Martlet Kayak Club Kayak with us.... Mon, 25 Jun 2012 21:31:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Martlet Open Day Sunday July 1st Mon, 25 Jun 2012 21:31:08 +0000 Come along for a kayaking taster session to see if you’d like to join our club. We are happy to take complete beginners out for an introductory paddle, depending on weather and sea conditions.

The special Open Day cost is only £5.00 for adults and juniors. This is deductible from your year’s membership fee, if you decide to join.

The Open Day runs from 12.00 – 16.00 on Sunday 1st July
Bring a swimming costume, towel & and some warm clothing to change into when you get off the water. For kayaking you need shorts, a warm top and some old shoes to protect your feet.

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3* Canoe Training and Assessment Sun, 26 Feb 2012 17:07:52 +0000 There has always been a good level of mutual teasing between canoeists and kayakers.  With the new BCU paddlesport awards however; the divide between those who paddle with two blades and those who prefer one has become more blurred.  So it was with varying levels of trepidation that a gaggle of MKC coaches took to the water in open boats.

Over 3 weekends in May/June 2011 the 6 coaches undertook a 3 star training and assessment course.  The course was provided by Grahame and Andy from Plumpton College, and comprised 4 days at local river locations, followed by a 2 day self-sufficient trip down the River Wye.

The local river trips were undertaken at the Cuckmere, Medway, Arun and Adur, and there was one main theme to all 4 days: Wind.   The canoes acted as big sails; and we spent most of the first day being dragged downwind.  The conditions made us master the finer skills of trimming and covering our boats pretty quickly, and sailing a canoe proved to be very effective!

By the time of the Wye trip, our Goon, J-stroke and Indian strokes were all looking pretty good, and we were able to enjoy the surroundings and the wildlife in serene style.  The rain came down just in time for a night spent bivi-ing under our canoes, but we were just rather pleased to finally not have to battle against the wind!

5 kayakers made it over to the ‘dark side’ and achieved their 3 Star Canoe award.  This will greatly supplement our ability to provide canoe coaching at the club: look out for courses running soon or ask a committee member if you are interested in having a go.

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3 Star White Water Assessment Wed, 02 Nov 2011 20:52:48 +0000

So the rivers Teign and the Dart Loop ended up the assessment venue for the 3 star White Water assessment and I am pleased to report that all the candidates passed, despite some dodgy throws of a line all round!
The week end was a really intensive one with people doing really well and getting stuck in to water feature opportunities and also a roll or two.
Well done to Nick,Nikki,Georgie,Pat,Clive and Sarah.

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3 Star White Water Training Sat, 01 Oct 2011 15:09:19 +0000  


The River Wye was the venue for last weeks 3 Star White Water training course and although the course was small, 4 of our members managed to get wet and enjoy it in a mixture of sunshine and rain.

The course covered the syllabus and all paddlers really showed some great improvements in their basic river skills throughout the weekend.

The assessment is to be held on the river Dart in October and hopefully there will be a full course with 6 of our members taking the 3 star White Water assessment.

Well done to all it was an exhausting but enjoyable weekend!

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Club Open Day: Sunday July 3rd Mon, 27 Jun 2011 08:39:43 +0000 PA130389Membership of Martlet Kayak Club is open to everyone, whatever your age, abilty or experience.


The Open Day is part of the TakePart Brighton & Hove International Festival of Sport. The Seafront weekend is July 2nd-3rd and our event is on Sunday July 3rd.

Members of the public are invited to come along and try kayaking between 10.00am & 3.00pm. No experience is necessary and you will be looked after by the Club’s experienced paddlers and coaches. All you need to bring is a swimming costume, a towel, some shorts and a top (a thermal top is ideal but a ‘T’ shirt will do.) You also need some form of footwear that you don’t mind getting wet to wear in the boat. A good idea is to have a complete set of warm clothing to change into after the session. You may not need it but it is always a good  thing to have to hand.

Martlet Kayak Club is easy to find. From the Brighton Pier, keep going eastwards towards the Marina along the lower seafront road. We occupy the last few seafront arches on Madeira Drive, just past the Nivea Wave Volleyball courts and just below Duke’s Mound. Just turn up on the day and we will sort you out with all the kit etc and get you afloat. If you are interested in canoeing or kayaking we can show you around our Club and tell you about the sport. If you check the posts on this website you can see some of the things we do.

We do have to charge £2.00 per head if you want to go canoeing. This is to cover administration costs. We also ask that, whist children of all ages are welcome, young people under 16 should be accompanied by an adult. We are hoping for good weather on Sunday but, if the sea conditions make it unsafe for newcomers to the sport to go afloat, we may have to make the decision to cancel on the day. In this case you would still be welcome to come and look around the Club & we might be able to arrange another time for you to ‘have a go’ at our sport.

We look forward to meeting you at the Club on Sunday 3rd

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The ‘Not the Royal Wedding’ Celebratory Paddle Mon, 02 May 2011 10:01:17 +0000 Ardent royalists that we are, members of Martlet Kayak Club decided to celebrate the marriage of Wills & Kate by paddling the River Ouse past the site of the Battle of Lewes. This was the event at which the royalists, led by Henry III were soundly defeated by Simon de Montfort in the year 1264.

The loyal band of Martlet paddlers met at Barcombe Mills at 10.00 am resplendant in regalia suited to this joyous occasion. Boats were decked out with pennants; red, white and blue bunting; union flags and even heart-shaped pictures of the happy couple.

Some people even wore tiaras, although paddling a banana was perhaps going a bit too far!


Before setting off Sanne & Sarah had a pre-trip cup of ‘royaltea’, complete with table, table cloth, teapot and matching bone china. (plus chocolate fingers!!)P4290507

We are thinking of making this a prerequisite for all future Club trips & including the necessary equipment on the Club trip kit list. Meanwhile the BCU is currently considering introducing a 3 Star Open Canoe (Buffet Car) Award. P4290509

Fashion Note: It is rumoured that Sanne & Sarah were rather miffed at not being invited to the actual ceremony but – undeterred – they rose to the occasion and dressed accordingly. Sanne was wearing a charming full-length black evening dress.P4290508

And Sara’s pink dress perfectly matched the Spring day.P4290505 

At 11.00 am the party of 18 paddlers set off downriver; Andy paddling an ex- royal canoe (or was it royalex?). Against all expectations, it was a warm, sunny day. P4290514

Frequent stops to discuss the hot topics of the day; such as theP4290518 wedding guests

The Wedding Breakfast was held in a field by Hamsey Weir.P4290521  

Having recently acquired open boats, Andy & Paula were able to really up the stakes on the picnic front; wicker basket, tarten rug, matching napkins – the lot!P4290522

The rest of us had to make do with champagne, strawberries and a cream tea.P4290526

After lunch it was a short trip down to Lewes.P4290530 

Although it did appear that one or two people may have overdone the champagne!P4290532 

We arrived in Lewes at 2.00pm to a 21 gun salute and, having shuffled the cars, quickly retired to the pub to continue the celebrations.

Many thanks to Clive E. for organising the trip; it was a great day out. 

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Spring is just around the corner! Fri, 18 Feb 2011 15:45:36 +0000 Thanks to everyone who turned up on a wet and windy Sunday morning for the club’s maintenance day. The clubs facilities received their annual spruce up, and with the work completed on the women’s changing room we are looking forward to using them once the clocks go forward.

All boats were also given a safety check and when seen on mass we have a truely impressive fleet of club boats.

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Merry Christmas to Martlet members & Paddlers everywhere Fri, 24 Dec 2010 13:50:40 +0000 Santa Walks on Watersantas walking on water

Santa and his helpers were seen walking on water by a group of Martlet paddlers paddling along Brighton Beach on a Sunday morning just before Christmas. It is believed that Santa was on his way to Lapland but was unable to travel by sleigh due to the restrictions on airtravel caused by the severe weather.

Hopefully he will make it to wherever you are in time for Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Photo by Danny

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Martlet Winter Sports Team in Action Mon, 13 Dec 2010 19:00:32 +0000 P1011715 A couple of days of heavy snow at the start of December enabled the Martlet Winter Sports (kayaking) Team to get out on the piste and practise some of their moves. The opportunity doesn’t come along very often so, after trekking in on foot from Fiveways, the kayak sledgers were soon making  good use of the sunny conditions out on the slopes of Hollingbury Golf Course.P1011690 

When kayak sledging, it is always a good tactic to get the local kids involved.P1011691 

For the price of a ride down the slope, youngsters will lend a willing hand to carry the boat back to the top of the slope. P1011692

Just like on a river, scouting the best route down, between obstacles, is

an essential skill.P1011695 

Crew boats are a popular feature of this sport.P1011697 

If a little terrifying at times.P1011699 

And, once again, there are more hands available to carry the boat back up the slope. P1011708

There was some intensive one to one coaching during the session. (A new Level One Coach in action.)P1011711

Snow boarding Kayaks was also fun.P1011714

But it was a hard job finding the footrest.P1011717

The key was firm concentration.P1011712

And a good Stern Rudder.

Roll on the next snowfall.

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North Wales – November 2010 Sun, 05 Dec 2010 18:16:00 +0000 We set off from Brighton with reports coming back that Betws y Coed had a good covering of snow. As we reached Shrewsbury the snow appeared on the ground. With just one closed section of the A5 we arrived at Betws y Coed at about 10.30pm only to find the bar at the Hostel had closed! Tobin and I set off to find a bar and luckily found a bar open. We had a quick couple of pints before meeting up with Andy, Paula,  Duncan, Izzy, Sarah and Nikki back at the Hostel. To use Estate Agent speak our room was cosy, luckily as it turned out, as the heating wasn’t the best.

In the morning we slithered down the icy roads to the get for the River Ogwen. River levels were low, but the Ogwen held enough for a run. Although someone had left a load of boulders all along my river lines!

At the put in, close enough to the sea for most of the snow to have thinned out. Air temp a balmy -3 C.

Halfway down we found a handy socket. Unfortunately we’d forgotten the club hairdryer and kettle!

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Andy, our illustrious leader, otherwise known as the “short-sighted” “short, middle-aged man” ;o)

Me, Rob, mercifully missing any boulders on this drop.

Nikki running a section with Tobin, Sarah and Nikki looking on.

Izzy running a drop

Sarah making it look easy!

Sarah and Nikki decided to do some snowy hill walking on the Sunday. The rest of us puzzled over where to paddle as there was very little water in the rivers. Eventually Andy made the call for the Tryweryn. As this is dam release it was a good call. There was plenty of water being released.

Unfortunately the centre and showers were closed. The air temperature was between minus 8 and minus 13. The air was so cold the river water was steaming. Weighing it up, we all agreed the consequences of a swim were too serious and reluctantly walked away.

After hot chocolate at Bala we drove home.

Izzy, Andy, Paula, Duncan and Tobin cold just looking at the water.

Thanks to Andy for leading the trip!

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