National Go Canoeing Week 2016 - Your Stories
National Go Canoeing Week 2016 seems like a distant (but very pleasant) memory now. During the week a fantastic 38,395 miles were logged on our National Go Canoeing Week website! Once again, we would like to say a huge thank you to all who took part and celebrate by sharing some of the great stories from the week.
Throughout the week we had some great prizes on offer and we were incredibly impressed at the mileage some groups and individuals racked up. We had some very well deserved winners of our top prizes.
Our top Individual Mileage winner was Peter Loy who spent many mornings getting on the water at 5.30am and paddling throughout the day to clock up 227 miles for the week. Peter says that he spent more time paddling than sleeping for six days! His longest day of paddling saw him take in 41.5miles over 8.5 hours. Peter won a Wave Sport Ethos Blackout kayak, which was kindly supplied by Perception Kayaks and he is donating it to his club, Hampton Canoe Club.
The club that paddled the most miles were Nottingham Kayak Club. They really went all out to accumulate a total of 2,730 miles and win themselves a Dagger Katana Club Kayak, a Drift paddle and a Quest PFD, all from Palm Equipment. The club being a marathon/sprint club took on the National Go Canoeing Week initiative and clocked up many miles from all ages, everyone on their weekly five-mile time trial contributed, along with other miles accumulated through early morning training sessions, afternoon sessions and evening sessions.
Everyone from the club set out to try to see just how many miles they could achieve! Even the recreational session for beginners took on completing a mile or two on Sunday. The Nottingham Hasler Marathon race was held on the first weekend of Go Canoeing Week, so a healthy amount of miles were totted up there, helping us achieve our overall mileage. The club sends a big thanks to the club secretary, Norman Mason, who made it his mission to make sure people used the mileage totalisers that were put up in the clubhouse, provided from the resources sent by the Go Canoeing Team to record their miles paddled!
The winners of our Top Female, Top Junior Male and Top Junior Female mileage all went to participants in this year's 100 Mile Canoe Test. This four-day event is open to all affiliates of the National Association of Boys and Girls Clubs. The event was made even tougher than usual this year by high winds. Top Junior Male winner William Beard told us that the 40mph gusts slowed them down, but did not make them stop and was proud that their adventure made it into the local paper.
Top Female mileage winner, Katie Churchill, praised the amazing water safety team as well as the organisers, Paddle Plus. Top Junior Female, Imogen Watson, completed the first three days of the test; covering an impressive 70 miles. Her team found the weather a test too far on day four and, along with many other participants, were forced to withdraw. Imogen still found the experience exciting and said that her team could not have done it without their captain, Dave Priestley.
All three of these winners received Go Canoeing medals and trophies as well as a £25 voucher from Pyranha.
A special mention has to also go to Want To Canoe? in Herefordshire. As an organisation they really threw themselves into the week and their efforts saw participants, from their Racquety Farm base, paddle a huge 5,550 miles during National Go Canoeing Week.
People took part in boats of all shapes, sizes and types, on rivers, canals, sea, lochs and lakes. Some paddled alone, some with their families, with friends or with clubs.
Some members of the Open Canoe Association took to the water for a weekend of paddling fun in Leicestershire, including making and attempting to paddle cardboard canoes - with varying degrees of success! You can read more on their adventures here.
Archie and Anya Story, both aged four, spent some time on the water with their parents. As well as seeing Highland cows and a swan carrying her cygnets on her back, they were also highly amused by their mum’s lack of steering skills!
We heard many stories from Scout and Girl Guide groups who did a variety of paddling activities throughout the week, including a group who built their own rafts.
Miles were also logged by people practising for races, helping out as support boats at triathlons, completing Safety and Rescue courses and canoe geocaching.
Tales came in from all round the British Isles, including 55 mile Orkney adventures and 3 Star courses in North Wales.
One group who really enjoyed their experience during the week were from Eglinton Community Hall Group and part of the Healthy Aging Network. The group were aged between 40 and 92 and had a fantastic time on the water with Broighter Paddlers. They found that some of their grandchildren liked the look of paddling so much that they joined in too.
There are so many more stories which people have shared with us from National Go Canoeing Week. We can’t wait to do it all again next year!
National Go Canoeing Week 2017 runs from the May 27th to June 4th.