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  • Joe Lo

January Newsletter 2024

In this issue

  • Trip Report: Exmoor White Water Trip

  • Dates for your Diary

  • Topic of the Month: Club Activity vs. Peer Paddle

Trip Report: Exmoor White Water Trip

Credit: Luke Shute

Hi All,

Mid-January we had another marvelous club trip to Exmoor. Sixteen intrepid paddlers headed to the South-West in rather chilly weather for a weekend of paddling. There had been little rain so we had to scratch our plan for the Barle and had two days on the Exe.

The majority of the gang stayed at the Blindwell Bunkhouse and on Saturday we devoured a large breakfast from supplies provided by Nick then met up in the layby above Bolham weir. In two groups we headed off, dodging the rocks and working on skills to develop our paddle skills. All the waves and weirs were taken on and triumphed over, with the group paddling 9km all the way to Bickleigh weir to exit the river and pat each other on the back. The evening was spent in the Poltimore Inn for a traditional pub dinner and time to exchange stories and plan the next outing on the river.

Sixteen tired and happy paddlers ready for dinner after a lovely little jaunt down the Exe, taking in a few weirs and some friendly little rapids (Credit: Martin Mitchell)

Another chilly night but after a fine breakfast we headed back to the Exe. The day would prove to be bright but chilly, and in the sun, it was almost warm. The paddle was shortened, from Bolham to Tiverton for a swifter get away. Further skills and practices were had on the river, with many smiling faces at the end of the day. While we meandered along the flat sections of the river we were able to look out for signs of beavers and the dental work on the trees and admire the wagtails and kingfishers darting to and fro across the river. Before bidding farewell to Tiverton, we found a coffee shop to exchange the highs of the day and then headed off for home looking forward to our next paddle.


Another amazing experience for all, thanks for your enthusiasm, Helen and Barny for leading and Nick for provisions for breakfast.

Credit: Sonia Harrison

Dates for your Diary

Next White Water Club Trip

The next club trip is the Usk 16-18 February 2024. Please contact Martin ( for sign up details. We already have 16 booked into the bunkhouse. So please hurry.


Club Social 

7.30pm Monday 12th February 2024 at The Cricketers, Chestnut Avenue,Eastleigh, SO53 3HN - Catch Up and final Usk planning


Outdoor First Aid Course

Course #1 - 3rd & 4th Feb 2024 - fully booked.

Course #2 - 10th & 11th Feb 2024 - there are still some places available on this date.

Please contact Tom Mace to get yourself booked on.


Dartmoor 15th-17th March 2024

River Dart Paddlers Party weekend, please arrange your own accommodation. Details to follow for those who want leading.


For white water I will be adding further development days so please keep an eye out for emails and the full year programme, which will be out shortly.



Sessions are still almost every week if you want that local paddle as well.


Topic of the Month

For this year as part of the Club blog we will add a ‘topic of the month’ to explain some terminology you may frequently hear:


TOTM: Club Activity vs. Peer Paddle


There is often discussion on what is a club trip and what is a peer paddle.

It has to be accepted that paddle sports are assumed-risk sports, however British Canoeing (soon to be renamed Paddle UK) does provide insurance cover for individual members and for affiliated Club activity. To clarify:


Club Trip or Event: An activity set by the club committee that has been assessed as part of the club’s safety framework as agreed by the club committee and promoted on the club calendar, website or noticeboard as a club event. The activity is covered by club insurance.

Peer Paddle: An event organised by a group of people outside the club safety framework. This is promoted or shared by word of mouth or on social media such as facebook and should not be described as a club event and is therefore not covered by club insurance. Individuals in that group of paddlers may hold individual British Canoeing (AKA Paddle UK) membership that may extend their liability and insurance.

British Canoeing/Paddle UK Definitions

Our governing body has further opened this up to describe three types of paddling occasions. The diagram below, from British Canoeing, gives further details explaining the categorisation of a paddling event.



●      Arrangements for members: Activities organised by the club and delivered through a formal structure.

●      Arrangements by members: Activities organised by members within a club structure or framework.

●      Arrangements of members: Independent Activities organised by members with no club involvement.

Some examples

Arrangement for members: Club event such as Barkstore or pool session - these are organised by the club committee and each has a nominated club leader running the session. Operating within a safety structure set and managed by the club committee.


Arrangements by members: Woodmill Weir sessions, Sea Kayaking meet ups – these are organised by club members, following the club framework but managed by the person calling the event.


Arrangements of members - Peer Paddle - An event arranged by paddlers who are members or not. With no formal structure of authority or designated leadership or link to club protocols. On the trip a natural leadership format may form. These tend to be trips/events organised by friends or through collaborative groups such as “Slightly White water”.



Arrangement for members - Ideal for developing paddlers who need safety guidance or for those who want to develop their own safety skills for leadership or develop others. Covered by club insurance.

Arrangements by members - For those who have built up core skills and need to develop skills but still need a structure and guidance. Insurance through individuals.


Arrangements of members - For competent paddlers who want to get out and paddle. They recognise their own limits and paddle safely within them. Insurance through individuals.


Below are some links to some other websites that explain it quite well:


I hope that helps give some clarity to what we class as club trips or has given you food for thought and you will go on and research a little and feedback.


Keep Paddling.



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