News!

Durham Success at Adidas Sickline

By Anthony Stewart on Friday 14th October 2016

A massive congratulations go to Durham alumna, Sandra Hyslop, for becoming World Champion at the Adidas Sickline.


You can watch her incredible run below:

Welcome to Durham University Canoe Club

By Mark Ledger on Thursday 22nd September 2016

Hello and welcome to Durham University Canoe Club,

 

We have lots of exciting plans for this term for you to check out:

 

From the 8th to the 19th of October we will be running a series of FREE taster sessions both at Maiden Castle in Durham and the Holliday building in Stockton. These are relaxed sessions where you’ll be taught the basics of paddling and play some games to hone your new skills. So whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced paddler that wants to meet the club, why not come along and see what we have to offer? Book your place on the events page (https://community.dur.ac.uk/canoe.club/events.php). All equipment is provided free of charge, just bring a towel, swimsuit/shorts, old shoes you don’t mind getting wet and an extra layer for under your wetsuit. 

On the club’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/canoe.club/) there are also links to our social events, which are a great chance to get to know the club better. There are currently plans for a themed bar crawl, BBQ and a club meal, so keep eye out for each week’s activities.

Finally, a big date for the diary, whether you’re a new or existing member is the return of Tyne Tour. On the 4th-6th November the club will be travelling to Hexham (that’s 50min north-west in case you’re new to the area) to attend the biggest canoe/kayaking festival in Europe. Two days of paddling exciting rivers (suitable for beginners), good food and drink, and a Ceilidh. Sign-up ASAP as places will fill up fast.

Other events, including our BUCS events (inter-university competitions) and weekly sessions can be found in the events section of the website, under the regular sessions tab (https://community.dur.ac.uk/canoe.club/sessions.php). The Wednesday recreational session and the beginner’s pool sessions are particularly suited to new paddlers

Hull International Canoe Polo Tournament

By Liam Price on Friday 5th August 2016

Are you ready paddlers?
You: Aye-aye captain!
I can’t hear you!
You: Aye-aye captain!

Oh! Who went to ‘Hull’, oh did you see?
D-U-C-C
Kayakin’ and ballin’ and drinkin’ were we
D-U-C-C

If water based nonsense be something you wish….
D-U-C-C
Then pull off your deck and swim like a fish
D-U-C-C
Ready?

D-U-C-C! D-U-C-C! D-U-C-C!
D-UUUUU….C-CEEEEEEE  Hahahaha ahahahah
*flute sounds*

So first and foremost if any of you did not sing along to that, I am very disappointed in you. As penance you can start again and sing it out loud. So why have I done this? I felt it was essential to introduce the club’s trip down to the Hull international with a song. You may have noticed that the word Hull was being mugged by inverted comma’s above and this is with good reason. Due to building works the tournament could not take place in Hull itself, it took place a little outside of Hull. Upon arrival the smell that greeted you could be perhaps best described as a quirky Yankie Candle scent. The name of which being: “nearby manure pile”. 1/10 would not recommend. So we pitched our tents and all that, except that is for Sarah ‘Judas’ Ehmann who decided to abuse her local contacts and stay the night in Emily’s house in, get this, a bed! Totally betraying the kayaking ethos of being a cold and uncomfortable while on weekends away.

So matches didn’t start until the Saturday morning, so we went to the bar. I know what you’re all asking: how drunk did Danni get? But that wasn’t until the Saturday night. I don’t think we really did much, perhaps socialised a bit, maybe had an early-ish night because we’re #funpeople. So the way the tournament worked is as follows: 3 divisions (div 1-3) each divided into 2 groups. Each group plays a round-robin to produce a league table. You then play the corresponding team from the other group to decide your final position. So first in one group plays first in the other, second plays second and so on. So Durham were in Div 2, in the group not containing Tees Tigres B, which like the previous tournament had strong Durham representation. So a bit about the team before we go any furher as it was mostly, but not entirely Durham. So from Durham were Sarah, Jasz, Dan and myself, with a delightful pair of people by the names of Shaune and Jess. Because I’m all clever and things I had forgotten how names work and thought Shaune was pronounced Shwane when I first read it.

The first day started off less than ideal, with a 2-1 defeat to a St. Albans team we really should have beaten. It was our first time playing as a team though, so that provides some excuse at least. This was followed by a rather high scoring game in which we won 6-3. As the score line suggests we started to work better as a team in this one. We had a bit of a break until the next one, so we got to relax a bit, watch some polo and enjoy the agricultural smelling surroundings. An important game was up next, another university team, a game which our pride would not allow us to lose. University of London were the team in question. Despite the fact that we lost the first game, they were our toughest opponents yet. The goals came from both sides, neither team able to pull ahead, unitl finally Durham did, a 4-3 win showing the #durhamdifference. A relatively straightforward game followed against Scotia B, a 4-2 win. That was that for the day, with three games left to play the next day. So we went out for a meal, eventually finding somewhere that everyone liked the look of wasn’t completely booked out by a party. As the European championships were still going on, we got to enjoy the Germany-Italy game that was on at the time. Unfortunately Sarah had to leave before the match got interesting, and subsequently missed the goals and penalty shoot-out that went to the the ninth player.

The FOA team we played next was a team with a fair few kids on, cos FOA, and size may have been a main reason behind the 7-2 victory we enjoyed. This only left the armed forces team, a fairly formidable looking set of opponents.  This was both our hardest and most enjoyable game of polo yet, which I guess is a good thing, made better by a 3-2 win. It was around now that most of us were flagging somewhat, but Shaune “the energiser bunny” Walsh and Dan I feel somewhat carried by being able to break at speed towards the end of this game. This only left the cross-overs now. We finished second overall thanks to the Armed Forces team having a better goal difference than us. This meant we faced (Kami-) Kamikazee (, take me to the party) (for the MØ fans out there). This is a very good team, that had scored a lot of goals in their half of the draw. So while it was disappointing to lose 1-0, we did well not to concede more and they were probably deserving winners. This meant we came 4th overall, and Tigers B came in a respectable 10th, which given they came in looking for a challenge, they did well. That left packing up and heading home and breathing clean air again.


Yorkshire Knockout Tournament

By Liam Price on Tuesday 19th July 2016

Durham University recently ventured forth down to Leeds to partake in the Yorkshire Knockout tournament at the Waterfront Festival. So this was a one day event, unsurprisingly given the title, in Leeds. So over the weekend there were things like dragon boats filled with minions and mimes (not Mr mimes as pokemon Go hadn’t come out yet), a live band and what Richard Chew from Harrogate described on facebook as “some daft sport I’ve never seen before involving kayaks and a football”. Before we go into the polo I’ll tell you about the highlight of my weekend. So there was the UK streetfood championships going on, and if you would allow me to paint you a mental smell picture. It was a nasal paradise, with bratwurst demanding the attention of your right nostril, then some exquisite chicken tikka would demand the attention of your other nostril. What was my favourite, I hear you ask? With all of these delicacies on offer, in which stall did I venture? I’ll leave you in suspense until the end, because this will be fun.

So onto the polo side of things. The intrepid Durham Team was made up of Phil Dean, Jenny, Sarah, Dan and myself. There was also strong representation from Durham in Tees Tigers, with Ant, Emma and Danni making up 3/5ths of the team. And yes you did read that right, Phil Dean literally dusted off his polo boat to make an appearance. I won’t bore you with the details of every game, save to say the Durham team did really well in the round-robin stage, overcoming virtually all in their (our) path. Because I am the one writing this, I will inform you of my paddle shot that was really close. Looking at the scoresheet, Dan was probably number 2, Phil was maybe number 3. Midway through the day there was an exhibition match with Phil, Dan and I want to say Ant played in, all representing Durham commendably.

In the afternoon there were a few more matches, leading to two semi-finals. Durham faced White Rose, formidable foes indeed. However a 3-1 win saw them off. This set up a final against Tees Tigers. This was a very tense final, with Durham emerging as victors due by two goals to nill.

And so this meant we have the resulting photo: 


So we have a shiny trophy now. Huzza.

So my favourite element of the delicacies of the best of British Streetfood? None of it, because they packed up by the time they finished. I almost cried.

National Student Rodeo 2016

By Jean Chabrelie on Monday 7th March 2016

Right guys for all of those that missed NSR I'll try to summarise what you've not had the chance to experience.


NSR started straight off the bat with a messy pre drinking session that involved "Shots in a tube" (England still holds many mysteries from me to unravel) and ungodly amounts of pizza (that Mic still expects compensation for). As soon as everyone felt the presence of NSR's two main enemies (cold and sobriety) be negated by the sheer amount of alcohol they consumed they went to the main tent for a memorable party that involved more alcohol, half naked campers rave music and Max, who is an absolute legend on the dance floor.


The next day started out with everyone in great shape for kayaking. In other words, utterly gutted to have been pulled out their tents and exposed to their hangovers. 
Anyway we had loads of great performances by Anthony play boating and rocking the C1, Eleanor kayaking in a hipster way: aka, without useless mainstream things like paddles. Harry decided that he was too hungover for this shit so he just straight out went for a cheeky swim cementing his position as the club's greatest ever swimmer. Good performances by Ronan as well who made intermediate level a position Captain Ward has been gunning for the last 3 years. Parisa was one of the club's best hopes but she decided that she would be fashionably late for the Women's intermediate final which she missed by a slight margin of a couple of hours. Liam and ex Captain ward reminded us that bromance isn't dead with their great performance on the Duo.


Big congratulations to both Mark and Dan Sheppard for their work saving people's lives all weekend. They even saved one crazed madman who was going down the course in his boxers and swimming for fun (a nudist version of Harry).

 

The party on Saturday night was pretty epic people were wondering why we came in togas to a Christmas special but we came up with an excuse like Romans killed Jesus whose birth created Christmas. That's still better than: our social sec Alex wanted to re-use an old costume. However, he was sexy in that mini skirt though so we let it slide.
Shout out to Emma for giving us an adult friendly reindeer costume no-one will forget.

Since we didn't get much recognition for our efforts in the prise giving I've come up with my own:

Most keen swimmer: Harry
Nicest person on the dancefloor: Liam
Kinkiest costume: Emma and Alex
Best raver: Max
Most sleep during Nsr: Jennifer
Roughest morning: Eli Bacon
Best NSR spirit: Jake and Eleanor
Most allusive: Taylor

 

Local League 31/1/16

By Liam Price on Wednesday 3rd February 2016

Last Sunday we ventured yet again to the furthest place away ever (York) for a polo competition. I now this as local league, but I don’t really know what that means. I’m such a good info sec. On the trip over I found out Alex and I share a taste in music, which is always fun to find out (does that fact make up for not knowing what we competed in?). It was also ducking freezing waiting outside, so cold in fact that the temperature sensors on the cars read ‘as balls’. We played in the very first game, and in the warm up I didn’t throw a ball at the pool staff, which is always good. I know I don’t need to tell you all the scores as you will all have been avidly following the updates on twitter (@durhamunicanoe), but I will anyway as I should be doing a summative, and the longer this takes, the longer I can put it off for. The first game was a fairly easy 4-1 win, with some solid team play despite not having played together before. Their goal was a late ish consolation goal that was a bit lucky, an ambitious long range shot from memory. Five of us thought we had scored, so the only conclusion that can be drawn is that saboteurs attempted to derail our march to victory by omitting a goal.

Otter wasteman (Barker, 2016)
For those not au fait with the local Yorkshire polo clubs, this is a reference to Yorkshire Otters polo team.

The second game was somewhat closer, only a 2-0 victory. The standard of opposition was greater though, so not an unreasonable result. Drama came when during a chase for a ball Jean got hit in the chin by a boat. The exchange after went something like this:
Opposition player: Are you ok?
Jean: *cracks jaw*
Jean: Yeah
Opposition player: *Paddles away looking slightly afraid*

Further drama occurred when Alex decided to show off and show the entire pool just how good his roll was. He decided one roll wasn’t enough and went straight back over, his mighty roll was just too powerful again and he went all 360o for a second time, only to swim this time.

An easy 5-0 win followed in the next game, and I think it was in this game that Jasz found her scoring touch. Alex was binned miles off the ball and rolled up faster than a really fast thing, I guess out of sheer anger. I nearly missed an open goal, hitting the bottom bar, but luckily the rebound went in to save my blushes. It was after this game Alex pointed out he hadn’t lost a sprint yet and instantly regretted it.

As hubris dictates, Alex lost the next sprint, but the other guy was really quick, in fairness. The last match was the most enjoyable of the lot, with a 4-1 win really making it all the better. Cramp struck Alex underwater, forcing a swim. Someone tried to bin Dan, resulting in him moving slightly to the side.

Everyone on the team got on the scoresheet, Parrisa bagging a few, Jasz with a few, Dan got a few when he had literally no other options but to shoot. The top scorer is up for debate a bit, but Alex and Jean got a similar number. Katherine did a top job in goal, only conceding 2 in 4 games. We didn’t have the almost obligatory curry, but I had the cheesiest chessey chips I ever had the privilege to behold. When you thought no more drama could occur, Jasz stopped to try and help a dog on the way home.

Team: Alex, (OMG its) Dan Robson, Jasz, Jean, Katherine, Liam, Parrisa.

BUCS River Race - rescheduled

By Harry Ward on Tuesday 2nd February 2016

BUCS Wild Water Race has been rescheduled for Saturday 9th April - see the link for further information. http://www.bucs.org.uk/page.asp?section=14726&sectionTitle=Wild%20Water%20Racing%20Championships

Happy New Year!

By Harry Ward on Thursday 21st January 2016

Happy New Year & welcome back to Durham, all! Hopefully this term will be another great one for the club. If you're new to the club and are keen to get involved, please get in touch - we'd love to help you get on the water!

BUCS River Race - cancelled

By Harry Ward on Thursday 19th November 2015

It is with huge sadness that I have to report that BUCS River Race this weekend is cancelled. It is enormously frustrating to all those who have put in hours of work in terms of both training and organisation for the event. However, we must all appreciate the cancellation is due to reasons outside of the control of our Friends group, who organize the event. I am currently, along with the exec, working on a contingency plan and will keep you all updated via email and Facebook as and when I have more news. If nothing materializes we will run a social on Saturday night and at the very least a river trip over the weekend.

Tyne Tour 2015

By Liam Price on Monday 16th November 2015

This update of the shenanigans of DUCC has taken slightly longer to write than the last few as Alex has rumbled the generic formula I used for the last few, so much like when you don’t have the write coinage at the checkout, it’s time for some change. So the club hasn’t been to Tyne Tour for a few years, so I wasn’t sure entirely what to expect. My thoughts inevitably drifted to whether it would be similar to the Naked National Student Rodeo. I was reliably informed that it was a good laugh by people who have a better idea of what “fun” is and “how to have a good time” than I do. A relatively large number of those newcomers to the club were also keen, so it was with hope in our hearts and a spring in our step, we mentally prepared ourselves for the second weekend away of the term. As we had the pudding social on Thursday, Harry agreed to put some of my kit in his car, so I didn’t have to lug it all the way down to the boathouse (Bear this in mind, we’ll circle back to why this is relevant later). Due to the inconvenience of lectures getting in the way of leaving to go on kayaking trips (an issue, which due to priorities, Steve has never seemed to have), I didn’t leave until 6.30 ish. This means I can only assume less fun was had than in the other cars, because I would wager they didn’t have nearly as many Hosiers tracks on the speakers. In case anyone needs a DJ for anything, I got a load of compliments about my song selection in the car, such as: “I can’t believe you’re playing these songs”, “I liked this when I was 12” or “I’ve never heard such an unusual group of songs played together”. Both late cars stopped on the way for some food, and despite Harry’s most cogent arguments (I must admit I was nearly swayed by “but it’s right there”) we did not have a curry. The food was good, but much like when you go to a cheap casino to play poker, the chips were slightly disappointing.

Upon arriving at Hexham, we collectively demonstrated a masterclass in tent erecting. A fair bit of envy was going on when the pop up tents were whipped out (almost literally), but this would not be the case for long (oh the suspense must be killing you right now). I’m not sure if any tents were put up correctly, but I know that many weren’t. It was around now when unloading kit from cars that I noticed my roll mats were absent, you remember, from before in Harry’s car. Fortunately Steve had a spare, but had he not, Harry might have found his airbed deflating with a large degree of regularity. We then headed into town to catch up with everyone else. The Wetherspoon’s was packed with kayakers and it rapidly became apparent that kayakers are weird, sleeveless hoodie guy doing a solid job of showing this. Everyone had one or two drinks, maybe even 3 that evening, before heading out into the wild Hexham nightlife. The first stop was Phoenix, which was a strange place. It looked like a house on the outside, but on the inside, if you squinted it could be mistaken for a club/bar thing. Some pool of a shocking standard was played, which isn’t me being a dick, more self reflection. The music was very cheesy, and sadly no house in the playlist (get it? Because it looked like a house…..). The minimal number of people meant we then sallied forth onto the other club in Hexham, called Studio. This was smaller and worse than the last one. I also have a recollection of it being really bright in there, though that may not be true. Given it was rubbish we went back to the campsite via Tesco’s, unfortunately they had stopped serving ‘water’ by then, so we returned empty handed and saddened by not being able to remain ‘hydrated’. We talked to some people who seemed pleasant enough until I went to bed and they decided to perform the classic Shakespeare play: “The loudest things ever”. Harry learned the error of drinking 2L of water just before going to bed.

The next morning was wet, and muddy and also wet. Rain shouldn’t be an issue when one is about to get on a river to go paddling, but it is. Steve and Alex’s tent was not entirely waterproof, which decreased the envy that was felt before. Steve’s good luck did not end there, he realised he had forgotten his helmet. We had spare club ones, so it wasn’t the end of the world, but, much like toadstools, he did look a bit like a mushroom. The river (The river Tyne for those of you that haven’t read the title) was good fun, though it did have a lot of flat in, which got a bit dull. I did enjoy Ant attempting to brace using Danni’s paddles, which resulted in the blade slicing straight into the water. The rapidy bits (technical term) were paddled well, with minimal swimming all around. Warden Gorge was the culmination of the river, a bouncy wave train thing, with photographers at the bottom, which could capture a horrendous pose (me), you having the best time ever swimming (Alex) or gurning hard on the last wave (everyone). A long paddle at the end followed to the get out. A solid bit of paddling by me meant I grounded myself on the one bit of shallow on a shallow and flat 30m wide section. The rain stopped, I then of coursed jinxed it by thinking about how nice it would be to get off in the rain. We took a group picture of everyone, except Ant and Danni, who were lagging a suspiciously long way behind. A fun sequence of events followed that culminated in me doing the splits between two boats, Harry hitting me in the face with his paddle and me swimming around in what started as not too cold water.

Some people went to get changed, some kit was bought, including Harry buying what turned out to be left handed paddles. I started to get changed outside, complained about the rain, at which someone pointed out I had a dry tent to use. We then headed off to the pub, for mostly water, some beer and a few tea’s (not in the same glass you understand, that would be horrible). It was here that we had our first game of ‘where will Max fall asleep next’. We dried off there, had some fun trying to charge phones and saw a sign for ‘Stevie’s karaoke’. We then had a really rather good Chinese. Shout out to the those of the friends group that joined us. In good canoe club tradition I ate in healthy moderation (assuming healthy moderation means for like 3 people). It was here we had our next round, of ‘ where will Max fall asleep next’.

Fireworks were the next port of call, which were pretty good, though the show was stolen a bit by the guy lighting them pegging it away from the last box like his life depended on it. Now I know carrot cake is a controversial topic and can divide opinion, but I can hold my tongue no longer. I like carrot cake. There I said it. I only hope you can be accepting of this. I had some after the fireworks, and it was like a party in my mouth where everyone was invited. We then got to witness the masterful showman that is Stevie. Is a man, is he just a myth, is he even real? I doubt we will ever know the answer to these questions. All we know are his white shoes, flamboyant red shirt and chains made his attire. He strolled onto the stage (bit of floor where karaoke happened) like he owned it and sang a very standard rendition of an Elvis song. Satisfied he had blown the audience’s (mostly us) collective minds, he returned to his seat and resumed his pint. Knowing that nothing could live up to the high standard of song, we left. We then went to Tesco to successfully buy ‘water’. It may be I just wasn’t cool enough to know this as a child, but it became apparent that the place to be if you are 12 is the Tesco car park. We then went and attempted to socialise with other uni’s. I disappeared for a bit to chat to a friend from Newcastle, so I can only assume you all made lifelong friends. The ceilidh was great fun, only improved by 3 for £5 mojitos. I have a feeling that the caller’s leather beret will become next seasons must have item. Only issue was the ceilidh finished a touch too early. Some of us attempted to return to Phoenix, but decided to give up upon learning entry was charged. It seems like I’m throwing a fair bit of shade at Hexham bars, so for all the owners of said establishments that are reading this: I don’t entirely think they’re rubbish.


It wasn’t raining this morning, but everything was still very muddy and wet, which made taking the tents down so much fun. It turned out Ant and Danni needed some aid putting the tent down in the morning, so we helpful took the poles out for them. We then headed off to low force to do a few runs of that before heading home. Some of us stopped off at a tea room on the way there that had a fire and was everything one dreams of when on a weekend away. There were a few other uni’s present, who kindly helped out with safety. I think virtually everyone had a go, and there were a few swims, but it is tricky the first few times you do it! A few went off to the Swale after that, which turned out to be the first of two unsuccessful trips to the Swale in 2 days for Steve. The rest of us got cosy and started our way home. We stopped at a reservoir, which was a magical moment for everyone, and no one gave any attitude about it at all. Food was the next priority, so we stopped for something to eat. There must be a joke somewhere about leaving a wetsuit in the corner while one eats their food, but it eludes me at the minute. And so ended the weekend away, with much successful paddling done, and good times had all around (I hope)! Thanks for reading, and I guess we’ll speak again after river race this weekend.


Freshers weekend away

By Liam Price on Thursday 29th October 2015

For those of you who are regular readers you will remember that I normally start such pieces with a joke. I do this because I like to think I’m funny. This is not because because I have finally decided to face the harsh light of truth with regards to how funny I am, but because I, in spite of Duran Duran’s immortal words, have to be serious. Forty people came to freshers weekend away this year, which I’m pretty sure is more people than we have ever had at any event ever. So a big thank you to those of you that came and helped make it such a good event. Thank you to all you new-comers especially that keep coming back to things and being keen, especially when you outnumber us existing members at morning training (canoeing house I’m looking at you here). Secondly (or maybe thirdly, who knows) congratulations to you new members as well for the improvement in technique and ability we saw over the weekend. There was a noticeable difference from the intro to white water trip the weekend before, to the end of river on Saturday or Sunday, depending on which day you did it.

Our tale begins on a Friday night, a city on edge, anticipation was building in the air. Many people were unsure why. Why did so many people have this look of nervous optimism and hope etched on their faces all day? Why was their home town of Rotherham so changed this past 24 hours? What these unaware of the events that would take place that night, they did not understand that even at this early stage of the season the clash of Rotherham United against Sheffield Wednesday had the potential to have huge repercussions. With Wednesday pushing for a play-off place and Rotherham struggling in the relegation zone the stakes could not be higher. The situation in Durham was rather dull by comparison. People turned up at 6ish to get pack themselves and a load of kit into cars to amble off to Amble (remember what I said before about thinking I was funny). Harry was calm, relaxed and collected for the entire time, no stress whatsoever occurred. On the journey there I cannot speak for the other cars, but I do want to wish congratulations to Chloe Allen for falling asleep with a speed that can only be described as miraculously fast. Upon arriving at the hall we were treated to Shepherd’s pie courtesy of Jasz, which was very welcome. If you haven’t had the chance already, make sure you say thanks to her and all the other cooks from this weekend. For example most of you will know Mark, but for those of you struggling to place Eleanor, she was the one that tried to fight anyone talking smack about Stockton. A mini-social followed, with the rightful beer-pong champions being robbed Harry’s underhand tactics (literally). Much merriment followed, the details of which I won’t put on here, but whoever asked how you spelt Ed’s first name, hang your head in shame. I will mention how excited Elli was that we had the same colour shirt on, a situation that apparently demanded many selfies throughout the evening.

Everyone was really keen to get up early the Saturday morning, the amount of vigour and pep so early in the morning was astounding. I forget who said it but I think the general attitude is best summed up by this quote: “uuurrrrrrgggghhhhh why”. Such enthusiasm is an example for us all. We had to clean up the hall to make way for the coffee morning and puppet workshop that, despite overwhelming numbers of requests, we couldn’t get back in time for. This task was met with similar levels of enthusiasm as getting up. We got to the river with minimal hassle. The group was split in two so half did polo and half did the river Coquet, an ever tricky word to say politely. As I said before I was impressed with the improvement in river paddling I saw, it was good to see people give everything a go and be so willing to practise and work on improving. Compared to previous years we had more people and fewer swims, so kudos on that! I was a big fan of how willing you all were to give multiple runs of the fish ladders a go; it certainly made it more interesting for us! Shout out to everyone that did swim for being really chill (not literally, they managed to stay relatively warm) and kept their spirits up and continued paddling. Here a special mention must go to Julie for making the rather large claim that she enjoyed swimming. I wasn’t at any of the polo sessions, so not sure of the order of what happened both days. So polo happened, balls were thrown, boats were paddled, that mostly covers I think. Mentions to Alex for rolling and to Lilith for attempting to roll, despite never having been taught. I didn’t get to play much polo sadly, but in the afternoon of the Saturday what I saw and from what Dan saw the standard was also pretty good, again with people being very keen to throw themselves in (not into the water you understand, that would be very counterproductive to staying upright). I understand some goods were purchased from the kayaking shop, so that seems like a good thing. Hot showers were a fantastic idea upon returning to the hall. The knowledge that cold and wet kit waited for me tomorrow tempered the temporally blissful moment. Kit was hung up rather optimistically to dry, with only Ben being successful due to noticing a hot pipe/radiator.

Much like the bold explorers of old we ventured into the untamed lands of Amble. I think it’s fair to say a meal has never been more disappointing. I’m going to speak from the experience of my table here. I heard many an anguished wail of disappointment at other tables, but my heart had just sunk so low that they barely registered. The meal started full of promise. The loaded potato skins Ant had looked especially good. As did the mussels, but they later induced vomiting, so they shouldn’t be too proud of themselves. The meal then did its best impression of a car parked on a slope with no handbrake on and went suddenly downhill. The duck and hoisin pizza was lacking in hoisin, the base was dry and the experience left me strangely melancholic. A normally reliable option of the BBQ chicken wasn’t any better. Thinking Emma must be exaggerating, I tried some and I think I’ve had water with more flavour. The promise of peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake kept me going, my stomach was growling in anticipation, “patience old friend” I had to remind it. The meal then turned into a little bit of a sitcom, the chef had dropped the cheesecake. Disappointment reigned supreme. I thought the white chocolate and marshmallow cheesecake would be a solid alternative. It wasn’t. It was like eating solid cream, a hobby I do not recommend. A slightly more relaxed evening followed, with some rather interesting opinions coming to the fore in a game of paranoia. Also because we know how to have fun in canoe club, a blanket fort was constructed.

Surprisingly a slightly more energetic (a relative term) get up occurred on the Sunday, perhaps the allure of bacon was just too strong. Harry was certainly keen to get up, waking up at 5, thinking it was morning and instead of checking his watch, decided the best thing to do would be to wake Ellie up. The hall was packed up and we left for the river, ready for a second days paddling. Everyone donned kit and I managed to find a deck that seemed to generate water to drain into my boat. Again I can’t really speak for polo, but the river paddling went well, everyone was keen to practice skills and work on improving. Minimal swimming occurred, which is always nice. Today’s group were less keen to run the fish ladders multiple times, only Lilith in my group did it twice, so credit to her for that. The paddle seemed to go quicker on the second day for some reason, so we seemed to get back relatively quickly. I forget which day it was that Harry and Ellie spent 2 hours on their playerlayer photoshoot, but yeah, that happened. Given spooning improves any situation (try and think of one that isn’t, that’s right, you can’t), it was with regret that pasta was eaten with knives. The obligatory trip photo was taken and also the second DUCC swim team photo. Many people fell asleep on the way home, thankfully none of whom were driving. And so endeth the weekend away. I trust you all enjoyed it and I hope to see you all at things soon! One final mention to Cora and Alex for making it through a whole weekend in a car with Harry and Ellie, you are an inspiration to us all. Apologies that not everything got a mention, but I don’t hear about everything straight away, something you can help to rectify should you so wish. Thanks for reading and #canoelove


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