ALPZ 2019 BABY
June. The season of exams, low Welsh rivers and most importantly the Alpz trip. 2019 saw the club carrying on tradition, taking over 20 members to the classic alpzz town of L'Argentière La Bessée. The trip had a rocky start.
Friday 14th June. Van pack day. Everyone gathered at the boat shed early on in the morning (luckily). Excitement, for the warm weather and stout rivers, was brewing. Unfortunately, the excitement came to a halt when it was clear there was a chance we weren’t going to make it out of Cardiff. All our boats didn’t fit in the van! A nightmare. After some quick problem solving by the old committee, we were able to borrow the mountain biking trailer, fitting our boats just about. Here in the story we meet beloved Trailerneo. Alpzzz here we come!!
With a bit of smooth talking by the Bowen brothers we managed to get the late addition of trailerneo onto the ferry. Stoke was high, even with the drive across France still to go.
The first week saw some suboptimal weather, but we still sent it. This colder weather meant that early on in the trip we were able to get the safeties on the Gryond, Durance Gorge and Briançon gorge all with levels on the lower side to ease the safeties back into Alpine rivers. The weather started to slowly pick up over the course of the week, a glimpse at things to come.
Of course, throughout the whole trip we had some amazing socials, meeting lots of new people from different uni’s all over the country. Bag of Wine night was a club favourite.
Week 1 ended with a massive thunderstorm, which got drowned out by the French jazz band playing louder than Live Lounge till 2am. No one got any sleep that night, it was not fun.
Week 2 started of with the legendary Ant Morgan from AMCC teaching all the freshlings to swim safely in the fast-flowing alpine rivers. Perfect time for 2nd safeties to practice their throwlines. We then took everyone down the upper Guisane and S-Bend, which was the perfect river to push everyone’s abilities, whether that be in leading or just running the rivers. Everyone did really well. #noswimday. Later on, in week 2 on one particularly warm night we headed to the top of the slalom course and made a fire. Pudding was had by everyone, especially by the man, the myth, the machine, Bruno. A much-needed rest day to, the warm in places, Le Lac was had, followed by a BBQ in the evening. The day after was a bit of an epic. It was the day for the new committee to run. It was ran perfectly (If I do say so myself) until we ended up losing the keys to our beloved trailerneo. Searching for over 2 hours in the 45-degree heat took a toll on everyone, other than the old boys who couldn't seem the find the keys at Le Lac. Luckily the key was found at the campsite under someone’s bag, still unsure how it got there. After key gate everyone got dressed up for our posh meal out. Everyone, young and old, Cardiff and not Cardiff (we still love you), hit the town ready for some overpriced boxed wine and quite possibly the world’s best côte de boeuf. To end the holiday, we had one last day on the river. We did the stunning hour drive to the ubaye valley. The early wake up and long drive were definitely worth it, a club favourite river, especially the racecourse. It was a sad moment to get of the river for the last time. Realising we’d have to wait another 365 days to get back onto the racecourse.
The last day was sombre, everyone reminiscing on the amazing rivers, warm weather and fantastic memories. Thoughts of the cold welsh rivers in the depths of winter making everyone want to stay in the alpzzzz. After a little stop at Le Lac for lunch we were on our way back home. It was a smooth journey till about 10pm. Trailerneo took damage, her back tyre burst because of the extreme heatwave hitting centre France at the time. The tarmac was 55 degrees and basically melting the tyres. We faffed a lot trying to get the old tyre off but ending up (probably) being scammed by the French AA, who fixed our tyre for €200 (cash only). After the setback we were finally on our way, arriving at Calais at 6am, only for both torneos to be fully searched, once again we were not happy. But finally, at 7am we were on the ferry home. It was smooth sailing all the way back to Cardiff where everyone had a well-deserved sleep in the Cathays.
Thanks to everyone who made it a fantastic fortnight. Thanks to AMCC for helping out with safety and extra knowledge, he was priceless.
A great time was had by all and everyone returned safe and well! 310 days until Alpzzzzz 2020 baby!
Thanks for reading my dissertation about the alpzzzzzz 2019 trip
Cardiff Uni Kayakers’ annual trip to Dartmoor occurred last weekend. Despite a week of rain dancing the sun continued to shine resulting in a lap of a very low dart loop.
We set off from Cardiff on the Friday evening and started as we meant to go on with a few beverages consumed at the bunkhouse. Table top dancing, table bouldering and ash-eating (are you freshers okay?) started the weekend with a bang. I can confirm that the grand old Duke of York did in fact have 10,000 men which he did march up to the top of the hill.
8am wake up call from a very cheerful pres occurred on Saturday morning. Club sandwich production line in full motion and fresher chunder clean up operation commenced. Time to get faffy and get to the river. We did a lap of the dart loop. Sun shining, beautiful scenery and an absurd amount of rocks. We had some fun out of our boats too with a number braving the rope swings, bridge jumps and rock slides. We saw some great fresher progression and some solid leadership skills were developed by a number of our members.
We were back at the bunkhouse in time for the Wales v England (21-13) 6 Nations match. WAYULSSSSS. Then time for some delicious veg chilli before evening antics round two. Teapots, pudding and confetti cannons sums up a good second night.
Sunday morning wakeup was far less funky fresh. Aaron was as determined as ever to maximise his beauty sleep by repeatedly avoiding the wakeup call. We decided due to the low levels to set of in search of some surf. Our calls were answered by 6ft waves at Bantham beach. A great beach day was had by all, with some impressive surf skills on display.
All returned to Cardiff safely after a fun filled weekend.
End of exams. End of term. 12 weeks of summer. What to do now? To many kayakers, the obvious answer is to hire a van, play Tetris with an impressive number of boats and hop on a ferry to the French Alps. This is exactly what Cardiff Uni Kayakers did again this year for two weeks of boating, sun and beer!
The Alps trip is easily the most anticipated trip of the year and is enjoyed annually by members of the club, and this year was not an exception.
During the trip we had the chance to run the Durance, Guidance, Ubaye, Gyronde and Guil. These included some sections that challenged our paddlers and enabled them to improve their skills quickly. We were lucky enough to have coaching from Ant Morgan throughout the trip which was extremely valuable. All members took part in safety training at the start of the week to get used to swimming due to the crazy fast pace of the alpine rivers. Safeties also undertook some boat rescue training with Ant. As always, safety first, safety second.
Safeties had the opportunity to run some higher-grade rivers such as the alpine test-piece; the Durance Gorge and Briancon Gorge which had some fantastic scenery as you paddled around the lower part of Briançon old town. Other members opted for the via feratta which is a protected climbing route found in the Alps, where they could climb over the gorges and experience the breath-taking scenery from a new height. When not paddling or drinking we spent time walking around the towns to see the sights and embraced the local culture.
Everyone took it in turn to display their culinary expertise at the campsite each night. Except for the night where generations of Cardiff Kayakers met for a sophisticated evening of wine, laughter and possibly the world’s best côte de boeuf.
A great time was had by all and everyone returned safe and well! Less than 300 days until Alps 2019!
Cardiff University Canoe Polo Tournament was a success again this year with 190 people attending the party and well over 300 at the tournament, living up to its reputation as one of the largest student canoe polo tournaments in the country. CUCP was held at the Taf Bargoed Lakes, where all four pitches were used. We had four divisions split into Division 1, Division 2, Ladies and Old Boys with 43 teams competing.
Cardiff entered 4 teams this year, who played 25 group matches between them. This definitely made the weekend a test of endurance.
The A team consisted of Harry, Cameron, Barney, Rhys, Joe and James B. The B team were James C, Joel, George, Toby and Tom. The Ladies A team were Alice D, Jodie, Tessa, Izzy and Hannah. And the Ladies B team consisted of Catrin, Anna, Issy, Alice C and Robyn.
All teams showed great progress throughout the weekend, with some good polo being played. Big shout out to the Ladies team for a result that is the best we've had from the ladies in a long time with great individual and team performances! They were unlucky to miss out on a medal this year however finished in a respectable 4th place.
It was a cold and wet weekend which even included some snow, but this didn’t seem to stop any of the fun! Following a challenging day of polo on the Saturday, everyone returned to the campsite (eventually...after the faff-tastic loss of the minibus keys) to enjoy a hog roast and party. This year’s CUCP Party was jungle themed and some impressive costume efforts were made. The party was a great opportunity for members from different universities to get to know each other and have some fun with good music and games throughout the night.
Some may have had more fun than others (*cough* Toby), with considerably fewer fresh faces seen at 8am on Sunday morning. However, as everyone knows a match or two of canoe polo is just what you need to cure that hangover, right?
Some excellent polo was played during the final rounds with some end to end games keeping the crowds engaged! Nottingham Ladies, London As, Nottingham Bs and Bangor Old Boys were crowned this year’s winners.
Congratulations to the 2017/18 committee for organising a great event and a big thank you to everyone that helped out on the day ensuring its smooth running; including the referees, bank team and Aberfan Canoe Club volunteers. Already looking forward to CUCP 2019!
The final medal results are as follows:
Old Boys League
South West Universities Canoe Polo League 2017-18
Cardiff have had a great 2017/2018 season of Canoe Polo playing in the South West Universities Canoe Polo League. The league consists of teams from Cardiff, Swansea, Bristol, Exeter, UWE, Bath and Southampton universities. This league has enabled us to play competitive matches on a more frequent basis which has greatly benefited our training. Also, who doesn’t love a local derby?
Cardiff secured some fantastic results this season with all three teams picking up 3rd in their respective leagues. A great day was had at the finals despite the cold weather. A big thank you Bath University Canoe Club for organising the tournament!
The final results are:
4 Bristol and Exeter
Warwick Polo December 2016
On December 4th, a small contingent of Cardiff University students set off to Coventry to compete in Warwick University’s canoe polo tournament. It was a cold and crisp morning when we arrived at the back of the SU with some of us (Mr Ford) in a worse state than others. Following a journey through the labyrinthine campus of Warwick University, we made it to the pool.
The programme started with a tough match up Cardiff Mens’ (a team consisting of Mitch, Tristan, Cameron, Dom, Mitch, Harry) against Nottingham B, the hardest part of which was attempting to teach Harry the rules of polo as we played. Despite a valiant effort we lost 3-1, but we took heart from it and went into the next game with high hopes against Birmingham B. Our confidence was well-founded; we were all over them, and came away with a decisive victory 4-0. At this point we should have been in the semi-final, but following an administrative error we were, for some reason, demoted to last place play-off. Having handily put away the Warwick team, we realised the mistake that had occurred but, unfortunately, it was too late to correct it; Bangor courteously agreed to play a 3rd place play-off so we weren’t denied any games, and got to finish with a very back and forth match. We entered the last moments 3-2 up, but a defensive error on Cameron’s part allowed them to secure a last-minute equaliser. It was taken to extra time, we put up a big defensive effort but were up against the momentum, and conceded a golden goal. We felt hard done by the 4th placed finished but all in all it was a positive experience for our team’s first outing.
The ladies team consisted of three experienced players, Tessa, Alice and Clare, and three first years, Cat, Hannah and Robyn, who were new to the game. After a brief explanation of rules and strategies to half of the ladies’ team they rolled out for their first game against Birmingham, and after a difficult 14 minutes Cardiff managed to clinch victory. This was a great boost to moral, as previously Birmingham have been successful against Cardiff Ladies in some tough fought matches. Bolstered by their initial win, the ladies paddled out for their second game, this time against Nottingham. Unfortunately, despite the amazing goalkeeping from Clare, Nottingham managed to slip three goals past her, whilst Cardiff was only able to score two goals before the final whistle blew. This put our team in the bottom half of the 6 teams playing that day. After food and a discussion of tactics the girls came back, emboldened by a team talk from the more experienced girls. Their third game of the day was now Bangor. Despite an improvement in Cardiff’s defending, Bangor clawed a victory, due to lack of organisation and unlucky mistakes. Only one game was left now, against the hosts themselves, Warwick. After three games each both teams were exhausted, but Cardiff’s lack of experience as a team showed, and Warwick were victorious after the final whistle. At the end of the day Cardiff finished at a respectable 4th, with a promise from the team that they will be back!