DW2011....

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

Post by andy g »

A question for the Suuport Crews please.
Does anyone know of a good source of light "sticks" or "wands" to help the crew identify their support on the bank.
Last year we used dayglow jackets with reflective stripes but they don't work at night as you are relying on the paddlers torches picking out the stripes which was very hit and miss. We tried head torches but they appeared almost useless.
We noticed some crews with yellow or blue coloured light sticks which may be the answer,(although I have read somewhere in the regs that only white is permitted?) Where are these available commercially?

Andy

JDW72
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Re: DW2011....

Post by JDW72 »

We're relying on our support to identify us to be honest rather than the other way round. We're not going to be in much of a position to pick out our supporters from the mass of torches and activity on the bank.

I spectated last year at Hurley and wandered upstream a bit to see what it would look like as a paddler approaching and it was much like a rave in an Essex warehouse circa 1992...lights of varying colours going up and down and backwards and forwards randomly. Every now and then some muppet would shine a huge maglight in some poor paddler who'd been on the river for 13 hours face upsetting them greatly.

We're going to be wearing luminous yellow jackets and the white light sticks seem to light our arms up enough so our support crew will be able to identify that there are two paddlers with flourescent yellow arms coming along at roughly the right time so they can make their way to the front. If it's not us then so be it....

If we can't find them we'll press on and assume that they'll be at the next stop. If they're not there we'll call them and shout at them.

That's our plan.
JDW72

Wheezy
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Wheezy »

Agree with JDW72 on this one; it's the support team's job to find the crew not the other way round. We had a J in reflective tape stuck to the front of the boat which was highlighted by our headtorches which helped them pick us out. It's worth baring in mind that you'll probably have a few other crews around you who'll you be swapping places with so when they see a crew that was just ahead of you they can probably expect to see you quite soon as well which helps them pick you out.
If we can't find them we'll press on and assume that they'll be at the next stop. If they're not there we'll call them and shout at them.
I actually think that this is a really important point. We intend to keep paddling and let the support catch us up if we lose contact so that we are not hanging around. Trying to get phones out of pockets and waterproof holders while standing around and getting cold and losing time could potentially cost you a finish; it very nearly did for us last year. Think I mentioned it here before so apologies for repeating myself but the tip we were given about writing your support team's mobile on the front of the boat and then asking someone to phone them and say ' We're at such and such heading for ....' so that you don't have to faff about finding a phone and can just get your head down and paddle and keep warm while a friendly spectator phones them for you. I'm not saying it's not worth having a mobile on you but I'd probably try and use it as a last resort.

andy g
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Re: DW2011....

Post by andy g »

Thanks Guys ,
I appreciate your points about the paddlers finding their support and not vice versa. All I was trying to do was to give them as much aid as possible to do so. I agree that once the race "settles down" the position of the crew with respect to others does make it easier, but during the early stages in the first part of the night we had a somewhat fraught time with so many others at the "popular places" , especially after helping other crews who had lost their support and almost managing to ignore our own!

I also take your point about not shining torches into the water and destroying whatever night vision the crew have been able to build up, and it was to avoid this that I was hoping to use some identifier on the bank that they could aim for. I have some other ideas that I may try to put into practice. I will consider the tel number on the boat , thanks.

Any idea how many crews will be taking the straight through run on Sunday v the overnight Sat/Sun option?

See you at Waterside C ?

Andy

Eliza Dolittle
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Eliza Dolittle »

Andy,
Places like Partyland sell multicoloured light sticks, bracelets etc. A couple glued to the deck of your boat will help your support crew or attach to the support crew. The world and his wife have day glo jackets now.

lennart
I used thin foam on a wood seat covered in a plastic bag, but the foam was not the same shape as the wood seat, I had a V shaped notch cut out at the back to minimise rubbing. Jason A made a custom seat to suit his bottom shape out of glassfibre. Sit in some damp sand or similar to get the shape you need.
Also what trousers is your partner wearing? Close fitting tights are better than baggy as there are no creases to sit on. I used to paddle with a guy who wore all his base layer inside out so that all the seams were smoother to avoid chafing.

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andya
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Re: DW2011....

Post by andya »

andy g wrote: to avoid this that I was hoping to use some identifier on the bank that they could aim for. I have some other ideas that I may try to put into practice.
I have to agree with you there. I'd done night time support many times, but it wasn't until I'd paddled it myself I realised there was a lot more the support crew could do. The obvious ones I knew, lights down, not shining onto water ... etc But the less obvious ones I "discovered from a paddlers perspective were:

A bright flashing light up high (Think red light from the back of a bike) so the crew on approach work out which of several channels they need to come in on. We could often spot these 1/2 mile away ...

From the water its often difficult to see where the landing area starts and finishes, and how high it is ... hence my favorites were:
- One crew standing at the nearest point they wanted us to land on with a head touch pointing down their body to their feet. Instant location of where, how high and also a friendly face :¬)
- Crouching down in the same place and holding a touch over the water with the light shining back at the vertical part of the jetty bank toward the lock. This way the crew can see the type of landing, height, and any bollards or projections from the jetty.

Support crews often shine lights at the ground. Useless for making out landing features when you are below them on the water. But shining a light away from us onto the vertical of the lading jetty was welcomed by us whenever it happened.

Hackworth
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Hackworth »

Bear in mind people on the bank can fall in too...

We make ours wear light sticks for their own safety

JasonA
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Re: DW2011....

Post by JasonA »

We use strips of white tape on the blades of the paddles so support crew can see us both in the night and day. We found last year that finding the support crew was pretty easy especially once you are into your rhythm during the night and it isn't frantic like the Waterside races. Last year I bought a box of 50 glow sticks online so have enough left for this year; hope they don't have a shelf life. I would also agree with Hackworth on the portage etiquette, we had to wait a minute in the cold last year while a couple of crews got fed soup at a put in, we were well up on our time so it didn't really matter but they were a quick enough crew to know better. On another point just looked at the weather today for the longer term.

UK Outlook for Wednesday 6 Apr 2011 to Wednesday 20 Apr 2011:
Predominantly unsettled weather is likely through this period, with some longer drier spells possible at first in the southeast. Rainfall is likely to be above average, with a risk of sleet and snow across northwestern Britain, rendering sunshine amounts slightly below normal. Although temperatures may be above normal at the start of the period, they will generally become near or somewhat below normal, perhaps later becoming rather cold.
Average for the time of year is a high of 16 low of 7, but hopefully we will have some flow, what would everyones perfect conditions be?

chauffeur
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Re: DW2011....

Post by chauffeur »

[quote="Wheezy"]Just thought I'd give you a heads up on this, the Royal CC's Marathon event from Windsor to RCC at Teddington on April 2nd.

COURSE: Runnymede to Royal Canoe Club – Teddington
Approx 19 miles (including SIX PORTAGES)

Only £6 to enter + another £5 if no BCU license.

If we can get a day pass then I think we'll be doing it. Although we know this bit of the river pretty well it will give us a good idea of our DW river pace.

[/quote]

Please note that the extra £5 entry fee if you don't have BCU membership includes a Thames Licence for the day.

Further information and the entry form can be found on Royal's website [url]www.royalcanoeclub.com[/url]. Although entries are taken on the day, e-mail pre=entries would be welcomed, particularly if you are going to need a Thames Licence as we have to buy them in advance and they are not refundable.

We are running this event on a Saturday for the first time to avoid clashing with Mothering Sunday.

Eliza Dolittle
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Eliza Dolittle »

chauffeur wrote:We are running this event on a Saturday for the first time to avoid clashing with Mothering Sunday.
For some of us a day out on the water is a Mother's Day treat! Beats having the Mother in Law round!

JDW72
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Re: DW2011....

Post by JDW72 »

what would everyones perfect conditions be?
A moderate amount of flow, scattered cloud with 15 degrees C and a gentle westerly during the day bringing in some cloud towards the evening to keep things nice and cosy overnight. You can arrange that right?

Mike_M
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Mike_M »

For some of us a day out on the water is a Mother's Day treat! Beats having the Mother in Law round!
Eliza,
My mother in law has a habit of turning up at races. This is probally the downside to meeting your wife on a canal bank.

Mike

barmy
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Re: DW2011....

Post by barmy »

We had a good run last Sunday doing Marlow to Old Windsor.. This weather has thrown us, we were both too hot!

Had an interesting put in at Bray? I think. where you put back in right in the weir stream. we had a look and there was no where else to put in and it didnt look too bad so we got on with it. The water was quite bouncy with froth everywhere but it was do-able.. However what we hadnt banked on as the huge boulders nder the surface of the water. We got in and started to paddle and about 6 strokes in Jim's paddle hit one of these boulders and we had what I can only describe as a youv'e been framed moment where we rocked violently from side to side before finally recovering our balance. It was made worse by the fact that most of the poulation of maidenhead were sitting on the bank watching. On the good side though our support who had been tasked with taking some video footage had just shut the camera off as we paddled away, she had ben expecting the fun when we got in. not when we were 20ft away.
Hey ho, so word of advice there.....watch out for the boulders
The obstacle isthe path
www.paddlemad.blogspot.com

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Vulch
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Vulch »

Are you sure you mean Bray? IIRC you get in river left just a bit below the lock at Bray.

You may mean Boulters? Lock before Bray. Down past the weir to the get out on the left. Across the island. Change sides. Down the steep steps with the black iron railings to the get in.Two sets of steps. Go down the steps on cockpits to avoid pushing the front padder into the drink. Watch out for the rudder. Speed between obstacles and deliberation over them. The weir is now on your left. Main flow is on the far side at low water levels. Hugh slow recirculating eddy. There is often a spot where the water is going neither back or forward - try to get in here. I usually get my feet wet and run out onto the boulders and roots to avoid dinging the boat.

Be careful running down the island to the higher get-in. The flow goes straight through the weeping willows in many places - this has claimed many crews in the past. I think Dan Reynolds came unstuck here in the night last year.

Hope this helps.

Vulch

barmy
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Re: DW2011....

Post by barmy »

Yep boulters then, I am going to be a rubbish navigator. LOL My lock list is taped to the boat and I couldnt be bothered to go out and look it up.

Those boulders are nasty. we paddled the length of the island to see if there was a better put in but there isn't. hadnt thought of getting my feet wet but have to say the water was quite rough. Not sure I would have succesfully got back in if I hadn't had the side to hold on to. was certainly a good one to practice though.

we are doing dreadnought to Marlow this sunday.
The obstacle isthe path
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Jonny Bravo
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Jonny Bravo »

Long shot - but a couple of paddlers left their paddles at All Cannings earlier this week in error.... Has anyone on here found them? 2 x Lendal Wings!

Poor guys have just been in to the shop looking for replacements - if anyone has seen or found them, please call on 0118 9665912 or 077756766oo

Craig @ Marsport

JDW72
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Re: DW2011....

Post by JDW72 »

We paddled Waterside C course yesterday with one of our support crews and learned lots. Thoughts I'd share it here as some people might find some of this useful...

- I'll be fitting a weed / dead reed / general crap deflector to the front of the boat. I suspect those doing Waterside C today will sympathise. The annual cut-back of the reeds along the canal side has taken place and the surface for almost the whole way is clogged with rotting 1 - 2 foot lengths of reed. It's disgusting and is hard work to get through. My paddling partner showed extraordinary patience given the amount of times he got slapped in the face with debris from my paddle
- if you are using one of those GPS watches (e.g. Garmin) you have to be very careful they don't inadvertently switch themselves on in your bag and use all the battery up before you get to the start. I'm going to plug mine into the in-car charger all the way to the start line, if only to make sure I can see that it is not "on"
- you need to be totally explicit with your support crew. And I think I'm going to ask that they repeat stuff back to me before I believe that they've got it.
- I bought on of those handy plastic boxes with a handle that they could carry to the portages and filled it with possibly useful stuff. First portage - "Where's the box? In the car. Hmmmmm"
- When mixing up hydration drinks, make sure that they know to fill the hydration pack to the absolute top. Ours were getting half-filled with the result that we were running out of water and drinking over-strong mixture. Not a nice combo of events.
- Try to get them to think like paddlers. First portage "Why are you on that side of the canal? Well, there's a bench here. Hmmmm"
- Tell them explicitly that if there are gates, they should open them for you (and other paddlers if it doesn't impact them supporting you). We fumbled with one gate for about 20 seconds whilst one of our supporters said "that looks tricky". Yeah - thanks for that. It's the 6.5m boat on my right shoulder that does that.
- Don't let them plan their navigation using only the postcode from Google and iPhone maps etc. An old fashioned paper road atlas is essential. Pewsey Wharf is about 15 miles from the postcode that Google gives (there's a very nice farm there but no canal), and there's not a dime of mobile signal in that area.
- We're not going to run the whole of Crofton. We're going to paddle the two longer pounds. A fully laden Condor is too heavy for my bony shoulders and the extra 2 or 3 minutes from 2 portages will easily be offset by reducing the damage done to shoulders and backs
- There are a lot of consecutive right-side portages where you have to carry the boat with your left hand if you use the cockpit. It's worth the extra 2 seconds to step over the boat and switch hands to avoid straining one side of your body repeatedly.

Apart from that, it all went very well. Seriously, we were delighted with our pace, smoothness etc and how we felt at Newbury.

Hope those of you who paddled today had fun,
JDW72

p.s. for our own sakes, we need to come up with a better word than "supporter". It seems to imply cheering, waving and generally offering good wishes. Maybe "assistant" or "bank-side crew" or something like that would get across the fact that they do need to do something other than be there and smile encouragingly.

mjmr1980
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Re: DW2011....

Post by mjmr1980 »

Hi all,

Just wondering, does any one know if there is a list anywhere of theall the portage grid references?

Bit lazy I know, but it saves me a couple of hours with Google Maps if someone has been through and done it already!


Also, what's the consensus on training the weekend before the race - does everyone take it easy and wind down or cram in another 20 miler to stay on form?


Thanks

barmy
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Re: DW2011....

Post by barmy »

I asked this one on page 9 and someone has helpfully posted a link where you can download maps and ariel photos for each portage.
I was after postcodes which are no good as most are not accurate. with regards to grid refs, I am sure I have seen them somewhere on the DW instructions, they are certainly on the road crossing sheet.
The obstacle isthe path
www.paddlemad.blogspot.com

BTK66
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Re: DW2011....

Post by BTK66 »

I've got grid references for all the portages support crews can get to on the Thames. They were taken from the closest parking spot to the locks. I'll dig them out and post later.

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silcockj
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Re: DW2011....

Post by silcockj »

I have for garmin and for tomtom a full portage list that you download to your device and then hit the road. Let me know if you need it.

barmy
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Re: DW2011....

Post by barmy »

While we are on the subject of gps. Does anyone know of a gps tracker that can be tracked in real time either vie receiver or the Internet. I have runkeeper on my iPhone but it's not reliable and sucks the life out of the battery
The obstacle isthe path
www.paddlemad.blogspot.com

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silcockj
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Re: DW2011....

Post by silcockj »

Mobileme by apple has a little software thats close to this. its called find my iphone. (it obviously depends if you have an iphone or not.) basically designed for those times when the iphone is lost, but i can see it working here. so long as the phone has signal, then you should be able to track it on the internet. (not realtime.) if you want a real time GPS tracker, then i suggest trawling the website. they are around and are pretty small, but they come with a large pricetag... there may be alternatives about that i didnt see, but its worth a look

update: try instamapper. just giving it a whirl now. seems to work nicely.... will keep an eye on my battery to see how it drains.

the link for instamapper

BTK66
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Re: DW2011....

Post by BTK66 »

Barmy - Ref - GPS real-time tracker. You might want to consider this if you're just looking to provide location information so that people canmonitor your race progress. It's a proven GPS tracker and the battery will last the whole race comfortably. Just tape it into th eback of the boat.
http://www.outdoorgb.com/p/SPOT_GPS/. Looks like you can hire it for £40 for a week.

mjmr1980
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Re: DW2011....

Post by mjmr1980 »

That SPOT tracker definitely looks useful - will save having to carry a bag full of disposable £15 Tesco mobile phones to keep the support updated with our position!

barmy
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Re: DW2011....

Post by barmy »

Just rang them. The spottracker is not waterproof
The obstacle isthe path
www.paddlemad.blogspot.com

lennart
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Re: DW2011....

Post by lennart »

it looks like may paddling partner has programmed an app that will send our position fron my nokia every hour. If it works I will let you all know.
Propper Writing in English, how do you do that, with dyslexia, bad hand eye coordination, ect. and in a foreign language
sorry fore all the mistakes.

Wheezy
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Wheezy »

Hi people. I used a website last year where someone had compared waterside times to DW times. It was really comprehensive and in our case quite accurate. Long story short I can't find the web address for it. Anyone know which one I'm talking about and can post up the link?
Cheer W

JasonA
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Re: DW2011....

Post by JasonA »

It's under results, then information on the DW site url is http://emerlin.co.uk/extranet/devizes.nsf one of the links is DW to Waterside relationships, also lots of other very usefull info. One thing to be careful of is that people use D for different purposes i.e some race, some use it as DW pace practice fully loaded with kit, times on WSD between 5.5 and 6.5 hours can produce similar DW times.

Wheezy
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Re: DW2011....

Post by Wheezy »

JasonA wrote:It's under results, then information on the DW site url is http://emerlin.co.uk/extranet/devizes.nsf one of the links is DW to Waterside relationships, also lots of other very usefull info. One thing to be careful of is that people use D for different purposes i.e some race, some use it as DW pace practice fully loaded with kit, times on WSD between 5.5 and 6.5 hours can produce similar DW times.
That's the one; cheers fella. :-)

Yep, full DW dress rehersal for us at DW pace with kit (REALLY SLOW!). But it'll be useful to get a rough idea how it compares.

W

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