Learn to SUP lesson, Papermill Lock, Essex

Blog #15 – in full swing…

With midsummer’s day just a week away (!) our SUP school is in full swing right now – and we’re fresh back from a big weekend of paddleboard lessons up at Paper Mill Lock on the River Chelmer. In two days we’ve taught 24 paddlers over five courses – two Learn to SUP sessions on Saturday, followed by another BSUPA Ready to Ride lesson on Sunday morning, then a Refresher Session / Improver Tour in the afternoon, and finally a fantastic Father’s Day family session into the early evening. It was a breezy weekend, but safely tucked out of the elements on Papermill’s flat water all of the sessions went brilliantly, resulting in two dozen very happy paddlers! (July dates available to book online now via www.supsect.com…)

We were up at the river last week for SUP Club too, as the coast was too breezy for a low tide session. We had a great turn-out for an inland meet – 25 of us paddled from Hoe Mill Lock to (or near!) Paper Mill Lock and back for a 6-8km session. And then 18 of us headed up to a ‘new’ pub for dinner: the Duke of Wellington in Hatfield Peveral. Marvellous…

So what of this week’s SUP Club plans? It’s tricky… Wednesday’s looking like a lovely hot day and the tide’s definitely good for the coast so, with a 6.50pm high water at 5.3m, we’d like to stay salty. We’ve definitely got a westerly airflow this week, and current predictions are 8-12 knots WSW – which, although isn’t too much to paddle in, might not suit all comers and is going to slow some down more than others! Our current thinking is either Two Tree to Benfleet or Hullbridge to Battlesbridge, but we’re trying to work out what might be the most suitable option for as wide a range of abilities as possible… We’ll know more by Tuesday evening, so watch out for the heads-up @SUPsectUK on Facebook and the SUP Club #13 listing on this site.

And then… On Sunday Dunc’s back into endurance race mode as he’s competing in the UK SUP / UK Paddle Endurance Series Thames Ultra 55km from Marlow to West Molesey. He’s hoping to break his 2017 time of 6 hours 17 minutes and defend his iSUP title, has targeted a top 5 overall finish, with a dream result of a sub-6-hour time / top 3 overall amongst a strong fleet. If you see him, wish him luck! Meanwhile, with massive thanks to Steve ‘The Fat Surfer’ Lawrence – here’s his awesome edit from the last endurance event: the Norfolk Ultra the weekend before last. If you like what you see, subscribe to his YouTube channel.

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