Cardiff International White Water Centre

We decided to kick of the new year with an immediate trip to the White Water Centre in Cardiff. This is an oval circuit with about eight drops and, best of all, a kayak escalator to take you back up to the start so you don�t have to get out of your kayak (unless of course, you fancy a swim while going round). The group consisted of Simon, Gwyl, Liam, Joe, Seiko, Jen, Glynn, Helen, Matt, John and myself.

The weather was excellent, being around 10 degrees and not much wind. On Sundays they run at two flows: 4 cumecs in the morning and then 8 cumecs in the afternoon. Unfortunately they cut the time for the 4 cumec release to a little over an hour on this day. After a painfully early start we were on the water around 10am and doing the first loops. Matt kindly providing all three kayaks for himself, John and I from his now extensive collection of watercraft. There were only a few other kayakers to start with, and pleasingly very few rafts. The 4 cumecs provides a relatively simple start and warm up session with just enough rough water to provide practice for bracing and eddying in/out. Before long, the 8 cumecs session started and was marked, as usual, by a series of paddlers separated from their kayak (myself included).

During a break for lunch, we were looking down on the water from the balcony, and from there it barely looks like there�s much more than a gentle flow going round! The afternoon session had a few more paddlers on the water but was still quiet compared to other times. After lunch it was mostly the hard core that kept going to the 3pm finish. Everyone had a good day, blew the cobwebs out a bit and got the year off to a good start. On the way back some dropped off at the nearby "Up and Under" store to get any kit that Santa hadn�t provided a couple of weeks earlier.

- Peter

Photos by Jen.

Photos and video by Glynn and Helen.
2012 01 09 CIWW