White Water Training Trip to River Usk

Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 December 2012

After the disappointment of the cancelled Dart Trip, our new white-water enthusiasts were itching to get back on the frothy stuff and the River Usk was our destination. Saturday morning started off nice and relaxed (some people more relaxed than others after a trip to the nice pub opposite and the bunk house the night before), with some breaking in/out and ferry gliding practise around the get in at Talybont-on-Usk. Drama occurred slightly later with one of our paddlers being taken on an ambulance ride with the lovely Welsh paramedics; Helen Carter did a good job in managing not to swear at the lady on the phone when she was repeatedly asked for a postcode in the middle of no- where!! As it was getting fairly late in the morning at this point, we were limited on daylight hours so we decided to continue skills training at the get-in and provide everyone with some much-needed throw rope practise (and some strange dancing in kayaking kit occurred too).

Back at the bunk house we were reunited with Sue, who was a bit gutted that she couldn’t paddle but incredibly pleased that the paramedics hadn’t had to cut her cag off. Another evening of socialising occurred but this time with cake, as we celebrated Sue’s birthday.

On Sunday morning we had a sense of deja-vu as we arrived at the same get-in from the day before, but this time we managed to get down the river in a slightly less eventful manner. We still managed to fit in Ben doing a ‘George of the Jungle’ impression and various epic swims including Chris JB getting knocked over by Helen Carter (it was his own fault, he got on her wave). Everyone seemed to really enjoy the Mill Falls section, with our beginners doing a bit of river reading and picking their own lines; not one of them went the same way!

All in all a fun weekend with everyone’s paddling coming on leaps and bounds and some good lessons learnt, some of these being; that a throw rope should travel forwards and past your foot, as you get older you do get hangovers, never get on Helen Carter’s wave and really, really DON’T grab the tree.

- Helen Walker

Photos by .