Clubfest Chronicle 22nd – 24th June 2012

University of Ulster Jordanstown Canoe Club

UUJCC had a larger contingent in attendance this year, which included the talented Indie. The paddling highlight was seeing our new member, Michael, powering across open water against strong wind and rough chop from the side in a 8 foot river boat with no foot-rests and held together with Araldite. (The boat that is). UUJCC have got to get some new gear. Different disciplines were tried. It is always great to see the usual suspects from other clubs and just as good, new friends were made. Our club gained a great bunch of new members this year and we are expecting an even bigger recruitment in September. Our goal? To organise a Sunday morning training session next year.

Mid Ulster Canoe & Kayak Club at Clubfest 2012

Ten members of M.U.C.K. attended Clubfest 2012 and had a great weekend! When we set off on Friday the weather was terrible and we thought we were in for a miserable weekend , however on the way to Share we were pleasantly surprised that there was a great improvement with dry conditions at the campsite . We set up camp , got our chinese meal and began to socialise as per instructions on the CANI programme . Great to have the room with soft chairs !!

On Saturday when everyone finally got their breakfast and sandwiches ready , especially Kieran ,our club set off in Open boats and sea-kayaks in a scenic trip from Share and round the islands .Thanks to Rodger for the sea kayaks ! (and Peter even though Blain got wet ) The weather was not too bad with only a few light showers. Some found it hard going with the wind but everyone was well able to cope and this worked up an appetite for the BBQ which was excellent as usual !

Thanks to everyone for the BBQ and the fuzz ball? game for kids and big kids especially as we were the champions! Though we are still waiting on our prize ! We had to finish with some socialising, good craic, however it was toned downed from last year .What a bunch of faders !

On Sunday those who were awake , not Christy , participated in bracing /rolling workshops and watched open boat skills and fundamentals session .Thanks to all the coaches for these, especially Ian ,as Conleth got his roll !!

The dinner was great and finished things off and we all went home happy and tired ! Share is definitely a great venue for this event .It was good value for money and to meet new people. All the activities are good for kids and adults but maybe more for inbetweeners !! (Blain & Philly to work on this !)

Many thanks from M.U.C.K. Club!!!

Lisburn City Paddlers at CLUBFEST 2012

Driving down in sheet rain, having a puncture, watching our tents blown away and realising there was no corkscrew did not dampen the spirits of the fifteen LCP members who went to the Share Centre for paddling and craic. They were not disappointed.

The Share Centre was as usual, the perfect venue – a cosy room to sign in and ‘share beverages’, hot showers and the most amazing food.

Saturday’s paddle around the lough was windy and challenging for some, but our three youngest paddlers (Emil, Sofia and Indy) did a great job with no complaints. New members Dawn and Stephen were introduced to the delights of open boating and sea – kayaking, on choppy waters and were still smiling at the end. We all had a relaxing time and enjoyed the scenery. Some even had energy to take the longer route home after visiting the new bothy where a chance to try out/swap other paddling gear was taken. New paddle Cathal?

I missed human foosball but it was a close call after beating C3 in the semi’s and then being beaten by MUCK at the last post. Shoes (or lack of) were blamed and training is beginning for next year’s tournament.

After a delicious bbq and a few drinks we had some guitar entertainment and chat and a few more drinks…

Sunday morning, a slightly more gentle start with a meeting where we had a chance to input the next set of sessions. The Fundamentals session with Roger gave excellent basic input into paddling fitness/readiness and body/balance/agility exercises, and despite the dehydration and tender heads everyone enjoyed this. Club coaches took rolling clinics, play boating and open boating sessions. Open boating was a new experience for some members, with the high wind an extra challenge.

The general consensus – a terrific weekend, well worth getting a bit wet and blown about for and should be fully supported by all clubs. It is a great chance for paddlers to come together – get to know your own club members better, get some coaching, meet new people and build the Northern Ireland paddling community. Thanks very much to Rodger for all the organising. A brilliant job as usual and to all at the Share Centre for making us so welcome.

See you all again next year at CLUBFEST.

Liz McCreery

Clubfest from the Sit-on-Top Touring Club’s point of view

This was our first time at Clubfest and it was great to meet up with people of all ages, from all over Northern Ireland and enjoy paddling, camping and socialising together. Saturday’s day paddle was at an easy pace, and it was good to see people hiring sea kayaks and canadians from CANI, allowing them to try something ‘new’. The Sunday workshops were also an opportunity to learn some new skills or brush up on some old ones.

There were a lot of very experienced paddlers there, as well as folks who were just starting to get more involved with the sport. Everyone was very friendly, and the food and craic was good. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would go again.

Belfast Kayak Club at CLUBFEST 22/24 June 2012

Having packed in the wind and rain and then driven slowly on the M1 it was a pleasant surprise to arrive at Share and find the place dry having had no rain at all that day. The camping area was small but that just added to the kayaker camaraderie.

Saturday morning saw us on the water at 10am. On cue the rain arrived and with some gusty winds the first leg out to Kilmore was challenging. Thereafter conditions improved and we headed east to Edergole and then south into Tiraroe jetty for the lunch break.

After lunch we headed south to check out the new bothy and make use of the facilities.

At Trahanacarrick the group split with the majority heading north east back to Share. The remainder added an anticlockwise circumnavigation of Trasna Island before following them back to Share.

The evening began with a well catered bar b q devoured by those hungry paddlers. That was followed by enthusiastic Fusball in the sports hall. Some of us escaped to the Aughakillymaude Mummers Mid Summer event at Knockninny Jetty and then their hall for an interesting night which included bonfires, mid summer solstice celebrations, and dancing to traditional music.

Sunday saw everyone up and ready for some skills training. Aerobic exercising on Smith’s Strand warmed us all up. Eat your heart out Mr. Motivator.

There was excellent tuition from the coaches on strokes, bracing techniques and of course how to get that roll. Exhausted we adjourned to the Dining Room for an excellent Sunday lunch before packing up and heading home.

Highlights would be Pete Dew showing us how not to trim your boat; Kevin Murray’s concentration on that low brace and not forgetting Josh’s paddle.

All in all it was a most enjoyable way to spend the weekend.

We were blessed with super committed coaches, plenty of activity, and ever improving weather.

Special thanks to Rodger and Ashley from CANI and all the club coaches.

See you all there again next year.

Jim Burrell
Belfast Kayak Club

C3 at Clubfest 2012

The closer we got to club fest this year the worse the weather forecast looked and as we climbed into a packed car Friday afternoon the heavens opened and the road turned into a river, & I thought we might have to paddle to Share. Luckily we arrived in a break between the wind and rain and got our gear stowed away dry. After heading into town to grab a bite to eat we headed back to camp to meet up with the rest of the paddlers. After an enjoyable evening’s entertainment with some lovely young ladies in their hastily remodelled tent we pulled the plug early and retired to bed with the rain clouds rumbling in over head.

Saturday morning started of dry but not for long, but with no shuttle to worry about we had a leisurely stroll down to the slip to launch our boats. With the wind in our face we headed down the Lough to Kilmore quay, it got a bit bumpy on the way but we all got there relatively dry and stopped for lunch. Next stop was the newly refurbished bothy on Tarnish Island and we were all very impressed with the facilities there, although I don’t think the couple who had booked it for a quiet weekend where as impressed to see 60 + damp paddlers walking through their kitchen. As we headed back to Share we stopped at the top of the island to let the horizontal rain cool us down before heading for Share, at this point I would like to thank the individual who lead us on the short cut through the reeds – just to let you know it’s not a shortcut.

Saturday evening then and we had a great BBQ which was even better because it was indoors and dry. Just when I thought we could relax for the evening the young people where whisked away to play a game of fuzz ball. Not knowing what this was the adults trotted along behind. After a lot of persuading the oldies were forced to have a go. All the clubs entered the spirit and made up teams some ringers were called in to make up the numbers and what followed was less the beautiful game and more you’ve been framed with somersaults and grown men rolling around the floor trying to get the ball to some ladies using rugby tackles, the nights antics will be the lasting memory of this year’s club fest.

Sunday morning we awoke to find the sun out and the morning workshops of fundamentals, open boating and polo where well attended and great fun. We rounded of the weekend with another lovely meal in the Share centre and then too soon it was time to say our goodbyes and head for home.

I would like to thank all at CANI and those who organized this year club fest and the Share centre for hosting it thank you very much. Also a big thank you to John for the loan of his big tent – he even put it up for us – what a great guy.

The numbers may have been down on last year and the weather worse but the crack was great and the company brilliant. If I don’t see you on the water I hope to see you all next year Colm Sean and Laura C3 paddlers.

Intercity Paddlers at Clubfest 2012

Once again another enjoyable Clubfest held at the Share Centre with its first-rate facilities; swimming pool, sauna and steam room, which I indulged in after Saturdays paddle. The food as usual was excellent and really appreciated after a day of paddling and fun.

It was good to meet up with old friends and make new ones and the craic is always good – old paddling tales were told and laughed about until the early hours of the morning.

On Saturday Dawn and I paddled Canadians partnered with Ian and Owen (LCP). We wanted to increase our paddling ability in the open boats and after lunch we were in charge of the steering – I thought it went well – Owen and Ian may have a different story!

Sunday we took Rodger’s Fundamentals class and through play we analysed how our bodies move, related this to paddling and then put it into practice on the water; the sun was shining and we were all playing like kids – great fun.

It was a great weekend with lots of good paddling, good company, good food and all for £30 – couldn’t beat it! Thanks Rodger and Ashley.

Sharon Murray

Erne Paddlers at Clubfest

Club members started arriving on the Friday night and the hunt for the new campsite within the Share centre was on! I think I can speak for everyone in saying the location this year was Ideal, camp area hadn’t turned into a lake and we even had our own Socialising room.

Saturday morning started with a few members arriving and trying to find the rest of us, but no one had told the nice people in the mobile homes to not close the gates, but thankfully there is always some helpful Share staff around to run and get the keys for you.

As usual weather was going to play a part in paddling in Fermanagh! When does it not!!! But that hadn’t stopped quite an impressive bunch from all over Norn Ireland braving the forecasted Monsoon and Gales. Thankfully the weather peeps didn’t quite get it right as although a bit windy the rain left us alone most of the day. The paddle was a nice chance to catch up & spin a yarn or two with people we only ever meet on the Rec paddles. This year for two of our newer members, Michal and Cyril this was their first club overnight trip.

The BBQ was a great chance to Socialise, I think no one had any complaints about the extra rations that were passed around after, courtesy of our Resident (Polish) Viking Michal Spigiel, I think everyone enjoyed a bit of Polish pork. Michal even provided Polish sweets for everyone. We would like to point out that ernepaddlers WILL NOT BE providing sweets and pork at every event.

Michal even took a few people over to Knockninny to see the Mummers summer solstice festivities after the BBQ. There were no reports of anyone missing on Sunday morning so no one was offered up for sacrifice.

This year the Sunday morning sessions were more of a laid back affair and I really enjoyed the Fundamentals games session ran by Rodger. Other members took part in the rolling workshops and everyone enjoyed the sunshine. On behalf of the Erne Paddlers I look forward to meeting you all again on the water some place, sometime soon.

Blazing Paddles

A few words about the weekend – Arriving at the Share Centre on Fri. evening we pitched our tent and went and registered with Rodger. After working all week it was time to open a bottle of wine and unwind for the evening. We sat in the tent for a while, at one stage there were 12 of us squeezed in, chairs and all. The craic was good while the children munched through a tin of quality street.

SAT morning started with the aroma drifting downwind from Pete Dews tent, of sausages frying on the pan which managed to draw us girls from our sleeping bags. After breakfast everybody had a short briefing from Rodger, we then headed down to the jetty to be on the water for 10am ( well 10ish ). The paddle started at Share and ended at Share which mean’t no shuttles and no faffing about, not that we do that anyway!! We left Share and paddled to ? where we stopped for lunch. The banter was good along the way, getting to know any new people or the ones you haven’t seen in a while . On the way back some of us in sea kayaks took a slightly longer route back while the open boaters went straight back to Share. When we arrived back at the centre we got cleaned up and ready for the bar b q and some socialising while the children had a go on the banana boat. After the bar b q the fussball was erected for the kids but first the bigger kids decided to have a go. This was thoroughly

enjoyed by all, even though there was a bit of cheating!! The night ended back at the room beside the campsite with a few hot whiskeys to help us sleep!

Sunday morning started with the same aroma from Pete Dews tent ( breakfast made for us girls again ) Another briefing from Rodger sorted out what we all wanted to do – Fundamentals, Rolling and bracing or open boat skills. We picked open boat with Ashley which was excellent. The weekend finished with Sunday lunch in the centre and to say our goodbyes till the next paddle.

A super weekend with lots of craic and fun for the family and of course excellent food from Share.We will definitely be booking our place again next year. As for the weather, well I think Fermanagh had the best weather that weekend. As they say, if you have the right gear there is no such thing as bad weather.

Deborah – Blazing Paddles

Causeway Coast Kayak Association

Saturday mornings are always amusing to have my porridge being offered to a great number of people on the campsite, thanks India!!!
We were on the water around 11am, not bad for such a large group after a night under canvas, a merry bunch set off from Share Centre, in a variety of craft from sea kayaks, playboats, sit-on-tops and open canoes. A few folk looking a little worse for wear after the night before still managed the long trip round Upper Lough Erne, taking in the sights of Trannish bothy.
I loved seeing some of the little kids ‘helping to paddle with bits of branch or helping with progress in their own inimitable way.
Apart from the occasional squall and a bit of wind the weather wasn’t too bad, nothing seemed to dampen the spirits tho.
Highlight of the evening’s socialising was the little surprise in the main hall. Nothing can compare to the delights of a bunch of grown-ups playing human fooseball, it was quite apparent that there was a little bit of a competitive streak on show between a few of the clubs, pledge your allegiances wisely.
Bleary eyed on Sunday morning after hearing the late night chorus of many a weary traveller snoring, there were a large number of us opted to go for Rodger’s Balance/Agility/Co-ordination session, we must have looked a treat to any spectators running around, performing dance moves and hi-fiving one another before playing a little bit of throwing and catching! Oh, and we did get on the water a little.
A fantastic lunch provided by Share Centre as always, and superb to see photos and hear stories of the previous night’s ritual wicker burning up on the hills!
See you all on the next Paddle.

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