Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne yet?

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Alec Ferris
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Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne yet?

Post by Alec Ferris »

I'm hoping to go over with some friends at some point in May half term, but I can't find a link to book on the site. Does anyone know if booking is open yet?
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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by Sickboy »

I've not found anything yet, but I'd like to know how they will run the two hour sessions, will you have to get on at set times or will you be given a collar that hits you with a electric jolt when your times up?
Who's going to be queuing up on the 16th, already getting a posse together...
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Alec Ferris
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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by Alec Ferris »

I'm checking with people at my club to see if we can do a trip as soon as it opens. I've had just four trips during the last year, so I need this!
Hey don't worry, jus' live 'til ya die- QOTSA

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by Jon_Brown »

There is a link to the raft booking timetable which gives you an idea of availability. Friday 22nd looks like a few session are open but Sat 23rd all day, but fairly obviously after you select a date you can only pick from an assortment of rafting alternatives. But may be worth giving them a call? 08456 770 606 or gowhitewater@leevalleypark.org.uk


The bit that worries me is - "This is a once in a life time opportunity to ride the rapids before the world’s best athletes arrive for 2012." Are they expecting everyone to die after one visit

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by Randy Fandango »

Sources tell me that the courses are only going to be open for paddling for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon and only on Saturdays and Sundays. Apparently paddling and rafting are not going to be mixed and whichever course you pay to go on, you'll only be allowed to paddle that course -- so even if you've paid to paddle the more expensive course, you'll not be able to have a blast down the less expensive course in the same session.
If this is all true it seems utterly peculiar and a dreadful state of affairs.
I've not had this verified by the course yet mind so I'm personally hoping my sources are mistaken.....
Giles

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Alec Ferris
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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by Alec Ferris »

Agreed there. They are favouring exec bonding days far more than canoeists.
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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by Randy Fandango »

Alec Ferris wrote:Agreed there. They are favouring exec bonding days far more than canoeists.
The "joke" of course being that the course's entire reason for creation and continued existence is based around the olympics and the concept of olympic legacy. Kayaking in two forms is of course an olympic sport. Rafting???
Giles

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by BoaterJH »

Talking of legacy...

Canoe england on facestalk book:
It is a canoe site for the Olympics but there are fantastic legacy plans for it and the surrounding area. We have been working very hard with Lea Valley Regional Park who will manage the site to ensure there is a strong legacy plan in place... some of the legacy will begin before the actual Olympics start! In addition we are developing canoe trails with several other organisations in and around the whole area so plans are afoot and will be announced in the not too distant future.
I really hope that "canoe trails" are not a new name for access agreements.

Having worked and paddled in the area I have suspicions over where theses trails may be and how hugely restrictive access to them is likely to be. For example having to pay Herts Young Mariners Base to access bits of water on a guided trip once a year.
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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by scottdog007 »

Our club was told-

People wishing to use the Olympic course will have to book online up to 14 days in advance. The course will open on the 22nd April 2011 to the public and staff will contact me when the online booking system is up and running.

The course will be open Wednesday’s, Thursday’s, Friday’s, Saturday’s & Sunday’s.

The new cost of paddling the legacy course is £5.00 per hour and the Olympic course £10.00 an hour.

During April and may there will be 4 rafts on the Olympic course and peak time you are looking at 8 rafts. They have informed me that they have tested the course with 8 rafts and kayaks and that it is ok.

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by hardy »

I am not at all tight with my money,but £10 an hour is extortion.

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by scottdog007 »

hardy wrote:I am not at all tight with my money,but £10 an hour is extortion.
It´s only money and you would only spend it on perversion otherwise. Well I would !

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by garya »

BoaterJH wrote:Talking of legacy...

Canoe england on facestalk book:
It is a canoe site for the Olympics but there are fantastic legacy plans for it and the surrounding area. We have been working very hard with Lea Valley Regional Park who will manage the site to ensure there is a strong legacy plan in place... some of the legacy will begin before the actual Olympics start! In addition we are developing canoe trails with several other organisations in and around the whole area so plans are afoot and will be announced in the not too distant future.
I really hope that "canoe trails" are not a new name for access agreements.

Having worked and paddled in the area I have suspicions over where theses trails may be and how hugely restrictive access to them is likely to be. For example having to pay Herts Young Mariners Base to access bits of water on a guided trip once a year.

The "canoe trails" are not access aggrements, they are desinged to be a series of safe and accessible routes through the local waterways for the use of all. Work is being done on looking at accessible portage and access points as well a signage and supporting maps and guide books along the same lines as the sucssessful Medway Trail.

Negotiations have been difficult and lengthy, mainly due to safety concerns and risk assements rather than pure access issues. There have been a number of water related fatalities in the area over the last few years including one kyaker so this is a very sensative issue and concern for the Park Authorities and EA. There are also a number of nature reserves and bird sanctuaries too.

Part of the waterways forms a major flood relief channel with high concrete walls and automatic guillotine sluice gates that span the full width of the river that offer no escape if get you things wrong.

The work done by members of HYMB on this has been considerable over the years and the service and payment was never for access but for the hire of boats and a guide to show padders around the route and look after their safety.

The outcome achieved was to ensure that the routes have been contiuously used and paddled and to prove to the Lee Valley Park that recreational use of the waterways worked and the need to provide improved facilities existed. They have now set aside a major part of their Park Development plan to improve and incresse recreational facilities for watersports users in order to compliment the whitewater course on offer at the LVWWC.

Please PM if you or any other paddlers would like more information or advice on where you can paddle in the park for free.

Gary Archer

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by BoaterJH »

The long and the short of it is that members of the BCU are negotiating access with or without the help of HYMB.

There is no need to negotiate access to any of the water in Lea valley, like there is no need to negotiate access anywhere in England.
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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by andy g »

Peter is correct in his information.
I can add a little more from a visit on Wednesday this week .
As a result of sitting through an entire Chamber of Commerce meeting the previous week I managed to get an invite to the Lea Valley White Water Centre on Wednesday.
I was taken around by Callum Ferris Lay , the assistant manager, who is a kayaker and is very keen to promote a better relationship with the kayaking world , as he is aware of the bad press that has been generated to date.
Firstly the facility is truly superb. The water is crystal clear throughout and takes on marked blue/green colour. It reminds me of the Soca in Slovenia. I was able to take photos which I will post on the Meridian Canoe Club website . Please do not copy them onto Facebook etc as permission was granted on the basis that they were for club use only.
Both courses were operating while I was there, David Florence, Lizzie Neave, and Richard Hounslow from the GB Slalom squad were training in K1s and C1s on the Olympic course. The water is big and fast (at 12.8 Cumecs, the max is 15) and they were having to work hard to make breakouts and navigate the gates successfully.
The eddies are relatively small and recirculating, so there will be no places to rest, once on the course you will be working hard right to the bottom.
The legacy course was operating only with rafts while I was there and was running at 10 Cumecs, it is slightly longer than Cardiff , but slightly wider and with some good eddies and features. It is claimed that there are 2 rententive waves (but they weren't holding rafts)

The blocks used to make the features have "rounded" tops , rather than the hard edges of the "crates" used in Cardiff, in order to promote a softer contact experience. I think a lot of swimmers (and believe me there are going to be a lot of swimmers) are going to glad of this.

On availability and pricing they have had second thoughts. There will be mixed kayaking an rafting sessions available from Wed to Sunday every week. The price will be £10 per hour on the Olympic course and £5 for the legacy. However as of now there will be no cross over permitted , but we can work on this with Callum.

On the face of it this may sound steep , esp when Cardiff is £10 for a whole day, but I am not sure that I would be able to spend more than an hour on the Olympic course , it will be taxing and tiring.

I think £5 for an hour on the legacy , then a break in the excellent cafe facilities , then back on for another hour at a total of £10 does sound reasonable , esp when most Londoners will not be using more than 1 gallon of fuel to get there and back. I appreciate this will be the opposite for those living in S West. Wales or Scotland.
There is still the option to book the course for exclusive use at £200 per hour for the Legacy and £400 for the Olympic , and they are hoping to encourage London clubs to make use of this for moving water training etc.

The website is now open for booking for rafting , but not yet for kayaking, they hope to do this at least 2 weeks before the course opens. We will be able to book up to 2 weeks in advance , (in order to stop block booking by clubs/individuals) on line. I have been promised advance notice of when the booking sessions for kayaks are open, and I will post this here as soon as I know.

I am convinced it is a good facility and I am very keen to try it out , on the legacy course first I think.

Regards
Andy

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by BaldockBabe »

andy g wrote: The water is big and fast (at 12.8 Cumecs, the max is 15) and they were having to work hard to make breakouts and navigate the gates successfully.
The eddies are relatively small and recirculating, so there will be no places to rest, once on the course you will be working hard right to the bottom.

The blocks used to make the features have "rounded" tops , rather than the hard edges of the "crates" used in Cardiff, in order to promote a softer contact experience. I think a lot of swimmers (and believe me there are going to be a lot of swimmers) are going to glad of this.
I concur about the water being big and fast with nowhere to stop. Having been down the Olympic course I will not be advising novices from our club (relatively local) giving it a go. Maybe the smaller course will be a good practice ground but the Olympic course will not be. An hour on the Olympic course will be long and tiring enough!!!

My leg and I have concern about the "square" blocks though (even with the rounded tops). I do wonder if the round blocks at HPP are safer for swimmers...

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by Randy Fandango »

Cheers for the nice concise info there Andy.
Well I for one can't wait to try out the new course. I know this will seem a little self-interested but the cost of £10 per hour pales into insignificance compared to the cost fuel and time-wise for me getting to either Cardiff or Nottingham whereas the Olympic course is less than thirty miles from me by road -- and most of that's on a motorway (even if it is the M25!) :-)
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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by Mark at Brookbank »

Hi

Like Andy i was at the seminar recently about how the centre will impact on the local area and I had a good tour around with the centre manager a few weeks ago who was very hepful, but there is obviously a need to satisfy the local paddlers quest for info on how it will all work.

I can echo Andy's comments above to say that is is an absolutely superb facilioty in terms of water quality, features and volume as well as changing facilities etc..

We are currently talking with the centre about booking out a regaular evening session as a Brookbank open club / informal demo sesssion on the legacy course from early May throughout summer.

This would hopefully mean more options to paddlers to come along at a time that is convenient and we are interested to hear what sort of interest there would be in that. It would have to be charged for to cover the cost of the hire at the same sort of rates though but will hopefully gain enough interest to sustain some great paddling sessions in the light evenings.

Will post any further info as we get it

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by DaveWortley »

When you say convienient remember lots of us London paddler work till 6pm at earliest, get home, get gear, get out to the course, I'd say 8pm-10pm would be a good time for a session.

Dave

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by andy g »

Dave
I forgot to mention that the whole course is floodlit , and to a very high level , of which they are quite proud , so I am certain there will be not only evening sessions in the summer , but also in the winter under the lights.
The "lake" may be used for flat water paddlesports (including polo?).

They are requesting that individual paddlers are "3 Star standard", but they appreciate that a UKCC 3 Star in recreational boating (for instance) is not going to be a suitable level for taking a kayak down the Olympic course so this policy is still under development. Paddlers of lower standard under the supervision of qualified coaches for block booked sessions may be permitted

BB
I am sorry to hear about your arguement with one of the blocks, I hope your recuperation passes by without too many withdrawal symptoms. I can see a lot of people needing to develop safe swimming techniques in the big fast water.

Andy

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by BaldockBabe »

andy g wrote:Dave

BB
I am sorry to hear about your arguement with one of the blocks, I hope your recuperation passes by without too many withdrawal symptoms. I can see a lot of people needing to develop safe swimming techniques in the big fast water.

Andy
Feet up and forward just like you are taught on WWSR courses? Did that! I vote for staying in the boat next time...

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by Adrian Cooper »

andy g wrote:They are requesting that individual paddlers are "3 Star standard", but they appreciate that a UKCC 3 Star in recreational boating (for instance) is not going to be a suitable level for taking a kayak down the Olympic course so this policy is still under development.
Interesting! The old 3* was definitely a flat water qualification whereas the new one is assessed on moving water, indeed it is called '3* whitewater' (unless you are thinking about the 3* touring award which is really aimed at flat water racing).

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
andy g wrote:They are requesting that individual paddlers are "3 Star standard", but they appreciate that a UKCC 3 Star in recreational boating (for instance) is not going to be a suitable level for taking a kayak down the Olympic course so this policy is still under development.
Interesting! The old 3* was definitely a flat water qualification whereas the new one is assessed on moving water, indeed it is called '3* whitewater' (unless you are thinking about the 3* touring award which is really aimed at flat water racing).
I think that was more that the Olympic course is a level of whitewater difficulty which simply isn't assessed for in the new 3* whitewater; It sounds like a big step forwards.
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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by scottdog007 »

I´m there this Thursday as a guinea pig, seems they are training the raft leaders and want people that have little or no rafting experience so these leaders can practice on, so i´ve been invited along. Looking forward to it. Probably find i´m pleased to be in a big rubber boat than a plastic one, cos it sounds as though it is a constant massive grade. I don´t know if it´s true but on all pumps i´ve been told it is almost a constant grade 4.

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by quicky »

Are they intending to keep punters in the rafts and just give gentle runs down the course or build up to taking them sideways into things. Just wondering if paddlers should expect the normal site of raft swimmers going past or heading straight for them thinking 'oooh look they float I'll grab them' as they do at Nottingham.

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by DaveWortley »

I heard they had plans to have a big raft holding hole at the bottom that they could get clients swimming out of, from the looks of it, any swims further up the course will be sending them all the way to the bottom, not many big eddies or flat sections to collect clients in.

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by garya »

Its brilliant !!! I hope you are all going to love it when it opens in a few weeks time.

Nice clean and clear water, it is very quick and powerful. There are a few features that will hold or flip even the big 10 person rafts depending on how you drive them. Swiming down the course is interesting and worth avoiding if you can !! Staying in the centre avoids the blocks at the sides, there are then about four big eddies after the main drops where it is possble to make for the side if you swim strongly there are also steps here to help you get out too.

Any further info, contact numbers and dates are avalaible here:

http://www.gowhitewater.co.uk/whitewaterrafting/

Gary A

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by Carter »

Does anyone know whether the shorter 'easier' course referred to as the 'Legacy Loop' is called that because of the nice alliteration or is it because this is the only course that will run as part of the 'legacy' after the Games are done and dusted?
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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by garya »

My understanding is:

It is called the legacy loop as it is an easier grade and flow, it was also incorperated as part of the legacy plan to make the site usable for all levels of ability not just olympic athletes

This allows novice kyakers to gain expierence and intro to whitewhite water at easy grade 2 before moving onto the continuous and very fast grade 3+ of the main course. Most rafts will operate on the main course so it also means that novice kyakers should not have to worry about them.

The smaller course is cheaper to run making it easier for clubs and courses to secure an exclusive booking while the main course is used for somthing else.

Both course will reamin open and regularly used after the games, they will be manage by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. The planned life of the course right now is in excess of 25 years.


Gary A

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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by Alec Ferris »

quicky wrote:Are they intending to keep punters in the rafts and just give gentle runs down the course or build up to taking them sideways into things. Just wondering if paddlers should expect the normal site of raft swimmers going past or heading straight for them thinking 'oooh look they float I'll grab them' as they do at Nottingham.
I'm told they want to make sure we don't get in the way of rafters. Paddling is restricted to Friday to Sunday, and specific times at that.
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Re: Is it possible to book paddling sessions at Broxbourne y

Post by freddie »

Alec Ferris wrote:I'm told they want to make sure we don't get in the way of rafters. Paddling is restricted to Friday to Sunday, and specific times at that.

So my plan of paddling there after work in the week has been cruelly quashed?
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