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Autumn Trips 2018

Below is the list of proposed padding trips from  October to December. The actual river may change due to weather and river levels, but we hope to have alternating easy and harder trips throughout the season. There may also be additional trips which will be advertised.

Where you share cars, please pay your share of fuel costs and don’t wait for the driver to ask. Some of the trips are quite a drive.

 If you use Club kit, be sure to pay your £5,  but also enter the details of the kit on the sheet. Note all the equipment has numbers on them and this needs entering too. Please make Mario’s job of Kit Secretary easier, so we can trace any missing items.


1/ Monday A very short email will be sent out Monday to all club members advertising the proposed trip and it’s difficulty for the following weekend.

It will also ask for volunteers to lead and help provide safety cover for the trip by Wednesday.

2/ Thursday An email confirming details (river, meeting place, times etc) to be sent by noon Thursday to all members.

3/ Friday Anyone wishing to go should reply by em

4/ Saturday   A confirmation email / text, including who is meeting where, will only be sent to those going on Saturday.

5/  If you need to cancel please text 07702593288. Text is best it will get through.

Date Trip type Proposed river, may change Suitability
Sat 6 Surf Training By the English Surf Team at Sandymere You will need a reliable flat water roll
Sun 7 Surf Training By the English Surf Team at Sandymere You will need a reliable flat water roll
Sun 7 Easy trip Torridge –  Blinsham to Taddiport   (4 M) A very easy trip suitable for anyone
Sun 14 Proficient Dart Loop Suitable for competent paddlers
Sat 20 Leaders Refresh Dart, Lyn or Teign Refresh for leaders or support paddlers
Sun 21 Easy trip Exe – Black Cat to Bolham   (5.5 M) A very easy trip suitable for anyone
Sun 28 Proficient Walkham or Teign Suitable for competent paddlers, an easy pro paddle
Sun 4 Improver Barle – Dulverton to Exebridge   (3 M) Suitable for most paddlers, a nice little paddle
Sun 11 Expert/proficient Erme Suitable for expert paddlers
Sun 18 Improver Barle – Tarr Steps to Dulverton  (6.5 M) A small step up for beginners but worth it
Sat 24 Competent Torridge –  Bideford to Weare Giffard Suitable for competent beginners
Sun 25 Proficient Teign Suitable for competent paddlers, an easy pro paddle
Sun 2 Improver Exe – Bolham to Tiverton (3 M) Suitable for most paddlers
Sun 9 Proficient Dart Loop Suitable for competent paddlers
Sun 16 Improver Barle – Tarr Steps to Dulverton (6.5 M) A small step up for beginners but worth it
? ? Expert/proficient Lyn if possible Suitable for competent paddlers
Xmas Eat and drink

Easy river trips:   (suitable for raw beginners, 2* trainees etc)

Torridge – introductory paddles from Bideford steps on the Torridge estuary, using the tide (grade 1).

Torridge – descents from Weare Giffard etc, (grade 1) (needs a high spring tide).

Torridge –  Blinsham to Taddiport, (grade 1) (4 miles) (nice level at 1m at Torrington gauge)

Torridge – New Bridge to Puffing Billy (grade 1).

Taw – upstream from Barnstaple, using the tide flow and ebb to ‘go with the flow’ (grade 1).

Taw from Umberleigh down to tidal section at New Bridge (grade 1).

Exe – Black Cat to Bolham (grade 1) ( 5.5 miles)(1.4 is OK to run at Stoodleigh gauge)

Improver river trips: (suitable for competent beginners, ask for advice if in doubt)

Torridge – Beaford or Sheepwash (grade 1).

Taw – Kings Nympton to Umberleigh (grade 1 to 2).

Exe – Bolham to Tiverton (grade 1 to 2).

Lower Exe – Four Pines into Exeter (grade 1 to 2).

Lower Dart, – River Dart Country Park to Buckfastleigh (grade 1 to 2).

Tamar – Horsebridge to Gunnislake (grade 1 to 2).

Lower Barle – Dulverton to Exbridge (grade 1 to 2) (L0.40, M0.9, H1.4, best 0.55). 6 hrs run off from rain at Tarr Steps to Bushford, 9mm=0.25m

Barle – Tarr Steps to Dulverton (grade 2) (L0.6, M0.9, H1.4, best 0.7+).

Proficient river trips: (suitable for competent paddlers)

Dart Loop – New Bridge to RDCP (grade 2 to 3). (L0.45, M0.74, H1.2, best on the ledge 0.7)(3.2 miles)

Lower Tavy – Tavistock to Denham Bridge (grade 2). (L0.45, M0.6, H1.0)

Middle Tavy – (grade 2 to 3+). (L0.5, M0.65, H0.75)

East Lyn – Middle section, Watersmeet to below Myrtleberry, (grade 2 to 3 portage of one drop). (L1.5, M1.65, H1.8, best 1.52)

Teign – Dogmarsh Bridge to Fingle Bridge or on to Clifford Bridge (grade 2 to 3). (L0.7, M0.8, H1.4, best 1.0+)(3 miles)

Walkham – Huckworthy Bridge all the way to the Tavy confluence (grade 2 to 3). (min 0.42) (4.2 miles)

Plym – Shaugh Prior (grade 2 to 3+).

Expert river trips: (All these rivers get harder with high water)

Upper Dart (grade 3 to 4). (L0.5, M0.74, H1.1) (on the ledge =0.67)

West Dart (grade 3) (level must be 0.9+ to run, 1.2 is nice).

East Lyn (grade 3 to 4+). (L1.5, M1.65, H1.8, best 1.52) Brendon should be 1.55 but ok at 1.52

Erme (grade 3 to 4). (L0.67, M0.8, H0.9)

East Okement, Upper Teign, Upper Walkham, Avon etc only work in high water for small expert groups

River Guides (for description and grade of SW rivers)

Search “uk rivers guide”

River Levels (for latest river levels)

Search “environment agency river and sea levels

Search “rainchasers”

Weather Stations (for indication of amount of rain)

Dartmoor  Search “Dartcom”

Exmoor Tarr Steps  Search “weatheronline liscombe” then go to Precipitation


Summer Programme 2018

MAY 2018

Regular features and one-off events are listed below. Details will show up on the Club Facebook page or email as we go along.

Regular features

Monday – 2 Star Training   

13502943_625509124284644_2559738633375640607_oEvenings from 21 May through to 24 July. This aims to equip people new to paddling with all the basic skills and strokes you need to be a competent member of a group on placid water.This year it will include a weekend feature (23/24 June ) at Upper Tamar Lake, where we will do four sessions on open boating. There is to option to camp over, have a BBQ and enjoy a great new location with friends. The training will comprise of 10 sessions with an optional assessment. [Contact Paul Greenway].

Thursday – Indoor Pool Sessions  Indoor pool sessions at West Buckland School starting again in September, for intro work and rolling etc. Email at the beginning of the week that a session is on, to members.

Thursday – 3 Star Sea Kayaking already been advertised and underway. [Contact Pete Thorn]

Friday – Kayak Surfing  Friday evenings at Westward Ho! at Sandymere beach. Introduction to kayak surfing when conditions are good and waves are small. Otherwise a great opportunity for the Club to meet and cream some waves. In the case of no waves there will usually be a short coastal paddle option. Details issued weekly by email or Facebook, conditions dependent. [Contact Pat Williams, Nathan Mower, Tommo]

Ad Hoc – Junior Training Sessions

DSC_2651End of May onwards, introduction to moving and open water to learn some basic skills and have some fun for the juniors. Venues will be the Taw at Newbridge, Torridge at Puffing Billy, estuary and coast, very much subject to conditions. Full details will be by email. [Contact Pat Williams].

Ad Hoc Trips Short notice trips on the estuary, rivers or coast, on weekday evenings or weekends, subject to conditions. Details by Facebook and/or email.

Weekend or Weekday Evening Sea Kayak Trips Weekend or weekday evening sea kayak trips. If you are interested in getting into sea kayaks, let Pete T know and get on a circulation group. During the season we will offer introductory sessions, basic training and rescue sessions. Otherwise there will be trips at a variety of levels. Details by email to group. [Contact Pete Thorn, Clive Doe]

Dates for Your Diary

Most trips below are not official club trips but are based on a group of friends and peers.  Most have already been advertised.

 Gozo  Sea Kayak Trip    28 May – 3 June. A peer group sea kayaking around the Maltese island of Gozo

Alps White Water Trip   2 3 June – 1 July. Not a Club trip but a group of peers, looking after themselves and each other. This is a trip for competent paddlers. Water is mainly grade 3-4. Based on car share. [Contact Kevin].

France Slalom Trip   25 June- 3 July

Not a Club trip but a group of peers, looking after themselves and each other. Paddling and camping at two slalom courses close to Lyons. Water is mainly grade 2 with some grade 3 drops. A chilled out and laid back experience. Based on car share, but people can come and go as needed. [Contact Tommo]

Upper Tamar Lake    23/24 June.   This is the weekend of 2 Star open boating but camping open to others with a big lake to explore. Bring your own boat and camping gear. [Contact Paul Greenway]

Cardboard Boat Race Bideford Quay   22 July. Help required to cover safety for an hour or so. Good fun and lots of spectators.

Youth Club Sessions 26 July – 10 Aug. These are four sessions we provide for the Youth Club as a condition for using their premises. We will need club members to help run and provide safety for these sessions. More details to follow [Contact Pat Williams].

Falmouth Sea Kayak Trip   8-16 Sept. Easy and intermediate trips will be lead, advanced trips will be by peer group. Details to follow but will be based on a campsite near this stunning coastline. People can come and go, as diaries permit, joining groups exploring the coast, islands and tide races. Sea kayaks only, with some experience required. [Contact Pete Thorn]

Lundy   Trip Date to be decided. A weekend camping on Lundy and circumnavigating the island by kayak. River kayaks will cross to Lundy by boat, sea kayaks will paddle there and back. A stunning weekend with scenery and wildlife but weather/tide dependent. [Details to follow]

For information on these and other short notice opportunities, keep an eye on your emails and the Club Facebook page.

2 star training course 2018

May 21st to July 23rd

Each year we run a 2 star  training course which aims to bring relative beginners up to a standard where you can be a competent member of a group on a moderate/easy trip.

If you are a current paid up member or wish to join BCC,  you are welcome to apply for a place this year.   Please email paul  “at” to book a place on this course or get in touch using our Facebook page.  

There are ten sessions in all,  six evenings, (usually Mondays from 18.30 to 20.00) and four sessions covered in one weekend.  All of these sessions will involve meeting at the club hut to get a boat, kit and any additional equipment required. The weekend will have a focus on open boating which is part of the syllabus. Below is a copy of the syllabus and the training schedule dates, so you know what is involved. In past years, participants have ranged in age from 11 to 70+.

In the first week, we will meet on the Monday evening to book out and organise any equipment required and run a dry session. The aim of the dry session is to run through some key points which will include general safety, terminology and basic paddling techniques etc. On the following Thursday from 19.30 to 21.00 at West Buckland pool, we will run through capsize drills and rescues. This pool session will enable us to carry out the wet work in comfortable surroundings. Once the pool session has taken place we will be continuing the training in an open water environment at various locations, subject to tides and weather conditions.  These sessions will take place on a Monday evening. The weekend open boating sessions will be held on the 23rd & 24th of June.

The cost for this training will be just £70 for adults and £50 for under 18s and will cover the use of all equipment, pool hire and any coaching expenses. If however, you have your own boat and equipment the course fee can be reduced to £50. This will be payable at the first dry session together with any membership monies that may be due.

Places on this training course will be limited as we have a maximum number of members we can accommodate.

Any club members who  attended the two star course last year and now wish to take their assessment will be welcome to join the group to refresh their skills prior to the assessment.

We’re all looking forward to getting afloat on warmer and lighter evenings soon, meeting new members and making new friends and having fun on the water and practising and learning new skills. During the course, we will endeavour to incorporate a sea trip to expand the new paddlers skills and environments and the intention is to have a BBQ and social on the Saturday evening of the open boat weekend.

Paul Greenway  …aka Greenie        BCC Training Co-ordinator


  2  Star Training Schedule  2018

Date / activity Lesson content Technical syllabus
21st May

Dry session & issue kit & payments

Canoes/Kayaks/ equipment/lifting/carrying.

25 mtr swim check

 24th May….. Pool session  Capsize/ self rescues

Swim check

 11th June….1st wet session    Lifting, carrying & launching. Forward paddling/steering/

returning to the bank & getting out.

18th June….2nd wet session  Forward paddling/steering-stern rudders/ sweep strokes A3,A3,A4,A7
23rd & 24th June…..Tamar lake weekend

(3rd,4th,5th & 6th wet session)

4 sessions Open boat


 2nd July…7th wet session Preventing a capsize/ support strokes/stern rudders A4,A6
 9th  July….8th wet session Open water- capsize/ self rescues/group rescues A5,B1,B2
16th July…9th wet session Basic journey ( sea kayaks)

Weather/ conditions dependent

 23rd July….10th wet session Extra Practice session







Dulverton Slalom 2018….Cancelled



Date: 03/03/2018 – 04/03/2018

Venue: River Barle, Dulverton, Somerset.
(O.S.Map OL9, Grid Ref. SS9128, Satnav: TA22 9HJ).

Contact: Clive Merrifield
47 Priorswood Road, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 7PS

Saturday Schedule: Practice from 10am (with safety cover on course) Registration from 10am Team runs begin at 2pm Second runs begin at 2:30pm.

Sunday Schedule: Registration from 9am Free practice from 9am until 10:30am (with safety cover on course) Official Practice at 10:30am First runs begin at 11:30am Second runs begin at 2pm.

Cost: Entry fee for BC members : £5 for div 4/open, £6.50 for div 3. Non-Members can enter by paying a one-time £5 temporary BC membership on top of entry fee. C2’s pay half the standard entry fee.  All entries to be sent to address above.

Bideford & Taunton Canoe Clubs invite you to join them for their Division 3/4 and Open Canoe Slalom, held in the beautiful Exmoor National Park on the River Barle in Somerset. This is a fun Class 2 river, making it the perfect event for both Juniors and Seniors new to slalom or those wanting to improve their skills on moving water.

Saturday is a free practice day for all registered paddlers with a fun open team event in the afternoon. We intend to offer coaching to anyone who would like it, please ask at control.

Sunday is competition day. Each paddler will get two timed runs down the river in each class entered (K1, C1 & C2). Please register to get your bib before participating in the practice sessions.

Competitors should stay on the water at the end of their run to act as safety for the next two competitors.

In case of high/low water levels a decision will be made on Wednesday prior to the event on whether the event goes ahead. If a change to event running occurs, decision will be announced by email and on

Camping is available on site (tents only) at £5 pp for the weekend. nb. The field gets very boggy when wet and is not accessible by car.

There are also various B&Bs, caravan and camper sites in and around Dulverton.

Further information
Refreshments should be available both days, selling hot food, snacks and drinks. There are also local services available in the village including pubs, cafes and a Co-op.

Toilets can be found in the village. These cost 20p.

In the interests of safety please supervise under sixteens at all times, especially on the river banks and crossing the road bridge (no footpath).

We highly recommend to wear wellies or walking boots whilst at the slalom site as the the ground can get very boggy when wet.

All cars to be parked in the public pay & display car park opposite the slalom site (next to the fire station). We also hope to have limited parking in the Exmoor National Trust offices car park. We have paid for this in advance so please come to control and pay (same as the public car park costs). Turn down road next to The Bridge Inn. Camping kit and boats etc. need to be carried back over the bridge, up the river and into the slalom site field. It is not possible for kit to be dropped off. Access to the river is available at the slip just above the bridge at paddlers own risk. Care to be taken of fallen trees whilst paddling upstream to the site. NB. No safety will be provided on this section below the slalom course.

All dogs to be kept on a lead and cleared up after as per the farmers request.

If you would like to have a look at the action from Dulverton Slalom 2016 click here or here.

Useful links
Judging guide
Slalom rules