Thanks to all who contributed to a wonderful party atmosphere at this weekend's Boaterfest. Volunteering is never more rewarding that when enthusiasts are enjoying themselves, and as the photos show, lots of folk had an absolute ball.– British Canoeing - Yorkshire & Humberside
Over the weekend of 19th-20th August the Yorcie Washburn was transformed into a party venue with Kool Kayakers offering hospitality and catering and Pennine CRC setting up a venue for Tootega & Silverbirch Canoes sponsored Boaterfest fun on England's premier dam-release river - and many who attended stayed over for a fun weekend of playing and partying.
Yorkshire Water duly delivered the much needed release from Thrusscross Reservoir and everyone from kayaking novices to Sickline aspirants and a GB Team Freestyler took to the river - creating a wonderfully familiar, totally inclusive atmosphere in which everyone could feel totally at home.
Matt Thompson of Wilderness Canoe caught highlights of Saturday's action:
Saturday's Woodyard Sprints encompassed everyone from specialists in Wild Water Racing kayaks and Sickline aspirants to novices in playboats and a club coach in a recreational open canoe.
We recorded Sprint Times for WWR, Creekboat and Open Boat classes and for the Time Trial. Click the link to expand...
Throughout all of this, enthusiasts ranging from novices on Sit-on-Tops to a Team GB Freestyle paddler played and did bits of coaching on the top of the course.
British Canoeing's Area Development Officer Phil Scowcroft dropped by and caught some of the action:
Throughout the weekend, youngsters from Pennine CRC showed that with experienced coaches on hand and the right craft - in our case, a Tootega Catalyst white water sit-on-top - the Washburn is a superb venue for really inexperienced (almost novice) kayakers.
Ryann Quinn also took to the water on a Soul Firestorm to show the potential of the Washburn for Stand up Paddleboarding - entertaining passer's by with a great handstand sequence...
Riding the current, UK-wide craze, we also got many kayakers trying both solo and tandem white water boats from our sponsor, Silverbirch Canoes. The new Covert 10.5 (tandem) allowed us to give one visitor a first taste of moving water - and inspired a lot of interest from enthusiasts as it opened up a whole new side of WW boating.
Thanks also go to Kelvin Horner and to our long-standing partner Robin Hood Watersports for bringing along a vast range of demo kayaks and for taking the time to talk through so much with our many club kayakers - great job!
Following a morning of playboating our afternoon kicked off with a series of heats with significant jostling and carnage as boaters negotiated the required upstream manoeuvre just below the first bridge...
The heats led into a pair of hotly contested finals from which some distinguished boaters emerged triumphant. Click the link below for names and times...
Click the link to expand...
Don Paddler, Peak UK and Pyranha Kayaks kindly provided prizes for a raffle in support of a cause very close to the heart of Kool Kayakers paddler Rebecca Skirrow: the opportunity for Ugandan freestyle kayakers Yusuf, Sadat, David and Amina to represent their country in the forthcoming ICF Freestyle Kayaking World Championships.
These stars of the Uganda freestyle kayak team live on the banks of Lake Victoria and the mighty White Nile in Uganda and kayak on class 5 rapids on a daily basis, working for kayaking and rafting companies. As with competition kayakers everywhere, they seek to represent their country on the world stage.
Living in a country in which for a large population of people, the daily wage can be less than $1.50 a day so, the team has had limited scope for self-funding any involvement in international competition but in 2015, supporters raised funds and negotiated visas to get the team to Canada for the World Championships.
In November 2017, the World Championships will be held in San Juan, Argentina. Leading figures in the boating community are now crowdfunding to make their attendance possible - and help is still needed.
Thanks to all who contributed to a wonderful party atmosphere at this weekend's Boaterfest.
Volunteering is never more rewarding that when enthusiasts are enjoying themselves, and as the photos show, lots of folk had an absolute ball.
Special thanks go to the volunteers from Pennine CRC & Kool Kayakers who did all the running about... and to Silverbirch Canoes, Tootega Sit-on-Top Kayaks, Robin Hood Watersports for their unstinting support :)
Many more thanks go to Yorkshire Water - who make events possible thoughout the year and without whom NONE of this could happen - thanks so much!