Having returned from an excellent event at Hurley Weir, the question was: What next? The local weirs were at a very low level, and it was too cold for flat water freestyle (mostly). Just when it seemed we were going to have to do long distance paddling in long boats (the horror!), the rain came! The weirs shot up… the temperature did not. The local weir, on high levels, can form a small stopper. Despite the flow on the river, after paddling upstream we found a stopper worth stopping for!

After spinning, spinning again, and then once more for good measure, it turned out this was actually very sticky, and getting out was a marathon consisting of bouncing, spinning and trying to plug the nose. Having caught an edge and been saved by our WRSI helmets, we realised it wasn’t as shallow as we had first believed. In fact this led to attempted cartwheels, mcnasties and helixes… which are great! In summer. Sometime later we remembered it was December, and throwing ourselves in was taking its toll on my hands and the camera was nearly out of battery!

So next, the worst part of any paddle: paddling to the get out point. A short way from the weir, some trees were kindly blocking our path. I don’t like to leave my boat, especially on a cold morning, and so there had to be another way, that didn’t involve climbing over a mouldy, wobbly tree trunk, guaranteed to break and make us fall in the river! About 15 minutes later we were through, blocking the weir behind us… Until next week

Thanks to Jack Mcgaley for filming and Squarerock!

By Hugh Mandelstam