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Week 2 /August
Thursday, 12th August, 2010

Avon Descent
Congratulations and well done to all those who finished this year's gruelling event! Commiserations to those who pulled out due to injury or boat damage and to those who did not make cut-offs, particularly Bell's and Middle Swan, after having completed the most difficult part of the Descent.

Brad Butler of South Australian Marathon Club who participated said, "paddlers were tested to the extreme". Read his <http://www.mcc.canoe.org.au/default.asp?Page=19727>report.  He includes links to some videos of the event as well and some great photos - go to the "In My Community" link on his report (or <http://www.inmycommunity.com.au/news-and-views/galleries/2010-Avon-Descent/3153/>here ) to see if you're there. (Tania, Dave, Jessica, James, Phil, Keron . . . etc., are.)

Seems you will have more notice taken of you if you have an unusual helmet, like Astro Boy's, or a gladiator's (No. 684, <http://www.inmycommunity.com.au/news-and-views/galleries/2010-Avon-Descent/3153/>here) or the paddlers from Mandurah Paddling Club : go here to see their helmet adornments, especially No. 740!

A pair of sunglasses floating (Neo strap attached) just below Stronghills Farm change over, during Descent. They are still in great condition so the owner might like them back. They can contact me by email: <mailto:pastynchips@bigpond.com>pastynchips@bigpond.com or mobile 0400 842 445.

Also Found
Tuesday morning, 27th July, I found a winged paddle on the Swan river foreshore in Bicton near Kent St. Please ring Paul, 0419 191 166 to claim.

Green Finn Molokai - on Swan River near Mosman Bay, last night, 11th August. It was last seen heading south. It has Avon Descent stickers on it, number 913. Also has my car keys and spare paddle inside. Andrew Martin, 0488 914 008 or <mailto:Andrew.martin66@gmail.com>Andrew.martin66@gmail.com . 
Set of car keys at Bells Rapids on 11/7/10. Lost in main carpark area. Multiple keys joined to blue lanyard. Richard, 0428 648 828.

Water Level Updates
Department of Water advises us that the Great Northern Highway site, 616076, at Upper Swan was closed a few weeks ago. Water level is no longer being recorded there.

I have updated the river level page (Avon/Swan) on my website <http://members.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/avonrivwatlev.html>here.   

I am discontinuing the paddlers' records of water levels on wooden gauges.  One factor is the time that it takes.  Another factor is that most paddlers are now very familiar with what the Department of Water publishes on their website and what it means to them. I hear paddlers regularly referring to "what is coming downstream" which they've noticed on perusing that website's plots of the rivers in the catchment.  Thirdly, the gauges don't mean the same thing any more!  We recently paddled at Walyunga when the reading was approaching 0.4m on the wooden post at the lower car park. We could not do what we used to be able to do at 0.3m, just a little upstream. I suspect that is due to much sand washing in from the picnic area and depositing itself near the post, indicating a higher level than it really is. The gauge at Long Pool in the ti-trees has a serious lean and one wonders when it will fall over. 

To those who still rely on the wooden gauges I have left enough info' on the page for you to convert the DoW reading to those.

Thank you indeed to all those many paddlers who sent in all those water levels at Walyunga and the Toodyay ti-trees over the years. I used to love reading the comments that came with them.

On the updated page <http://members.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/avonrivwatlev.html>here , I have also added in a table on "Paddleability of the Toodyay Ti-trees". Scroll down. Like all the extra info' on this page it is directed at novices who often wonder what the water level readings mean with regards paddleability. 

Down River Series
The 2010 Series finishes with a flourish - Bell's Rapid Racing this weekend (followed by a picnic for a special occasion, at Bell's) and the Geegelup Cup, Bridgetown, the following weekend, 21st-22nd August. Event details are below.

What about the water level?  
- An alternative is in place for the Bell's race in case this rain is too little, too late. 
- The Geegelup Cup weekend will be held. The water level is available <http://kumina.water.wa.gov.au/waterinformation/telem/609040/609040.htm>here.  What does it mean? In my notes I have recorded that in 2001 the water level for the event was 11.225m @ Bridgetown and "only one route down". (That's all you need!)  Another paddler, Kevin Piper, says the river was just paddleable at 10.89m, on another occasion. As I write the level is 10.85m but this is without the catchment's reaction to the current rain, more rain is forecast and the event is over a week away, so fingers crossed that magic happens!  Keep referring to the Wildwater website, <http://www.wildwaterwa.canoe.org.au>http://www.wildwaterwa.canoe.org.au , for the latest on what is happening at Bridgetown.

More on the Geegelup Cup
Please note that there is a Sundries class in this event.  Also, short plastic and long plastic classes, so just about anyone can enter. You just need white water skills and experience. The stretch of water below Bridgetown consists of Grade 2-3 rapids with pools in between.  There is little flat water. There are perhaps just three or four big and slightly technical drops - all the rest of the hazards are easy if you're competent in white water. There's a guide* to this stretch of river <http://members.iinet.com.au/~rokhor/canoe/blackwrbrdgdwn.html>here.  Traditionally, some of the experienced paddlers have guided newcomers down early on Saturday morning, but you need to check with organisers if this is happening this year.

This is my favourite 7km of white water in WA!

There are two major events: the Teams Race (held on Saturday afternoon) and the State Championship to decide individual champions (held on Sunday morning). The teams race is designed to be fun and to include everyone - each team has to have a plastic craft and a female paddler as well as a DR boat. So even if you're slow you won't be left out!

The event website with all entry information is <http://www.wildwaterwa.canoe.org.au/?Page=19300>here.

Organisers wish to remind you that you must book if you intend to go along to the Down River Dinner, to be held at the Bridgetown Hotel, on Saturday evening, 21st August. It's always a companionable and pleasant evening with lots of tall wildwater tales being swapped. You need to book by Sunday evening, 15th August.  Contact Spencer King,  <mailto:spencer@minstruct.com.au>spencer@minstruct.com.au or 0407 732 227,  to book and for more info'. 

*I have many more pics of the rapids waiting to be uploaded. Will try to do so before this year's event. Also note that the finish line and parking this year will be different to that described in the guide.

Collie Descent
Flatwater, white water, ti-trees - sound familiar?  This, however, is a mini-descent of this scenic river, 16.5km through the town of Collie and downstream through the forest, with a significant rapid or two to the headwaters of the Wellington Dam. Co-ordinators are Marty Wallace, <mailto:mart@geo.net.au>mart@geo.net.au or 9734 2316 / 0417 904 842 and Andrew Bonnell (business hours) 9734 7900, if you need more info' than is on the <http://sites.google.com/site/colliemultisports/collie-descent>website. All craft are welcome. Gear requirement is to Avon Descent standard.

White Water Park News
The likelihood of Perth having year-long access to white water edges ever-closer with this latest announcement on 9th August by Colin Thorpe:

"Canning MP, Don Randall today announced a Liberal Government would invest $5 million in a unique White Water Park at Champion Lakes. Mr Randall said the pledge to Canoeing WA towards the privately operated Park matched dollar for dollar the Barnett government's commitment and brought construction of the sporting facility a step closer to getting underway."

If you're new to paddling and you're curious as to what this is all about, go to the White Water Park's <http://www.whitewaterperth.org.au/>website.  If you become a "friend", you'll be helping Perth attain this much sought after facility. 

Peel Region Canoe Weeks
Barry Small from the Mandurah paddlers sends us a reminder about a very full two weeks of canoeing activities in the myriad of waterways in the Peel Region and the hills of the hinterland. Events are for all kinds of paddlers. Some events are for seniors, some for juniors, but most are for everyone. You can even have a go at dragon boating, outrigger canoes and stand-up paddle boarding. Here's a list of the events, most of which are free.  Some make for great viewing, like the Murray White Water Festival and there's a race or two for competitive paddlers.
Saturday, 28th  - Murray Whitewater Festival, on the lower Murray.
Tuesday, 31st  - "Osprey Trail Paddle" with Canoe Trail Friends of Mandurah and Pinjarra. Bird watching.
Wednesday, 1st - St John Ambulance Resuscitation Session
Saturday, 4th  - Come 'n Try Canoeing, hosted by Kayaks-4-U
" "  - Come 'n Try Dragon Boating (am)
" "  - Have a go at Outrigger Canoeing (pm)
" "  - Swiftwater Awareness Session - hosted by Dwellingup Adventures
" "  - Come 'n Try Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Sunday, 5th  - Come 'n Try Canoeing, hosted by Kayaks-4-U
Monday, 6th  - Seniors' Paddle with Mandurah Over 55s Canoe Club
Tuesday, 7th - Come 'n Try Indoor Canoe Polo with Mandurah Paddling Club
Wednesday, 8th - Sea paddle in the Shoalwater area - hosted by Yak Shack
Thursday, 9th  - Social paddle with Murray Vietnam Vets Canoe Group
Friday, 10th - Come 'n Try Outdoor Canoe Polo with Kayaks-4-U
Saturday, 11th  - White Water Experience with Dwellingup Adventures
" "  - Nanga Challenge, 2010, multi-sport event with paddle, mtb and run, hosted by Ascot Kayak Club. Also good viewing.
" "  - Free Raft Kit Building Session with Fairbridge
" "  - Recreational Pinjarra-Ravenswood Paddle with Mandurah Paddling Club
" "  - Come 'n Try Outdoor Canoe Polo with Mandurah Paddling Club
Sunday, 12th  - Come 'n Try Outdoor Canoe Polo with Mandurah Paddling Club
" " - 5th and 1st Marker Cup, hosted by Mandurah Paddling Club; for social and competitive paddlers

You may need to give notice for many of the events, so be sure to get your copy of the details. There's an online poster <http://www.mandurahpaddlingclub.org.au/>here if you click on "Check out Canoe Week".

News from Rivergods
The latest Fluid kayaks have arrived including the Donsa which is a very slick looking plastic slalom boat and the Detox which is a super forgiving river runner that will make creekboats redundant for Perth use ( Know anyone who paddles big waterfalls here? No, not me either!). Contact Tom at Rivergods 9259 0749 to try these out.

Around Australia Paddler
Albany Canoe Club members have very kindly been looking after sea kayaker, Stuart Trueman, who is now well on his way paddling to Broome, via the eastern states! If there are more paddlers who are en route and who would like to assist Stuart please contact either Terry Bolland, 9371 1333, or Paul Robertson, from Albany, <mailto:roberts@omninet.net.au>roberts@omninet.net.au ,  who has Stuart's mobile and his email address. The "beastly easterlies" along the southern coastline may be less prevalent at this time of year, which must be what Stuart was hoping for by making that stage of the journey during winter.

Albany Canoe Club has sent this despatch from Stuart, safe and sound in Esperance, 11th August.
"From Albany the coast has been great. Heaps of beaches with inlets and hidey holes to sneak in to avoid the bad weather. Lot of interesting rocks, reefs and islands to poke around.

I've been seeing plenty of whales including an albino Southern Right Calf. So many whales that I was worried about running into them, but they know I'm about and get out the way. Its not that hard for whales as I'm not that fast.

Another short e-mail as I'm a bit knackered as I've been knocking into headwinds for a couple of days, so will recover in Esperance for a few days."

Yukon River Quest
Paul Gill sends us <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhIKUWVKEUw&feature=related->this link to Part 2 of his three part you tube presentation on their recent epic paddle race on the Yukon River.  Or to see all three parts type in "Yukon River Quest Quick Quokkas" on the <http://www.youtube.com>You Tube site.

Part 1 Arrival and set up
Part 2 First leg
Part 3 On the home run

Paddler Wanted
Do you know enough about paddling and canoe polo to assist two teachers from Carey Baptist College with two classes of students at Champion Lakes Regatta Centre, from late August to end of September? The classes are on Monday afternoons and Friday mornings. Robyn Brown from the regatta centre says, "I have suggested employing a paddler who can take four/five students aside on a rotational basis and give them some paddling tips as the teachers concerned are experienced Phys Ed teachers but novice paddlers." The teachers have qualified with Level One Canoe Polo, but need help with the number of students.
If you're interested contact Robyn, 9390 7051.

For Sale
Kids kayak (Jackson Fun 1)
 - to suit 4 to 9 year olds or under. $400. Contact Tom at Rivergods, 9259 0749.

Event Reminders
Sunday, 15th August: 
Bell's Rapid Racing. Meet at Bell's Rapid for registration, 7:30-8:30am. There's classes for wildwater boats (DR), short plastics and Sundries. Send your entry details to Alan Moreby, <mailto:oxfordpl@iinet.net.au>oxfordpl@iinet.net.au .  More info' here.  This is a no-rudder type race. (Ruddered boats are permitted, but the rudder must be tied up.)
Sunday, 15th August: Slalom WA  State Championships - hopefully at Walyunga. You must register online beforehand. Contact <mailto:slalomWA@gmail.com>slalomWA@gmail.com .
Saturday, 21st August: Collie Descent, 16.5km paddle from Collie township downstream. Registration from 9:00am at the start line, Central Collie Bridge. Race starts 10:00am sharp. Website is <http://sites.google.com/site/colliemultisports/collie-descent>here. with all info' and contact detail.
Saturday & Sunday, 21st & 22nd August: Down River State Championships, The Geegelup Cup on the Blackwood River at Bridgetown.  See above.
Sunday, 4th September: Slalom WA  Schools Championships, Walyunga. Contact <mailto:slalomWA@gmail.com>slalomWA@gmail.com .
Sunday, 11th September: Nanga Challenge.  Go <http://www.ascot.canoe.org.au/?Page=11122>here for info'. Hosted by Ascot Kayak Club.

EPIC V10L Performance. Please Call Andrew on 0425847991 or 
<mailto:breedy78@gmail.com>breedy78@gmail.com .  
Used Fenn XT, contact Mic 0403 930 499.
2nd hand DR Boat  - Paul <mailto:pbrowne@technip.com>pbrowne@technip.com or 0403 577 732.
Full Avon Descent Kit - "I need everything. Plastic Racing Ski (Spirit, paddle, helmet, life vest, etc. Let me know what you have to offer. Want to compete in next year's Avon. So if you're finished with your gear let me know. Contact <mailto:timothynoelwilson@hotmail.com>timothynoelwilson@hotmail.com ."

Epic 16 ­ contact <mailto:graham.rennie@gmail.com>graham.rennie@gmail.com or 0422 990 967.

Week 3 /August
Wednesday,  18th August, 2010

Murray White Water Festival
28th & 29th August

If you're a keen playboater you will already be gearing up for this extravaganza weekend and just hoping for some good rain to get the Murray River up to an exciting level.  This is a great event for fit spectators (there's a bit of an early morning bush walk to get there on the Saturday). Snap happy folk like this event as well as all the gun white water playboaters display their antics on the usually wild (Grade  3-4) waters of the lower Murray in winter. Go to the website for more details: http://www.murraywhitewaterfestival.com/index.html.

Nanga Challenge
Saturday, 11th September
This multisport event is held in the forest of Lane Poole Reserve, Dwellingup. It consists of a 10.5km paddle on the Murray River, upstream and downstream, 21km mountain bike ride and 9.6km cross country run. You can enter as a team, a pair or go solo as ironman/woman. Entries should open by Friday, 20th August. The website with all the info' you need is <http://www.ascot.canoe.org.au/?Page=11122>here. If you're looking for a partner or team member contact the organisers: <mailto:akcevents@gmail.com>akcevents@gmail.com . Organised by Ascot Kayak Club with major event partner and sponsor, Mountain Designs.

Blackwood River Guide
I have added lots more pics to the river guide of the Geegelup Cup course below Bridgetown.  See <http://members.iinet.com.au/~rokhor/canoe/blackwrbrdgdwn.html>here. You need to click on the links that are interspersed with the text. As with all the river descriptions it is intended for paddlers unfamiliar with that section of river.

Collie Descent Cancelled
16th August: "Andy and I have decided to cancel the Collie Descent for this year. We went for a practice run yesterday and there is just no flow in the river and rain is unlikely in the next few days. It's the driest winter we've ever had." - Marty Wallace. It was due to be held this Saturday, 21st August.

Slalom State Titles
Results for this competition are <http://www.slalomwa.canoe.org.au/default.asp?Page=18006&MenuID=Races_@_Results/c20557/18006/>here: click on "Race Result Ranking" to see how all the youngsters fared.  There's about thirty young and budding white water paddlers who take part in the slalom competition with just a sprinkling of the oldies.  

There's still two competitions to come for the season: 4th September - WA Schools Championship and 19th September - Brevis Choate Memorial.  The Schools Champ is open to other paddlers as well as those still at school. All ex-slalom paddlers are especially invited to come along to the Memorial race - (don't worry about loss of skills!) - it's a fun morning at Walyunga to remember our late President of Canoeing WA.
Email <mailto:lcollin@iinet.net.au>Leesa, if interested in participating.

Junior Paddler Sponsorships
Canoeing Down Under has $1000 to sponsor an upcoming junior paddler. The paddler must be dedicated to the sport and have a national or international goal. The
$1000 is to go towards training, equipment or expenses to get to a National Championship. Smaller sponsorship deals are also available. Email <mailto:terry@canoeingdownunder.com.au>Terry if you'd like to be considered.

Mountain Designs News
Mike Wood, former President of Swan Canoe Club and white water paddler par excellence, is selling his MD stores back to the franchisor on 1st September, after 23 years in the business. He'll be hoping to spend more time on his other business, Peregrine Adventures, located upstairs in the same building.  There's his last merchandise sale starting tomorrow, details on the <http://www.mountaindesigns.com>website. 

13th Australian Masters' Games
Australia's largest multisport festival, the 13th Australian Masters Games and incorporating the 2nd Australasian Masters Games, will be held in Adelaide from 7th - 16th October, 2011. Paddling events will be included. The website is  <http://www.australianmastersgames.com/>here  but is currently being updated. 

Runaway Boat
The green boat lost floating down the river at Mosman Bay last Friday night was found by Fremantle Rowing club on Saturday morning and returned to its grateful owner.

PLB Alert for Paddlers
Al Hale suggests paddlers who own Personal Locator Beacon, GME MT 410G, PLB, may wish to check the following website, http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2010/08/plb-problem-and-modification.html , due to a possible problem with this model.

Mirage Sea Kayaks in W.A.
Terry Bolland of Canoeing Down Under is pleased to announce that he is now the state's agent for this excellent range of sea kayaks, made in NSW.

Useful Info' - Sea Kayaking
"I came across a useful web resource for sea kayaking today and find it rather comprehensive and detailed. Its UK based but still has some excellent content: <http://www.kayarchy.co.uk/index.htm>http://www.kayarchy.co.uk/index.htm " Steve Wellman

Rocky Bluff Take-Out, Blackwood River
From Pat Scallan in Bridgetown
"I have been trying for a few years since the commencement of my paddling exploits to upgrade the kayak exit point at Rocky Bluff where the Geegelup Cup and casual white water users exit the Blackwood River after doing the 8km of white water from Bridgetown. I have been working with the council to make this happen and we have sourced a number of grants to fund the project.

Unfortunately this has not been as easy as expected as firstly the area was considered as part of the road reserve as the river is very close to the road. After getting the OK from the Main Roads we then found it should be covered by DEC as the river reserve over laps the road reserve. After we got the in-principle support however the question was then asked if this was covered by indigenous heritage, which it is as the river is a significant site. So we now need approval from the DPI as well. We initially thought that as we were upgrading the existing infrastructure that this approval would be a formality however we may now have to complete a heritage survey.The Shire is supportive so ultimately the final approval should be a formality.

We have designed the ramp and have purchased all the materials and would be looking at commencing this project this summer once the water level has dropped (assuming it will eventually come up some time this winter).

I do apologise for taking this long but by next year I hope to have the new facility in place.

We love getting the white water community and other paddlers to Bridgetown and wish you all the very best for this years Geegelup Cup event."

Albany Canoe Club
The programme of events has just been updated for the rest of August, September & October <http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/albanycc.html>here. This friendly club always welcomes northern visitors on its paddles, with the appropriate gear and skills. 

Paddling Around Oz
Keep up to date with Stuart Trueman's paddling circumnavigation, Broome to Broome, anti-clockwise http://nadgeekayaks.com.au/news-events/australia-by-kayak.html.

Mainpeak News
Dave tells us that the new Stella surf skis are now in stock. The deals of the month, August, are Wavesport Project for only $999 (was $1499) and the double plastic Pamlico , now $1199 instead of $1499. Check out the details <http://www.mainpeak.com.au/content/pdf/Deal%2520for%2520August%252010.pdf>here. There's also lots of <http://www.mainpeak.com.au/content/pageInstance_CLEARANCE_PADDLE/paddle/products.html>clearance items available at present from Lettman, Perception and Bicsport as well as many DVD titles and more.

Canoeing Down Under Newsletter
Terry says, "Join the Canoeing Down Under newsletter and find out about kayak courses, information, sales, specials, stories, race calendar and a lot more. Go to
<http://www.canoeingdownunder.com.au>www.canoeingdownunder.com.au and click on the box on the home page." (I guarantee you'll get a laugh from the stories of the antics of paddling partners, Terry and Alaine, all from Terry's point of view, of course! - Robyn)

Paddle, Slipstream adjustable with carbon shaft  & CDU stickers
- lost on 14th July during a valley run. "I was stuck between a rock and ti -tree, and put it down in the water just for a second or two and whoosh! Gone! It has my name and phone number; still legible, I'm sure. "

For Sale
Slalom K1 Galasport Toro 2007 model - top racing Carbolite layup - suit a larger paddler say 70kg upwards. Great condition $1500 ono. Leesa, <mailto:slalomwa@gmail.com>slalomwa@gmail.com if interested please. 


K1 Seat: Adjustable with holes to fit single central post, craft is an Avon "Senta" ­ hull curve similar to Arro, Cleaver etc. <mailto:dave@boldy.id.au>dave@boldy.id.au 0432 917 141 . 
Ace 212 plastic double,
good condition, suitable for whitewater. contact Martyn 0421 097 823.

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