Hot Potato Paddle
Written by Steven Walker
The day started out with everybody meeting at the centre at half 8 in the morning (on a Sunday!). After a quick social, the boats were all loaded up and people were getting changed ready to head off to Aylestone lock in the vehicles to paddle back downstream. With the water level being quite nice and the weather perfect (thanks Anton for booking it with the Met office), we unloaded the boats, did a warm-up and on we got.
The group was split up into two, one group to go round the backwater, shooting Aylestone weir, where Brian managed to have an argument with a tree, and the other sticking to the canal. Arriving at the first weir we all stopped for a break whilst the others caught up from the backwater. This was the only one, of the 5 weirs, where everybody stayed dry.
Moving on to the biggest weir of the day, the mighty Power Station weir outside of the Walkers Stadium. This weir seemed to cause havoc for a couple of people, but I won’t shame you (Laurence, Stacey and Flick). Well done to Mark though, as it was the first time he had shot this weir. Stacey and Flick had a nice swim in the Horizon and during the rescue, Nathan’s head was the only thing out the water as he tried to lift the boat.
After the swimmers were back in and had a hot chocolate, we were off down the Mile Straight to Evans weir, also known as Kirby & West weir. Again, another problem for a couple of paddlers who took a swim but luckily Andy was quick to the rescue and got water in his nice dry boat!
With being slightly ahead of schedule we decided to take a break. After everybody was refueled on tea and sweets we took it nice and steady to Abbey Park, which proved a problem for Anton as he got trapped by a bike in the river. The weir claimed two more swimmers and with the water levels up, there was quite a nice little stopper at the bottom for people to play on. After we were all done it was on to the final weir, Swans Nest, which unfortunately another paddler got to add their name to the ‘Swans Nest swimmers list’. Again, with a nice stopper on it people had to play including me, but this was interrupted when Derek decided to try and sink me and then I was stuck in the stopper and had to be nudged off. Thanks Derek. With the last weir done we made our way back to the centre where hot potato’s were waiting for us.
Big thanks for all the people that participated and the backup crew/cooks for transporting and cooking for us. Was a brilliant day and I most enjoyed it.