and challenging yourself!

There is a $150 Main Peak gift voucher for the winner of each of the three categories: Short Plastic, Long Plastic and Composites. The Club is located right on the water, next door to Meads Oyster Bar in Mosman Park. Don't forget, BYO and join us upstairs after . . .

You will need a light from April onwards.

Visit <http://www.swan.canoe.org.au/>http://www.swan.canoe.org.au/ for further details.

Proudly sponsored by Mainpeak Paddlesports.

Dieter Strauss, Paddle-Bash Co-ordinator

King Edward River Descent
Kelvin Lewis sends us this most interesting link to a wilderness freestyle expedition underway in the Kimberleys, <http://www.kayakthekimberley.com>http://www.kayakthekimberley.com . This Aussie (mostly) group of four is aiming to surf the big river waves that are to be found on this river, portaged on the previous descent.

Real Kayaks 
Owing to enquiries about the Greenland kayak made by Andy Jarmon, he sends these links if you want to learn more about these boats. "There are some good video links and some guidance on construction on them." 
http://www.qajaqusa.org ; http://skinboats.org/skinboats/home.html ; 
http://www.kayakways.net/SOFkayakworkshop.html ; 
http://www.qajaqsofpeters.com/ .

Race Postponement
In case you haven't already heard, the Bevan Dashwood Dash, organised by the WA Slalom Technical Committee, has been postponed till Sunday, 31st May, due to weed problems in the Canning River above Kent Street Weir. More details closer to the event.  For further enquiries, contact Joy or Richard at joylowther@yahoo.com.au. It was hoped to hold it this Sunday.

Skee asymmetrical touring paddle and Spirit winged paddle 
went missing from support boat in Thompson Bay after the Rottnest swim (20th Feb 09). If found please contact Peter on 0417 976 862 or <mailto:hotdawg@iinet.net.au>hotdawg@iinet.net.au"

Avon Descent
1st & 2nd August

Entries open 17th May. Visit the website <http://www.avondescent.com.au/>here .

Canoeing Down Under - for Avon Descenters
Avon Descent Information Evening - 7:30pm, Monday, 23rd March

Learn from the expert all you need to know about equipment, flat water and white water training, food and drink, the event itself and . . . much more. Booking is essential: phone CDU, 9378 1333. $5 donation for the night with proceeds to the CDU Junior Fund.
Flat Water Avon Descent Training
This is now in progress on Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings. Contact CDU if you'd like to join in.
Fitness Training - Extra Night?
If you're interested in a Monday evening session, from 6pm, in addition to Saturday mornings, give them a call.

Mainpeak Paddlesports Avon Descent Info'
Information evenings
 are held - dates to be announced.
Casual Training Group - join in with others on Tuesday nights, 6-7:30pm at Freshwater Bay, from 3rd June.
Avon Descent Training Courses - Thursday evenings, mostly, from 5th June.
Contact Mainpeak 9284 3759 or visit the website for more info' about any of the above, <http://www.paddle.com.au/avon.aspx>http://www.paddle.com.au/avon.aspx .

Dolphins at Barker Bridge
Paddlers at AKC on Wednesday evening were treated to displays by two dolphins, seldom seen this far up river. One was leaping two metres out of the air. The other, sadly, had fishing line wrapped around its tail and unfortunately its vigorous antics, splashing around on the surface, to rid itself of it, seemed to be of no avail.

Next Marathon Race, #5 , Pinjarra to Ravenswood
Sunday, 29th March

Meet at Henry Street boat ramp, Pinjarra, for registration, 8:45-9:45am and briefing 10am.  Allow time for car shuffles to Ravenswood. Paddle distance is 17km.

Week 4 /March
Friday, 27th March, 2009

Last Minute Marathon Race Changes
Pinjarra to Ravenswood Race will now be held Sunday, 19th April - not this Sunday. I believe this is due to water quality in the upper reaches of the course at present.

Double Barkers' Race is on this Sunday, 29th March, and details follow:
Registration 6:45am to 7:45am at Ascot Kayak Club; briefing - 8am. It's 23km to Barkers Bridge Guildford and back - twice. Short course is 12km.

Paddlers' Swapmeet
Sunday, 29th March
Swan Canoe Club is holding its annual swapmeet this Sunday from 9am-12pm outside the clubrooms on Johnson Pde, Mosman Park, next door to Mead's Restaurant. Any member of the public is welcome as a buyer or seller. Sellers donate a gold coin to the Club. So here is your chance both to find a new home for some un-used gear laying around, or to find a new bargain - only canoes, kayaks, sit-on-tops and accessories are welcome. (NB Enjoy Swan's annual Open Day at the same time - BBQ, drinks, paddling etc. All welcome!)

Indian Ocean Paddlers' News - Ash Nesbit
Write down these dates for the Winter Series of Saturday afternoon ocean races:
Race 1 - 4th April
Race 2 - 25th April
Race 3 - 30th May
Race 4 - 11th July
Any changes will be advised.
All races will start in front of Salt on the Beach Restaurant (<http://www.onthebeach.net.au>http://www.onthebeach.net.au), North Fremantle at 3pm.  Presentations and drinks will take place at 5:30pm inside the restaurant. There will be A, B and C Division prizes plus a host of other fun things!
A and B Grade races will be 12-15km and C Grade 8-10km, all on a triangular course with 'Start' and 'Finish' at the same point.
Race Entry Fees: IOP members - free; CWA members - $10; non-CWA participants - $20

Salt on the Beach Restaurant has an inside kids' playground, wood fired pizza and (most importantly) a micro brewery. There will be significant food and drink discounts for IOP member event participants - just let them know you belong to IOP.

Katherine Canoe Marathon, Northern Territory
Sunday, 6th June
Calling all paddlers . . . take on the Katherine River and help support local community organisations. You can participate solo or as a team.  There are different classes available for all ages and all abilities in this fun and rewarding event.  There are serious and novelty events this year.  Finish up with presentations and dinner at the Country Club to round off the day. Further info and entrance details are available from 0412 747 478 or <mailto:JGoodings@redcross.org.au>JGoodings@redcross.org.au .

Paddling in Sweden - Pics
Aaron Gove, SCC, shares some pics of white water antics on the Bjorbo River and in the town of Upsalla.  It looks cold, but they have plenty of water! Go <http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/aaronswed.html>here.

New Strategic Plan for Canoeing WA
Canoeing WA (state canoeing association) is currently developing a new strategic plan to guide activities for the next three to five years. The plan will tackle the issues of developing new and improved facilities, ways to attract new members, retain existing members, running education courses, developing new resources and any other issues that arise through the consultation process. Various stakeholders have been invited to attend strategic forums at the Swan and Ascot clubs. However all canoeists are encouraged to contribute to the plan.
Tony Bowman
President, Canoeing WA

As Tony is keen to have ideas from the general paddling public as well as canoe association members, please feel free to contact him with your views and suggestions for the future directions of both recreational and competitive paddling in WA.

To have your say go to the <http://www.wa.canoe.org.au>Canoeing WA website where later today you will find the link on the front page. Otherwise email Tony,  <mailto:canoe@canoewa.asn.au>canoe@canoewa.asn.au . Comments need to be in by 5th April.

Near-new boats going cheap . . .
People looking for a plastic double kayak for the Avon Descent should check out the Biwoks that Rivergods are selling. Please phone Rivergods on 9259 0749 or check the sales page at <http://www.rivergods.com.au/>www.rivergods.com.au for more details. 

Avon Descent Courses and Training - Mainpeak Paddlesports
Details have been finalised and are as follows:
Information Nights - 6:30pm, 14th April, 12th May and 3rd June
This is a talk of around two hours with all that you need to think about before you do your first, or second, Avon. Learn about training methods, race preparation, accomodation, gear selection and more. It's to be held at 2A Railway Street, Cottesloe . Bookings are required - 9284 3759.  Entry is free.
Avon Training Course
This is a four week training package consisting of flat water skills and the Avon Descent Competency Test. Starting dates are: 8th May and 4th June. Cost - $185.
Flat Water Skills: Level 1
11:30am - 2pm, 4th April, 18th April, 2nd May and 16th May. Held at Freshwater Bay. $65 each.
Rolling Classes
Next lesson: 27th April at Fremantle Pool, 6pm - 8pm, $65 each.

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