Blog #22 – shower dodging

OK, in a bit of a departure from this summer’s sweltering standards, we may not have had such amazing paddleboarding conditions this last week, yet we’ve still managed to work around the weather for a couple of great outings – our most popular inland SUP Club yet on Wednesday, then a storming Race Club at Two Tree Island on Friday evening…

Last Wednesday evening saw our biggest ever SUP Club turn-out at the river, with 37 paddlers hitting Papermill Lock for SUP Club – Paperchase as we’d opted for a bit of a change of scene from Hoe Mill. We went ‘both ways’ – a lock east to Rushes, then back via Paper Mill and west towards Mill House and Little Baddow Mill Lock. And it worked out really nicely: super-sociable (even the swan family west of the lock seemed pleased to see us!) yet allowing everyone to go their own distance at their own pace. All followed by another marvellous dinner at the super-hospitable Six Bells Boreham. Find the picture gallery on Facebook @SUPsect.

Then Friday night was Race Club. With an evening low tide and solid south-westerly wind on the forecast a dozen of us headed out down the dogleg from Two Tree, the theory being we could tuck out of the wind under the banks. As it turned out after such a windy day, there wasn’t so much south-westerly breeze left anyway, although there were certainly conditions around the huge cumulonimbus storm cloud that swept through! As ever we kicked off with stroke sequencing, introducing the Hawaiian catch option and a load / unload drill. After a brief hiatus to let the thunderstorm pass from the safety of the bank, we resumed with a ‘stealth mode’ warm-up paddle before some mass-start out-and-back sprints. Then we rounded up with a half-hour steady state training paddle to beyond sunset when we headed off to The Elms for drinks and grub. See the Facebook gallery for pix. Race Club continues every Friday throughout August – keep an eye on our Facebook Forum and @SUPsect page for updates.

This coming Wednesday’s SUP Club is looking like a straight repeat – a late afternoon high tide and maybe 15-knot south-westerly wind don’t don’t exactly seem conducive for the coast! Hence, as it worked out so well last week, we’ll probably go both ways from Paper Mill Lock again. As always, look out for the heads-up tomorrow and full call by Wednesday lunchtime here via SUP Club #21 and @SUPsect on Facebook…

And then Race Club will return on Friday – current forecasts still see that south-westerly wind in place, so with an early evening high tide maybe we’ll tuck out of it in Tewkes Creek again from Two Tree? Stay tuned to our Facebook Forum and @SUPsect page for updates.

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