WA Paddling News Emails  

   > News Index                       > Canoeing in Western Australia

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

Week 2 /August

Tuesday, 9th August, 2011

Avon Descent 2011
Perfect conditions: good water level, warm sunshine, little wind, not too many paddlers on the river. . .
Congratulations to all competitors- most had good luck, some not so lucky. 
Who knows the water level at the Walyunga gauge for Sunday?

Lost - Avon Descent
Paddle - lost in Day 2 trees in the thick part, on 3rd August. 211cm Bennett, green lettering with my name on it, "Polly". Peter Farmer, 0428 560 580.
Camera- lost at Cobbler Pool during Avon Descent, 7th August. Canon brand. Will have photos of boats no. 915 and 916 on memory card. If found please call Stuart,  0438 949 894.
Garmin Forerunner 310XT Multisport GPS Training Device - someplace between Cobbler Pool and Superchute on Saturday 30th July. Please phone Ray Campbell, 0467 490 025 if found.

Paddle - lost at about 300 m into the ti-trees on Day 1 on the left side of the river. It has mobile number, 0439 933 355, on it together with my name (Mee). Thanks, Antony.

Contour GPS Helmet Cam -  in clear and lime green waterproof container, lost 2 weeks before Avon Descent at entrance to Superchute ­ could be anywhere as it should float. John, 0419 097 059 or  <mailto:johnmay@projectarchitects.net>johnmay@projectarchitects.net .

Lettman Wing Paddle - last seen about 10 mins before Lookout Rapid, race day.  Contact details on shaft. John, 0419 097 059 or <mailto:johnmay@projectarchitects.net>johnmay@projectarchitects.net .

Spirit Wing Paddle - breakdown with adjustable sleeve.  Contact details on blade, last seen Lookout Rapid on race day. John, 0419 097 059 or <mailto:johnmay@projectarchitects.net>johnmay@projectarchitects.net .

Spirit Solutions Carbon Fibre Paddle - patch on one of the blades. Bright orange polystyrene foam taped around the middle of shaft. Lost at last rapid before Stronghills Farm changeover. If found please contact Ruth Highman, 0432 531 335 (SMS best) or <mailto:highman@hotmail.com>highman@hotmail.com .

Lettman Nordic Paddle - with blue and white writing and Mainpeak stickers on outside of blade. Lost at rapid above Bell's. Please contact Roland, 0417 937 479 or <mailto:rolandbodt@yahoo.com.au>rolandbodt@yahoo.com.au .

Werner Euro Paddle - lost on Avon weekend, upstream of Stronghills Farm, possibly about a kilometre or so.  In 2 pieces, both marked Mal Henning.
The phone number is 9594 1990 if unreadable.  Much loved!

Where Did It Come From?
The rain which saved this year's Avon Descent seemed to come from the following sources:
62.5% - Dale River (Waterhatch Bridge)
7.125% - Mortlock River (Frenches and O'Driscoll's Farm)
8.125% - Brockman River (Yalliawirra)
17.5% - Woorooloo Brook (Karl's Ranch)
Remainder: other small streams along the valley.
It resulted in the flow at Walyunga being about 80m3/sec at its peak.
I have not included flow from the Avon via Beverley.
This is not very scientific as I am just an interested layperson with no formal training in this kind of thing! One can play around with some flow-volume figures now that the Department of Water has the same measure on each of the above pages on their website. Go to "Plot of Discharge in m3/s for the last 6 days". It was wonderful to see the bulge in the curves moving downstream in the week prior to the Descent and then a smaller bulge appearing as the water level dropped (more rain).

Avon Old Boys' Club
Here's some more info' on this dedicated group of paddlers!

There's a group of keen Bunbury Descenters; here goes with the details:
Lez Sommers ­ this year will be number 26
Darryl Campbell ­ last year was number 20 and is still thinking about a late entry for this year to make number 21.
Cimon Albertsen ­ this year will be number 19 in a row. All previous 18 were successfully completed.
Dave Barton did number 26 last year and his brother John Barton has done 18.

Cimon Albertsen says, "I think the Avon Descent organisers need to give more recognition and acknowledgement to the competitors who have supported the event over a long period of time. It would be very interesting to know how the numbers go in respect most entered, most completed, most consecutive, most top 10 finishes. Might be a good addition to the race guide and give some recognition to the old boys (and girls). Maybe a 15, 20, 25, 30, 35+ year listings. There can't be many people who have done more than 25."

This is John Sims' 35th year of being involved in the Avon Descent.  He's completed 26 consecutive finishes. 
Eddie Stoelwinder has now done 25 Avons.
Bevan Dashwood completed 27. Charlie Elliot?
Dave Worthy has just done 28!
Daryl Long has completed 30 and, not surprisingly, has always been in the top ten.

As for the women, the only one who has been brought to my attention is Rosalie Evans, who has completed 10 Avon Descents. Are there more out there?

I believe one is presented with a jacket by NADA on completion of 25 Avons. Permanent recognition in the race guide would ensure longevity to this aspect of Avon Descent history.

Slalom Camp
Friday - Sunday, 12th-14th August
This is a National Talent Squad training camp open to youngsters Australia-wide, but not expected to attract too many from the east owing to our isolation. That's good for the locals as it means more places are available for them. Selection to attend will be based on performance and commitment to the sport. Coaches will be well known Zlatan Ibrahimbegovich, former Olympian paddler, Lachie Milne from over east and one of our local heroes, Josh Kippin, who is a Slalom Nationals medalist (and he just came 9th in single kayak in the Avon Descent - congratulations, Josh). If you want to know more please contact Charlie Collin, 9272 7228.

Globe Trotting Paddlers
Yvonne and Rob Wallace, white water enthusiasts of Swan Canoe Club, have been gallivanting with their paddles recently.  Here are two brief accounts of those adventures, useful for those who might like to do likewise, as well as for inspiration.  There's some pics, too, but they're for the next newsletter.

"A short summary of the paddling follows - anyone wanting further info' on any of the below is welcome to contact us at <mailto:rjwall2@bigpond.net.au>rjwall2@bigpond.net.au.

California ­ We rented kayaks from CCK in Sacramento and headed straight for Coloma in the foothills of the Sierras as our starting base. Rivers are big volume in style, and were in flood during our visit due to the high snow melt (our eyes were like saucers ­ everything *Nealy has to say in his chapter 'The Joy of Flood' is true ­ yes water really does flow up hill and pile on top of itself!) We paddled various sections of the South Fork of the American (Gr 2-3+), North Fork of the Yuba (Gr 4), East Fork of the Carson (Gr 2), and the Truckee (Gr 3). The River Store in Coloma provided us with plenty of info and leads for fellow kayakers. A lot of the rivers were out of bounds due to the high levels, but there was still heaps to get stuck into. Also managed a few hikes in Yosemite Park.

France ­ Joining eleven others from Perth, and the UK, we stayed in a chalet in the small town of Guillestre, a brilliant location in the centre of the Durance Valley in the South Alps, and a very well known area for kayaking. The main river though the valley (Durance) is big volume in style, but its tributaries are typical alpine ­ fast, steep, technical, very continuous. Both the main river and tributaries have a wide range of sections grading 2-5, something for everyone. Rivers we paddled included the Durance, Guil, Onde, Gyrone, Guisane. We also ventured south to the Ubaye valley and Verdon Gorge areas. We rented boats from Nathalie at SND kayaks in St Clement. Some took courses and guiding from Canoe Control. There is also so much else to do in the area ­ mountaineering, via ferrata (climbing), mountain biking, hiking, etc. Nearest airports for major flights are Turin and Lyon (most of us came in via Turin). Many thanks to Martin Burgoyne for organizing, encouraging and supporting us all in our introduction to the alps!"

*William Nealy has written the best book on reading the water and paddling skills for trips on white water rivers.  It's available at Amazon. It's just called "Kayak".

Stuart Trueman
"That's it, back where I started."
This eastern states paddler becomes the third person to have completed a paddling circumnavigation of our huge island. He arrived in Broome, his starting point, on 28th July. Go <http://nadgeekayaks.com.au/news-events/australia-by-kayak.html>here to see pics and to read of the last legs of the paddle. He has some croc tales to tell. We look forward to the book that he's promised.

The others to have done this epic feat are Paul Caffyn and the incredible Freya Hoffmeister whose website is <http://qajaqunderground.com/>here.  Note that there will be a book on her remarkable feat as well, to be published, in English, in February, 2012. Freya is currently planning a circumnavigation of South America, to be started in September this year. Paul's book, unfortunately, is out of print, but by asking around you may be able to find someone who has a copy to borrow.

Mainpeak Multisport
Sunday, 25th September
Matt Hewitson says, if anyone is "looking for a "runner" for the Mainpeak Multisport Challenge, I would be up for it." Contact him, 0448 033 073 or <mailto:Matt.Hewitson@harrierrp.com>Matt.Hewitson@harrierrp.com. This is the new event much of which takes place on the north side of the Avon Valley National Park and in Chittering Valley and finishing with paddling at Garvey Park.

Wildwater State Championships: Geegelup Cup
Saturday and Sunday, 27th and 28th August
This is a favourite stretch of white water for many paddlers: 8km of rapid-pool-rapid-pool with a few trees and ti-trees here and there, just downstream of the highway bridge at Bridgetown.  As well, it's a charming country town, but be quick to find accomodation. There are trial runs for the competitors - you're sure to find someone to accompany you down on a practice run. There's a fun teams event as well as the competition for the individual state titles and a communal dinner on the Saturday night. The event website is <http://www.wildwaterwa.canoe.org.au/?Page=19300>here. Sponsored by Canoeing Down Under.

Nanga Challenge
Saturday, 10th September
Paddling is of course included in this multi-sport event organised by sporting enthusiasts from Ascot Kayak Club, centred at Lane Poole Reserve, in the forest, near Dwellingup. It's a moving water paddle of 10.5km, upstream and downstream.  There's a mountain bike leg, 21km and cross country run, 9.6km as well. Enter as a team or have a go as an iron person. The focus is on fun and having a good day out, far from the city. More info' is available <http://www.ascot.canoe.org.au/?ID=11122>here as is online entry, now open, as well. Main sponsor is Mountain Designs.

Collie Adventure Race
Saturday, 8th October
Here's another multi-sport event, this one set in the Collie River Valley, not far from the Collie township. Minninup Pool, the location, is a local scenic picnic spot at the river. Here are the legs:
Road cycle, 25km
Canoe, 10km
Optional horse ride: 13km
Swim: 1km
Mountain bike, 25km
Run, 10km
One of the organisers, Marty, tells us, "The layout of our event has changed, it's all out and back, based at Minninup Pool. The legs have all changed to reflect the new layout. The paddle is between the two bridges with no portage or weeds." More info' is <https://sites.google.com/site/colliemultisports/collie-adventure-race>here on the website.

For Sale
Spirit Ski, PRS -  excellent condition, new nose cone - bought for Avon Descent but not used due to illness: $1350. Chris, 9451 3027 or  0488 095 826.

K1 Assegaai - to buy or swap, Christo Botha, 0435 642 530.

Week 3 /August
Thursday, 18th August, 2011

Don't Miss This!
Wildwater Race #4: Bell's Rapid
Sunday, 21st August

Compete in two runs from the top of Bell's Rapid to the bottom. It's open to all craft, including ruddered ones. One of the organisers, Spencer, says to come and "see how much fun the Wildwater people have!"

Registration: 8:00am-8:30am; briefing: 8:45am; race starts: 9:00am. Register online, now open, or on the day at registration. PFDs and helmets compulsory. For more info' contact Sam Pilton, 0422 903 056. Sponsored by Canoeing Down Under.

If the water level is unsuitable an alternate race will run.  Keep up-to-date by visiting <http://www.wildwaterwa.canoe.org.au/>www.wildwaterwa.canoe.org.au .

Wild Bush Luxury: Sal Salis @ Ningaloo Reef
This <http://www.salsalis.com.au/>new tourism venture looks to be a wonderful respite from the southern winter AND for West Oz residents they're currently offering a 50% discount till the end of the year. For more info' <http://www.salsalis.com.au/>visit the website or phone 1300 790 561. The gear for sea kayaking, snorkelling is provided and there's lots of other activities available as well in this pristine and wildlife rich World Heritage Area. All to be enjoyed in comfort and sophistication, camping style.  It's located in Cape Range National Park, via Exmouth.

The 2011 Avon Descent at Moondyne Rapid
Steve Floyd risked life and limb (well, mostly officialdom) to install himself at Moondyne Rapid to photograph paddlers coming down this somewhat tricky rapid (if you don't know what's coming up). Apparently the chicken chute was well clear and an easy ride down, though it seems most paddlers opted for the main channel. 

Go <https://picasaweb.google.com/110792762958178882334/AvonDescent2011Moondy%0AneRapid%23>here to view the pics* - there's some great shots and dozens of them. Most participants will be there.
*You may have to <mailto:sfloyd@universityclub.uwa.edu.au>email Steve directly for access.

Steve would like you to donate to charity if you would like to download your pic and repay him for his efforts (and a possible costly fine for disobeying officialdom).  <mailto:sfloyd@universityclub.uwa.edu.au>Contact him for details. He's accumulated quite a bit already for a favourite charity, so thanks, everyone.

New Front Page Pic
<http://www.iinet.net.au/~rokhor/canoe>Here's one of Steve's pics at Moondyne Rapid: that's Crew Coutts/Bresanello, who won the Double Kayak class, 10th overall.

All the Avon Pics: Aussies in Action
Aussies in Action, the official professional photographers of the Descent, have their myriad photos of certain action spots ready for your perusal and possible purchase. Most of you will have been emailed already that they are <http://www.aussiesinaction.com.au/photo.php?c=5551>online.

2011 Avon Descent: Congratulations Due
Well done to our visiting paddlers from overseas (South Africa and Malaysia) and interstate.  Though the NSW contingent of paddlers did not eventuate, some from South Australia did, and Chad Alston won the popular long plastics class, 19th overall. The trip over was worth it for him!  Of course our visitors from possibly the world's most prominent marathon paddling nation, South Africa, starred, including Hilary Pitchford, first woman across the line. And they had so little opportunity to become familiar with the river beforehand.

Though we welcome our visitors and congratulate them on their success, the locals are all very proud of Perth paddler, Simon Roll, second overall, for an outstanding performance, just a few minutes behind the brilliant Hank MacGregor from South Africa.

Digital Camera, Sony Cyber-Shot
 - on Day One of Descent, may have been at Extracts Weir. If found, please contact Dea, 0404 021 785. 

Paddle, Slipstream - lost about 1km from finish line of Day One. Has name and no. on it: John Breed, 9574 6895. 

Paddle Half, Spirit - split paddle half, lost at Bell's, Day Two. Has name and no. on it: John Breed, 9574 6895. 

Paddle - lost on Day Two of Avon, just below Emus, black blades, carbon shaft, snapped one blade off and handed paddle to one of the marshalls in a boat, just after the rapid. Unsure if it still has the mobile no. on it: Nick Moore, 0421 559 282, <mailto:nickmoore@hotmail.com>nickmoore@hotmail.com .

Gara Paddle with green Windhoek stickers on it, in the ti- trees at the start of Day 2. $100 reward for whoever returns it to me! Bradley van Blomestein, 0438 932 852.

Paddle, Epic Mid wing - with adjustable split shaft (green shaft). Lost  in the Descent at the bottom of Extracts. 0403 455 531, Paul Gill. Might teach me to write my name on it.

Paddle, Spirit - lost at Bell's, Wednesday, 17th August. Has name "Jolly" written on it and phone no. 0458 900 115 which may/may not be legible still. 

Car Keys and hatch cover for Endorfinn - lost at Bell's, Wednesday, 17th August. Please contact Richard, 0458 900 115, if found.

Split Paddle - lost somewhere between Walyunga & Bells rapids, Saturday, 13th August. It has my friend's (Dave Macaulay) mobile number, 0438 832 233, on the blades. If found, please contact Dave or myself, 0408 111 024.

 - on the Dalkeith foreshore. Solution paddle. Contact Keely if it's yours: <mailto:KLRobinson@scotch.wa.edu.au>KLRobinson@scotch.wa.edu.au .

Youtube Video: Superchute to Syd's, 2011
This paddler had good lines at some important rapids, like Superchute, Emu Falls (divided into three sections: top, middle and The Washing Machine, though he uses Terry Boland's nomenclature), the ford below it and Bald Hill rapids. Finally, though, the last rock at the bottom of Syd's claimed him!   

The water level was somewhere just over a metre @ Walyunga; 11.4m, DoW; 10.9m, DoW,Toodyay, for this Day Two of the Avon Descent, about as perfect as you can get, with most of the rocks covered and the stoppers not too big.  
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik3KUIHJAPs>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik3KUIHJAPs .

Youtube Video: Ti-trees from the Level Crossing, 2011
I also came across this Youtube video of some of the ti-trees, though I doubt it will help you find the way.  However it's fun to recognise some of those branches!  
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3yKHdl_Li4&feature=related>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3yKHdl_Li4&feature=related .

Paddling Family
We've acknowledged some of the long-time male Avon Descenters and ONE woman, now here's a paddling family with many Avons to their credit!  They're known as the "Wavehopper Family", for obvious reasons! I asked the mum, Dea, for some details:

"Abby did her first Avon when she was 16 and has not missed one yet and is now only 25. As well as being the record holder (single short plastic) she has won this class four times ! Pretty cool, eh! Toby also did his first at 16 and has competed ever since. 
As a family we clock up: Abby 10, Samantha 5, Dea 5, Toby 13 , Dennis 16, Paul 3 = Total 52
It's been a great privilege to be able to paddle as a family. We are really lucky."   

Peel Canoe Week
This starts on the weekend of 27th-28th August with the amazing antics of the whitewater playboaters on the Grade 3 - Grade 4 rapids of the lower Murray.

There's many different events on all aspects of canoeing and paddling: white water, recreational paddles on river and ocean, come 'n try events, outrigger canoeing, dragon boating, swiftwater awareness, sailing kayaks display, seniors' paddles, outdoor canoe polo. 

Heaps of local businesses and groups are getting together for this promotion of paddling in the Peel District with its wide range of waterways: flat water and white water rivers, estuaries, both calm and windswept, canals and the ocean. They include Perth Canoe Polo Club, Mandurah Paddling Club, Yak Shack, Kayaks-4-U, Mandurah Ocean Club, Mandurah Dragon Boat Club, Dwellingup Adventures, Canoe Trail Friends of Mandurah and Pinjarra, Mandurah Over 55s Canoe Club, Mandurah-Murray Vietnam Veterans Canoe Group.

Email Paul for a copy of the programme: <mailto:pastynchips@bigpond.com>pastynchips@bigpond.com .

Murray White Water Festival
27th & 28th August, Lower Murray River

Entries <http://www.murraywhitewaterfestival.com/index.html>are now open if you're an experienced playboater - not for beginners! 

This is also a must for spectators who'd like to see what these guys and gals are capable of in their shapely, mini kayaks, but you do need to be physically fit for the walk down to the river and then out again. Bear in mind also that the weather may be cold and wet. However, you will be rewarded by the most amazing daredevil manouvres and racing by paddlers in these small craft and great paddling photo opportunities. There's some info' for Saturday spectators <http://www.murraywhitewaterfestival.com/MWF%2520Spectator's%2520Guide.pdf>here. But check out the <http://www.murraywhitewaterfestival.com/MWF%2520Whats%2520On.html>event details first.

Here's a quote from the website. It's about my favourite event, the race down 'The Steps', which decides the King and Queen of the River.
"As multiple heats of eight crank down the lower end of The Steps, extreme paddling action is assured. Excellent vantage points for spectators make for a spectacle that's worth the walk."


Dreamtime Voyage
Thanks to Ian Scott who sent us this info': " There are several copies of the book by Paul Caffyn "Dreamtime Voyage: Around Australia Kayak Odyssey" available through ABE Books, a good on-line second hand book seller. They are a bit pricey, but if people want one enough, the price would be fine. The site is  <http://www.abebooks.com/>www.abebooks.com/ ."

Sandy Robson En Route to Oz
Sandy Robson, a local Perth sea kayaker, is well under way with her paddling voyage, retracing the steps of Oscar Speck who paddled from central Europe to Australia, many years ago. Go here to read of her adventures along the way: <http://www.sandy-robson.com/>www.sandy-robson.com. Where is she now?

Wildwater State Championships
Blackwood River, Bridgetown, 27th & 28th August

The DR Dinner will be held this year at Lucieville Farm, down Bridgetown way. That's because the State Championships/Geegelup Cup are held that weekend on a great section of the Blackwood River which has quite friendly rapids with just enough flat water to calm the psyche in between. Ruddered boats are welcome as well as DR, in Short Plastic, Long Plastic and Sundries classes, so come along and join in the fun if you're tempted to try out another white water river. All the details are <http://www.wildwaterwa.canoe.org.au/>here.  

If you have questions about times of guided practice runs, etc., contact Spencer,  <mailto:spencer@minstruct.com.au>spencer@minstruct.com.au. Also let him know you will be attending dinner, by 22nd August, if you're going to have a go at this wild water racing weekend. 

Go <http://members.iinet.com.au/~rokhor/canoe/blackwrbrdgdwn.html>here to see pics of the rapids with some hints on how to do them. 

Epic V10 Sport Ultra
 - Jeremy, 0422 000 675. 

 > News Index                       > Canoeing in Western Australia

The contents of this site are copyright© 2000 - 11, Robyn Khorshid.
All Rights Reserved.