Nottingham Trip - Jan 2016

The morning was mild, the Trent river levels had dropped so the course was open, the promise of white-water meant the coaches and beginners alike were raring to go….what could go wrong? A flat tyre and a temporarily broken inlet gate later proved the answer to that was ‘quite a lot’, but both failed to detract from what was still a great trip.

On arrival at HPP, we took a walk down the course to look at the features before signing in and kitting up. The level of paddling experience differed within the group, from Christiane, Alex and Heather for whom this would be their first time on white-water, to Paul and Lucie who were looking to improve their skills and confidence on moving water. As a result, the first group started off on the chicken chute, working on breaking in and out of eddies and ferry gliding, before joining the others at the top of the course for some fun on the bigger water. Despite a few initial (and understandable) second thoughts from some, one go at punching through the inlet gate stopper soon turned in to many as everyone kept going back for more! Once the technique for getting through such a sticky hole had been grasped, Lucie, Paul and Heather took on the rest of the course until it was time to get off the water.

Thanks to the coaching and safety cover provided by Shahid, Anthony and Andy, HUGE improvements were made by everyone; Lucie, Heather and Paul ran the majority of the course upright (even featuring a combat roll by Lucie and an unexpected decent by Paul), while Alex and Christiane became much more comfortable with eddie-hopping despite never having paddling moving water before! I even managed to squeeze in some freestyle practice in inlet gate which is always a bonus. Overall, a very successful trip– hopefully without any repercussions from the notorious Trent water!

Jen