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30 May 2006

A good workout

Tonight was a tough paddle for three of us against a strong wind and tide to Westminster (Savoy Pier). We had to work very hard on the way, particulalrly under some of the bridges, taking 50 minutes to get there. Julien set a fast pace on the return journey and we encountered some sizeable waves between London Bridge and Tower Bridge. The tide and wind certainly helped us though as we made it back in only 25 minutes.

23 May 2006

Busy river

A large group of eleven of us made the trip to Greenwich. On the way we met another of our club members who was out on the river with some children from Deptford who he was teaching to handle a RIB. After a brief chat they made several fast passes in front of us to try and generate some waves but the boat seemed a bit under powered for the job.

The river is getting busier as summer approaches and on the way back we had to steer clear of a number of ferries, dinner cruises and our own sailors from Shadwell.

17 May 2006

3 star coaching

Last night I worked with a group of five who are preparing for their 3 star assessment in a couple of weeks. We practiced draw strokes, support strokes and some rolling.

It was a good session and I think we made progress with clear improvements evident over the course of the evening. The skills we were working on are quite technical and I enjoyed coaching them, particulalry when I felt I was able to use a few simple exercises to build confidence with the support strokes.

The water in Shadwell Basin was noticeably warmer than only a couple of weeks ago and I am looking forward to being less constrained by the cold in coaching wet skills over the summer.

Coaching hours: 2

10 May 2006

Beginners on the river

Last night we took advantage of the low neap tide to take some beginners out on the Thames. We paddled against the tide past Canary Wharf and back to Wapping, a total distance of about 5km. I think everyone enjoyed being out on the river on a beautiful warm evening and I hope we were able to give a good introduction to the pleasures of paddling on the Tideway balanced with an awareness of the hazards.

The group comprised 9 'one star' paddlers, one L3 coach, one L2 coach, myself and one other L2 trainee. Duration was 1.5 hours.

2 May 2006

2 star coaching

After all the training of the last few months it was a pleasant change to be coaching again on Shadwell Basin, although I did miss getting some exercise.

I was coaching a group of four working towards their 2 star award. We covered forward and reverse paddling, draw strokes, low brace turns and the stern rudder.

After DW I have gained a much greater appreciation for a good forward stroke so I was trying to stress the importance of learning good technique early on but I find it quite a difficult stroke to coach. It is also hard to hold people's interest paddling up and down Shadwell Basin and it is probably better left to river or canal trips.

After the technical stuff we joined a polo game for the last half hour and I finished up with some one on one high brace practice.

Coaching hours: 2