DW2011....

Marathon, Freestyle, Polo, Slalom, Sprint, WWR, etc.
JDW72
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Re: DW2011....

Post by JDW72 »

We inadvertantly bumped into a sleeping swan outside Henley a month or so back. I was so used to them playing "chicken" and moving out of the way just in time that I assumed it would do the same thing. 6.5m of K2 up its backside and it took off like the clappers. I'll take more care to avoid them in the dark in future!

On the subject of paddling in the dark, and in floody conditions on the Thames.....what are the rules? We make sure we have a light on the boat and take sensible precautions (buoyancy aids, headlamps, waterproof phone, change of clothes and some money etc etc). If the river is on yellow boards or red boards, are we "allowed" to paddle? I'm happy with our ability to cope with the conditions but would like to know where we stand if some lock keeper starts bending our ear...

JDW72

Wheezy
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Wheezy »

JDW72 wrote:We inadvertantly bumped into a sleeping swan outside Henley a month or so back. I was so used to them playing "chicken" and moving out of the way just in time that I assumed it would do the same thing. 6.5m of K2 up its backside and it took off like the clappers. I'll take more care to avoid them in the dark in future!

On the subject of paddling in the dark, and in floody conditions on the Thames.....what are the rules? We make sure we have a light on the boat and take sensible precautions (buoyancy aids, headlamps, waterproof phone, change of clothes and some money etc etc). If the river is on yellow boards or red boards, are we "allowed" to paddle? I'm happy with our ability to cope with the conditions but would like to know where we stand if some lock keeper starts bending our ear...

JDW72
If I am honest I don't know the answer to your question. The EA website that gives this when the Thames is on Red boards;

We advise users of all boats not to navigate because the strong flows make it difficult and dangerous.

I suppose the main word there is advice. Personally, I'd find a canal instead. Just my tuppence worth.

JDW72
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Re: DW2011....

Post by JDW72 »

Trouble with heading for a canal is that the race does still run with the river running fast and full. Last year all of the river was either yellow or red boarded and it still ran. I don't want to be finding out how good I am in those conditions when I've already paddled 60 miles....

Rather do it when I'm less tired.

It's my own risk I guess, just wanted to know the law. Don't want the boat impounded or confiscated or my license taken away or anything like that....

Eliza Dolittle
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Eliza Dolittle »

James,
The official advice is not to paddle on red or yellow boards. We followed this in 2008 and then had to do a compulsory "night run" with the River on red boards which did give us mental problems although we had the technical skills to cope. In 2010 we chose to ignore the official advice and paddled in all conditions. You should use sites like the Maidenhead Rowing Club website http://www.mwronline.net/mrc/default.aspx which gives flowrates in addition to the EA website which gives board colours. There is a world of difference between just on red boards and 180 m3/s. If you record the flowrates in your training log after a paddle it will give you a better idea of what to expect. The problem spots are just above weirs and in the turbulent water downstream. eg at Marlow you have to keep well away from the top of the weir which is very close to the lock and there is a risk that inexperienced crews will get swept over. (I think this happened to a junior crew this Easter), places like Hambledon have a strong current coming in from the left just after you portage, Shepperton has the stream from the right and the potential to miss the Desborough cut and take the scenic route. The K&A from Newbury down to Reading has current flowing in and out as well and that can make for an interesting paddle at night on red boards, the best line to follow can be quite narrow. We averaged 10mph on one session down there and we aren't very fast paddlers. We were never stopped on our red board paddles although I know the lockie at Bray passed his concerns onto his superiors one evening, he never came out to talk to us. In very high flows you need to stay out in the middle where possible to avoid overhanging trees and eddies along the side, if that doesn't appeal, don't go!
If you choose to paddle on yellow or red boards make sure that you are well equipped (full DW kit, you may as well get used to carrying it). Consider supplementary bouyancy in the boat. Carry a phone, cash and keys in your buoyancy aid, not the boat. Have lightsticks on your buoyancy aid if going out a night. Only paddle sections at night that you have recently covered in daylight (in case of fallen trees). Have a well trained support crew with you. (If you plan an out and back trip allow twice as long to go upstream as downstream in periods of high flow) Ultimately it is your choice.
Liz

Wheezy
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Wheezy »

Eliza Dolittle wrote:James,
The official advice is not to paddle on red or yellow boards. We followed this in 2008 and then had to do a compulsory "night run" with the River on red boards which did give us mental problems although we had the technical skills to cope. In 2010 we chose to ignore the official advice and paddled in all conditions. You should use sites like the Maidenhead Rowing Club website http://www.mwronline.net/mrc/default.aspx which gives flowrates in addition to the EA website which gives board colours. There is a world of difference between just on red boards and 180 m3/s. If you record the flowrates in your training log after a paddle it will give you a better idea of what to expect. The problem spots are just above weirs and in the turbulent water downstream. eg at Marlow you have to keep well away from the top of the weir which is very close to the lock and there is a risk that inexperienced crews will get swept over. (I think this happened to a junior crew this Easter), places like Hambledon have a strong current coming in from the left just after you portage, Shepperton has the stream from the right and the potential to miss the Desborough cut and take the scenic route. The K&A from Newbury down to Reading has current flowing in and out as well and that can make for an interesting paddle at night on red boards, the best line to follow can be quite narrow. We averaged 10mph on one session down there and we aren't very fast paddlers. We were never stopped on our red board paddles although I know the lockie at Bray passed his concerns onto his superiors one evening, he never came out to talk to us. In very high flows you need to stay out in the middle where possible to avoid overhanging trees and eddies along the side, if that doesn't appeal, don't go!
If you choose to paddle on yellow or red boards make sure that you are well equipped (full DW kit, you may as well get used to carrying it). Consider supplementary bouyancy in the boat. Carry a phone, cash and keys in your buoyancy aid, not the boat. Have lightsticks on your buoyancy aid if going out a night. Only paddle sections at night that you have recently covered in daylight (in case of fallen trees). Have a well trained support crew with you. (If you plan an out and back trip allow twice as long to go upstream as downstream in periods of high flow) Ultimately it is your choice.
Liz
Great post. :-)

Just out of interest, (and I don't know if this is a silly question) when you go out if high flow conditions do you tend to only go downstream? Last year we did a few out and backs and it was probably this that aggrevated my partner's shoulder.

Grouchmonkey
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Grouchmonkey »

Yep-running like a bunny. 5m Cross Country race last Sunday, 11m trail race next Sunday!

Grouchmonkey
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Grouchmonkey »

Hi wheezy-yep running like a bunny. 5m Cross Country last Sunday 11m trail race this Sunday

Grouchmonkey
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Grouchmonkey »

oops x2

Mike_M
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Mike_M »

I do not tend to take much notice of red, yellow boards or flow rates on the Thames.

I do however look at the colour of the river if it is brown I do not paddle.

If the river is brown it is likely that the river has left its normal course greatly increasing the likelyhood of floating rubbish.

Regards

Mike.

Eliza Dolittle
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Eliza Dolittle »

Mike_M wrote: if it is brown I do not paddle.
Sound advice from Mike to inspect the river before getting on. If there are large branches, dead animals or sheets of ice floating about, it is a wise move to stay off the water.
Note that the water can be brown due to surface run off and not just because a river has burst it's banks. A section of the Basingstoke Canal was brown yesterday due to surface run off coming in near the Swan pub, it was still a placid canal though.

Wheezy,
We did both "out and back" and "A to B" runs in training in high water conditions. We didn't do any "out and back" at night. Our night runs on the course were "A to B" with a support crew and another crew of a similar pace to us and we covered Aldermaston to Sunbury in stages, some bits more than once. Some night time sessions were interval training on the canal, these were "out and back". We covered the whole DW course from Pewsey to Putney in daylight. Of the classic build up races in the end we only did Waterside C and Royal this year, we had planned to do the Luzmore as well but couldn't make the revised date, but remember we took part in the race in 2008 (and most of the build up races) as well and both of us had also done the DW in K1s.

Mike_M
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Mike_M »

Will be attempting the 2011 DW in K2 with Ivan Lawler, Ahhhh this is going to be hard!
http://twitter.com/ben_brownie

Ivan and Ben have made it public that they will paddling DW this year. Above is a quote fron Ben's Twitter page.
They will be paddling in aid of right to play

http://www.righttoplay.com/uk/Pages/Home.aspx

Regards

Mike

JDW72
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Re: DW2011....

Post by JDW72 »

Well, we did OK all in all. The river was racing along and they were yellow boarding as we went past the locks but we were fine. We followed the advice on the DW site with regards how to approach each lock and all was well. The approach to Romney lock was interesting. You need to go through the centre of the right arch to stay away from the weir but don't get too close to the right bank as the water is very swirly there. You're better off 5 yards further to the left, closer to to the weir than hugging the bank.

Fun though. Nothing like racing along at 9 - 10mph without putting any more effort than we do on the canal to go 6.5 mph to lift the spirits!

A flow (as measured at MRC) of between 50 and 70 would be lovely next Easter! If it could also be arranged to be reasonably cloudy and warm with a gentle westerly as well that would also help!
JDW72

BTK66
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Re: DW2011....

Post by BTK66 »

Day Run Gets Green Light
12 Nov 2010 8:32 am
NEWS FLASH: The DW Organising Team has decided that a Day Run will be permitted for the Easter 2011 race for elite paddlers. This is possible because of the exceptionally late tide times.More details will follow in due course.

Game on for Ivan Lawler and Ben Brown. Does this affect anybody else?

BaldockBabe
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Re: DW2011....

Post by BaldockBabe »

Excuse me for being completely confused but what does that mean? This will be our first year and the plan is to finish!!!

OldNick
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Re: DW2011....

Post by OldNick »

So what defines “elite” in DW terms?

Surely it can’t be based on the marathon divisional system because the distances are so short compared with the DW.

They can’t base it on past DW times as conditions each year are so different.

Finishing position is probably a better indicator, but what about paddlers who haven’t completed the event before and is it “weighted” on the quality of the field?

No disrespect, but I understand that Ivan has not paddled a DW, but is clearly an elite international marathon paddler.

I sincerely hope that it isn’t a subjective “committee” decision, but clearly defined objective measurements and goodness knows what they will be.

Eliza Dolittle
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Eliza Dolittle »

Hi Baldock Babe,
"Day Run"
If you are a very fast crew, (capable of sub 18 hours) and there is a very late tide at Teddington it is possible to start early on in the Sunday morning and paddle the bulk of the race in the daylight to make the second tide at Teddington.
The advantages of this are that you don't lose a night's sleep, there is less chance of making a navigational error on the canal and it is warmer during the day. The downsides are you will meet more cruisers on the Thames (big washes to deal with), few if any other crews to chase and you paddle the Tideway in the dark. From an organisers perspective you also need more volunteers.
If you are a more typical crew looking at times from 22-28 hours then you will have to paddle through the night anyway. So then it is probably best to paddle the canal in daylight because there are so many portages and it is easier to navigate the narrow sections by daylight. Depending on their schedule, some crews will still have to do the stretch from Aldermaston to Reading in the dark and it is worth a practise on this section if you can get down to the area. (Thamesside 1 if you fancy racing it)

BaldockBabe
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Re: DW2011....

Post by BaldockBabe »

Thanks Eliza, now that makes sense. We won't be entering as a fast crew! Current estimates suggest we are around the 26 hour mark so lots of night practice will be needed!

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silcockj
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Re: DW2011....

Post by silcockj »

Eliza Dolittle wrote: it is possible to start early on in the Sunday morning and paddle the bulk of the race in the daylight to make the second tide at Teddington
I do believe this is not entirely possible. Owen Peake was going for the record this year (2010) and wanted to set off early morning. HOWEVER, he ended up not actually competing as race organisers wouldnt allow it.....

Eliza Dolittle
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Eliza Dolittle »

silcockj wrote:Eliza Dolittle wrote:
it is possible to start early on in the Sunday morning and paddle the bulk of the race in the daylight to make the second tide at Teddington

I do believe this is not entirely possible. Owen Peake was going for the record this year (2010) and wanted to set off early morning. HOWEVER, he ended up not actually competing as race organisers wouldnt allow it.....
It wasn't possible this year because the organisers hadn't permitted a Day Run, I not sure it was an option in 2009 either, however the DW Organising Team have decided that a Day Run will be permitted for the race in 2011.
BTK66 wrote:Day Run Gets Green Light
12 Nov 2010 8:32 am
NEWS FLASH: The DW Organising Team has decided that a Day Run will be permitted for the Easter 2011 race for elite paddlers. This is possible because of the exceptionally late tide times.More details will follow in due course.

Mike_M
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Mike_M »

I have put the figures into my spreadsheet -

Sun rise 05:49
Sun Set 20:12
Length of day 14h 24mins
High tide Richmond 16:43

A day light run makes sense for crews going for quicker than 20hrs.
A 20hr crew would need to start at approx 23:00 meaning it would get light about Thatcham.
A 18hr crew would need to start at approx 1:00 meaning it would get light just before Newbury.
A 16hr crew would need to start at approx 2:45 and it would get light about Dunmill.

To do a true dalight run i.e. all portages in the light you would need to start at approx 4am. Getting you to Wooten rivers at day break.
To achive this you would need to aim at race time of 15 hrs or quicker.
Only posible if the river is in near flood conditions.

Regards

Mike

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silcockj
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Re: DW2011....

Post by silcockj »

Mike_M wrote:I have put the figures into my spreadsheet -

Sun rise 05:49
Sun Set 20:12
Length of day 14h 24mins
High tide Richmond 16:43

A day light run makes sense for crews going for quicker than 20hrs.
A 20hr crew would need to start at approx 23:00 meaning it would get light about Thatcham.
A 18hr crew would need to start at approx 1:00 meaning it would get light just before Newbury.
A 16hr crew would need to start at approx 2:45 and it would get light about Dunmill.

To do a true dalight run i.e. all portages in the light you would need to start at approx 4am. Getting you to Wooten rivers at day break.
To achive this you would need to aim at race time of 15 hrs or quicker.
Only posible if the river is in near flood conditions.

Regards

Mike
Nice work.i got that too.

BTK66
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Re: DW2011....

Post by BTK66 »

What's the target time for morning high tide at Teddington?

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silcockj
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Re: DW2011....

Post by silcockj »

BTK66 wrote:What's the target time for morning high tide at Teddington?
as in what time is high tide or what time should one leave to get to high tide?

BTK66
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Re: DW2011....

Post by BTK66 »

When is high tide at Teddington on Sunday 24th April morning? (Preparation starts early!)

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andya
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Re: DW2011....

Post by andya »

Eliza Dolittle wrote:"Day Run"
If you are a very fast crew, (capable of sub 18 hours) and there is a very late tide at Teddington it is possible to start early on in the Sunday morning and paddle the bulk of the race in the daylight to make the second tide at Teddington.
I think when Tim and Brian set the record they did a similar day run. They got permission to set off early on Friday, and crossed the line at Westminster just before midnight on the same day.

The only crew ever to finish DW on a Good Friday?

Mike_M
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Mike_M »

BTK66
You can get the tide tables online at Port of London authority wibsite

http://www.pla.co.uk/display_fixedpage.cfm/id/11/

Remember that the tide tables are in GMT not BST so you have to add on an hour.
If I have read the table correctly the high tide at Richmond for Sunday morning is
06:58 GMT or 07:58 BST.

If you arive at Teddington at exactly high tide there will be no flow for the first few miles on the tideway.
Thefore it is best to arrive slightly after high tide to make best advantage of the flow. There is always
some debate as to when is the best time. I have used 30mins after high tide as the target.

Regards

Mike

Hackworth
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Hackworth »

So then it is probably best to paddle the canal in daylight because there are so many portages and it is easier to navigate the narrow sections by daylight
Having run this both ways in sequential years (2008/9) I think we prefer to do the canal in the dark and the river in the light. Could be because I only live 8 miles from Hungerford!

Eliza Dolittle
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Eliza Dolittle »

Hackworth wrote:I think we prefer to do the canal in the dark and the river in the light. Could be because I only live 8 miles from Hungerford!
Well I live only 20 mins from Marsport and so am more familiar with the Thames at night than the K&A around Hungerford. :)
I raced in 08 and 10, the problem we found with the K&A by night was all the ice on the portages where drips had frozen from previous boats, hopefully future night runs down the canal would be warmer. It was also hard to keep calm and relaxed during the day in the build up to starting the race that evening, although had we known earlier that we were doing the canal by night we may have been better able to cope with it. As canal based paddlers we are used to narrow canals by night although we hadn't practised on the K&A at night prior to the 08 race. Visibility was very good in 08 though, with a bright moon, which is why it was so flipping cold.
Whichever way you think is better to do the canal, by day or by night, I think there is no substitute for actually paddling the course beforehand.

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Vulch
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Vulch »

Canal in the day or the night? A common attitude is:

Canal at night: can be very dark. Lots of stuff to hit. Ie. locks etc. Lots of getting in and out and running on uneven ground. Therefore not very good in the dark.

Thames at night: can be very dark. But often isn't. More ambient light. Especially around locks. Less stuff to hit. Fewer locks. Terrain at locks is less uneven than on canal.

Conclusion: Do the Thames in the dark.

Problems: Consequences of getting it wrong on the Thames are arguably considerably worse. You might be more likely to get it wrong if it is dark.

Consequences are amplified exponentially by high water.

HTH.

Vulch

BTK66
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Re: DW2011....

Post by BTK66 »

Changing tack slightly can I reccommend the Marsport blogs to anybody who hasn't seen them? Anthony Murr offers many pearls of wisdom and Michael Yeomans is very, very entertaining. (Oh and Craig's on there too!).
http://www.marsport.co.uk/new/Racing/Blogs/blogs.html

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