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W. A.   P A D D L I N G   N E W S , J U L Y ,    2 0 1 0

Week 1 /July
Wednesday, 30th June, 2010


Updated Water Level Info'
Though we're still waiting for the winter's water level to happen, DoW (Department of Water) have modified their Avon Descent page for paddlers to make it more user-friendly. Check it out <http://kumina.water.wa.gov.au/waterinformation/avon/avon.cfm>here.  

The graphs are currently being updated once daily, but when there is some rain and the river flows it will be updated four times daily, specifically to help paddlers, maybe mid July?

New Paddlers! All you need to know is:

paddleable @ 0.48m approx river level  (0.3m on wooden gauge)
good level @ 2.2m "  "  "   (0.8m " " "  )
flood level @ 3.3m "  "  " (1.5m " " "  )
This is a generalisation. New paddlers <http://members.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/avonrivwatlev.html>should also go here for more details of the paddleability of different sections of the river at different levels. You may need to scroll down. The views expressed are mine. I have not had time to add in river level approximations on that page.

Toodyay ti-trees
paddleable @ 0.44m approx river level  (about 0.4m on Long Pool wooden gauge or 10.5m 'stage' level) 

Some paddlers will go through the ti-trees at about 0.25m river level, but it does involve some portage and scraping of one's boat. The river (and, more importantly, the best route through the ti-trees) starts to change dramatically at about 0.95m river level (11m 'stage level', 1.2m wooden gauge) as it approaches flood level.

Our thanks go to Chris and the team at DoW for looking after us.

Some Detail! 'River Level' Vs 'Stage' Level
The DoW table <http://kumina.water.wa.gov.au/waterinformation/telem/stage.cfm>here has columns for 'stage' and 'river level'. We're all familiar by now with the 'stage' level, where 10=no flow of the river at that point in summer. That's the measurement on the <http://kumina.water.wa.gov.au/waterinformation/telem/616011/tel.htm>graphs we've been looking at for a few years now.

The <http://kumina.water.wa.gov.au/waterinformation/avon/avon.cfm>updated Avon Descent page shows the changes in the 'river level'. The 'river level' is not just the 'stage' level minus 10. There is another small difference. What happens over time is that silting occurs in some gauge locations and erosion of the river bed in others, and the measure, 'river level' on the graphs takes that into account.  There is a small difference, from measuring station to measuring station. The difference between 'stage' level and 'river level' really only matters to paddlers at the lower borderline of paddleability.  Eg., Walyunga should be paddleable at about river level 0.48m which is 10.35m 'stage' level (and about 0.3m on the Walyunga wooden post in the pool at the lower car park).

Lost and Found
You are more than likely to get your lost gear back if you have labelled it with your name and phone no. Paddlers are very honest folk!  Lost paddles, in particular, are very frequent in the Avon Descent and in training, especially when the water level is high. There can be dozens! People also leave gear behind on the banks. So buy yourself some kind of permanent or paint pen and label everything!  Then you need to check every so often to make sure the labelling hasn't washed off.

There's a lost and found page in the Classifieds <http://members.iinet.com.au/~rokhor/canoe/lostfnd.html>here. You may also wish to inform Avon Descent organisers of any lost property.

National Park Passes
Robin Smith sends us this info':
"The Dept of Environment and Conservation has restricted the eligibility of the $20 'Annual Local Park Pass' to nearby postcode residents. Most paddlers will require an 'All Parks Pass' for $80 ­ shame that DEC did not take account that paddlers are a special interest group."

if you think you will use more than $80 worth of visits to Walyunga and other parks then you need to contact DEC, 9219 8000, to obtain your annual entry pass. Valid for one year. Entry per visit is $11 per vehicle, without a pass.

A Bit of History
Came across this ten minute video of the first muscle-powered race on the Arkansas River, Colorado, in 1949. It was not unlike our Avon Descent in flood. The introductory blurb says, "All sorts of boats were allowed. The night before the race there was a lot of rain so the level was much higher than during the training. Röbi Ris from the "Mittelländer Kanu Club, Switzerland" won the race, as he was the only one to reach the measuring mark." Worth watching! The craft and the gear are amazing! And so is the river!
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPVppUV2Zr0>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPVppUV2Zr0  .

Avon Training
Mainpeak Paddlesports Avon Descent Training Courses are now available. Please see <http://www.mainpeak.com.au/content/menuCLASSES_PADDLE.html>this link for more details. For any questions on the classes, please call Mainpeak PaddleSports, 6103 4530 or email <mailto:paddle@mainpeak.com.au>paddle@mainpeak.com.au or visit at 2A Railway Street, Cottesloe. Race numbers can be picked up at the shop along with all your other paddling needs.

All About White Water with Terry Bolland
7:30pm, Tuesday, 6th July
To new paddlers! In the current absence of white water for you to learn some skills, Avon Descent guru, Terry Bolland, will be lecturing on "White Water Paddling: Dynamics, Safety and Dangers"  It's to be held at Ascot Kayak Club. Numbers are limited and you must book, 9378 1333.  $5 donation to CDU Junior Fund. It will help you on your way!

Sprint Regatta #1
Sunday, 4th July

Entry is online <http://wa.canoe.org.au/default.asp?Page=19542>here by 5pm, today, Wednesday, 30th June.  "We will be using the new international standard drop down start gates. Venue is Champion Lakes.  Racing will be in Divisions so all paddlers of all abilities are welcome." Sarah Trown , Chair of Sprint Committee  - <mailto:aceg@iinet.net.au>aceg@iinet.net.au .

Northam - Toodyay Race
18th July

32km, flat water, moving water and a rapid or two - the first few hours paddling of the Avon Descent. Meet at Broome Terrace, Northam.  Finish line is at the bridge, Duidgee Park, Toodyay. Register online <http://www.ascot.canoe.org.au/?Page=17175>here before midnight on 13th July. No late entries. Visit the <http://www.ascot.canoe.org.au/?Page=17175>webpage for more info' or contact organiser, Shayne Hamilton, 0408 056 462 or<mailto:%20akcpresident@gmail.com> akcpresident@gmail.com . Organised by Ascot Kayak Club. Sponsored by Canoeing Down Under, Peak Safety Solutions, Heliwest Group.

Environmentally conscious paddlers of the Peel Region now have a blog. Go <http://www.canoetrailfriendsmandurahandpinjarra.blogspot.com/>here for the news of Canoe Trail Friends of Mandurah and Pinjarra, Inc.

La Seu d'Urgell
The second race in the Slalom World Cup Series was last weekend. The results and more are <http://canoeslalomseu.parcolimpic.com/>here. The two West Oz paddlers, Kynan Maley (SCC) and Robbie Jeffery (AKC) participated commendably in both C1 and C2.

Bicton Boys in the Yukon
Local paddlers, Paul Gill and Brendan Wilkinson are Team No. 58, The Quick Quokkas, in The Yukon River Quest race. Watch their progress <http://www.yukonriverquest.com/>here, June 30 to July 4. They are aiming to smash Team No. 9, The Quokkas.  Read team biographies <http://www.yukonriverquest.com/teambio.php?year=2010>here.  There are a few other Aussies, including a team of nine women from NSW, ages 50-62 years. That's Team No. 5, the Yukon Buddies. 

Whatever Happened To . . .
Well known DR and white water paddler, Robin Harris, of Bunbury and the former South West Canoe Club, will be back for this year's Avon Descent.  She's had a rest from paddling for a few years - well, not a real rest as she's been mountain biking and orienteering - but is hoping to share a double with another woman paddler this year.

Round Australia Paddler
Stuart Trueman, the latest paddler attempting the circumnavigation of our island, passed quietly through Perth a few days ago.  He was looked after by Terry Bolland and sent on his way, 24th June.  Terry says, "He is not asking for any help but I'm sure if there were people along the way who wanted to assist him when he reached their town he would be happy to accept. Of course he will never know until a day or two ahead where he will be. If you are willing to pick him up and give him shelter for the night and you are living south of Perth, just let me know and I can try to contact him." I know there are Albany readers of this newsletter and even some in South Australia. If you would like to help contact Terry, 9378 1333, or <mailto:terry@canoeingdownunder.com.au>terry@canoeingdownunder.com.au .

World Cup Freestyle
The World Cup for 2010 was at the Augsburg man-made course, at the end of May.  The second, to be held at Plattling, also in Germany, was cancelled due to it being washed out by high water . There's a short video of the Augsburg event here . Plattling is much appreciated by freestylers, "The Plattling hole is super awesome, it is great for everything that you can do." Short video is <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ivGMz4o6I8>here  .

Riverland Paddling Marathon, South Australia
The Riverland Paddling Marathon is over for another year. Organisers managed to attract paddlers from NSW, NT, Qld, Tasmania and, of course, lots from Victoria.
For a report on the 2010 RPM you can go to ­ <http://www.mcc.canoe.org.au/default.asp?Page=19455>RPM Report . 
This is a fun event at the same time as being a genuinely tough marathon.

"Sadly, It's a Fake!"
Len Christie has sent us the above note re the whale pic of the last email news along with this website address: 
Snopes: <http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/whalekayak.asp>http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/whalekayak.asp  However, Paul, the sender, to his credit, did suspect Photoshop play.

Spirit PRS
 - preferably with trailing rudder. Will part trade with a VGC Endorfinn. Contact Mark 0421 676 297.
Molokai racing ski ­ Epic V10 or equivalent, good condition, around $1800.00 mark. Fibreglass is fine, so is a scratch or two. Dave, 0432 917 141 or <mailto:dave@boldy.id.au>dave@boldy.id.au

Looking at getting back into paddling: previously owned a B line TK1, FINN Kayak, wanting something similar, preferably fibreglass, around $500 to $800. Contact Ray, 0459 098 879 or <mailto:ray458@westnet.com.au>ray458@westnet.com.au .

Week 2 /July
Thursday, 17th June, 2010

Slalom World Cup Race
Two West Oz paddlers, Kynan Maley and Robbie Jeffery, originally SCC and AKC, respectively, will be participating in racing this Friday, 18th June, and hopefully during semis and finals this weekend in Prague, as both C1 competitors and as a team in C2. The results will be on the event website <http://www.slalomtroja.cz/>here.  Margie Jeffery tells us also of a <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OcMMv2yPJY>short video on Youtube of some of the team in training in Augsburg.

Our Thanks to the Slalom Group
Repairs to some of the eroded river banks at Walyunga were carried out last weekend by a slalom busy bee group, whilst the water level was still very low, under the direction of the Senior Ranger, Paul Udinga.  I believe Marg Jeffery had a big hand in organising this!

Down River Racing
The Upper Swan Ti-trees race will be held this Sunday, 20th June. Despite some rain a few days ago the river will not be quite deep enough to do the Bells' - Amiens Crescent course, so it has been announced (go <http://www.wildwaterwa.canoe.org.au/default.asp?Page=19298&MenuID=DR_Races/20743/19309/>here for full details) that the course will now be from Amiens Crescent to Barrett Street bridge. This still involves some manouvring around obstacles and picking the shortest line in other places. Registration: 7:30-8:30am, at Amiens Crescent.

Down River Training Camp
Some lucky paddlers have enrolled in a residential mid Avon Valley training camp (with all mod cons) over a weekend in July, with some of the big names in DR paddling as coaches: Darryl Long, Neil Long and Dave Worthy. I have no idea if there are still vacancies or not, as numbers were limited, but contact the chief of DR paddling, <mailto:wildwaterwa@canoe.org.au>Leonie Cockman, if you are a DR or Wavehopper paddler with some experience and you're interested. Go <http://www.ascot.canoe.org.au/?Page=19356>here to see more details.

Mainpeak Collie Adventure Race
Saturday, 9th October

This is the tenth year of this multisport team relay/iron man event which includes a ten kilometre paddle on the Collie River. The other legs are a 27km road cycle, an optional 15km horse ride, 1km swim, 22km mountain bike ride and 10km run, to finish off the day, all in the scenic surrounds of Collie. Here's the <http://www.mainpeak.com.au/content/pdf/Collie%2520Race%2520flyer.pdf>leaflet, with more info' and the contact details. You can let organisers know if you're looking for a team. They will also send you a reminder, closer to the date, if you register with them.

Rob Devenish
It is with sadness that I learnt that Rob Devenish, formerly member of Swan Canoe Club and Nth Cottesloe Surf Club, passed away recently.  According to a fellow paddler, he was a quiet and friendly man, a keen paddler and Avon Descenter, starting in 1990. He paddled sometimes in partnership with his daughter, Belinda. They were the first mixed K2 across the line in <http://members.iinet.com.au/~rokhor/canoe/avrs01k2.html>2001.  There's a pic of their descent at Extracts' Weir <http://members.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/images/extr01devk2.jpeg>here.

Believe It or Not?
Paul Browne sends us <http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/images/alaskwhale.jpeg>this pic of a paddler's encounter with a whale during its herring gathering time. "This is amazing.... or very good Photoshop work ....either way it's pretty cool." Pic is at Sitka Sound, Alaska.

Legendary Sea Paddler Poses
As most are aware, Paul Caffyn was the first to circumnavigate Australia by sea kayak. His epic journey took place in the early eighties, now <http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe/images/apaulcafmarg.jpeg>here he is in 2010, at a recent Whangarei, New Zealand, forum for sea kayakers. One of our local sea kayakers, Margaret Banks, until recently a Kiwi, also attended and sends in this pic of herself with the great man himself. (They look as though they've been partying, not paddling!)

Canoeing Down Under Avon Fitness Training
Saturday mornings and Monday evenings: these sessions are for beginner to advanced paddlers who like to train with like-minded folk and learn some tips and extra skills along the way.  Contact the shop, 9378 1333, for session times and locations.

Last Minute Avon Descent Wavehopper Deal
Dave Jenkins of Mainpeak, Cottesloe, reminds us, "$1099 includes Perception Wavehopper Kayak, Solution Skirt and Hiko Multisport Race PFD. Save a Massive $484.00 off recommended retail pricing. Get in quick, only a few left."  
http://www.mainpeak.com.au/content/pdf/AvonPackagesFlyer.pdf .

Avon Descent Competency Testing with Mainpeak Paddlesports
Competency testing will be held on the following dates depending on water levels and numbers:
Saturday, 6th June; Saturday, 3rd July; Sunday, 11th July; Saturday, 17th July; Sunday, 25th July; Sunday, 1st August; Monday, 2nd August.

Please contact Mainpeak Paddlesports, 6103 4530, to register your interest. Course information will be given out nearer to the date as some courses will be run before or after another class.

Fenn XT or Epic V10 Sport
, good condition. Contact Zane, 0428 116 968 or <mailto:zrandell@barrick.com>zrandell@barrick.com . 
Composite DR wanted for Avon.  Ok if some repair required. Contact Phil, 0413 887 270 or <mailto:phil.edwards@watercorporation.com.au>phil.edwards@watercorporation.com.au .

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