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Monday, 21 March 2011

Busy old month!

With Welsh river levels on the rise Paddlemaster and the Smurfs headed off to the Banwy to get in what was to become a late season paddle. The Banwy is one of those strange rivers that needs loads of rain to make it do-able. Once the spring arrives it becomes a stone beach full of nettles, so this may have been the last chance to get down it before the end of winter.

When we got to the river, the water level was already dropping and the sun poking out from behind the clouds. Although the trip was a bit of a scrape - Team Smurf acquitted themselves well with no major dunkings or swims. The video isn't our most exciting, but it does how beautiful the Banwy can be and how powerful the floods were this winter. Just take a look at the trees that have washed down and remember to respect the river, for even the mildest stream can become a raging giant.

Around this time a young man called Chris booked in for some coaching towards a Two Star assessment, after some intensive training I can congratulate him on passing his assessment.

March has also seen the return of weekly paddle sessions, until the clocks change these are going ahead on Saturday mornings. Once we're back to BST, regular Thursday night service will be resumed.This week saw the signs of spring on the Severn and an eager team of old and new paddlers heading upstream to the Buildwas play pot. This might not be a full on rapid, but it certainly gives newcomers a taste for playing the river.

Talking of playing, we've had a new addition to the AR Kayaking fleet - a little red Bigdog Kaos! At only 6'2" this boat fits nicely in the back of the car, giving plenty of opportunity to sneak a play session after work. So if you see someone on the Severn paddling what looks like a plastic bucket, it could be me!