Q. re Lee Valley

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:17 pm

My boyfriend has made me a map of the features on the Legacy http://kingswoman.tumblr.com/post/39925 ... lee-valley - have we missed any?

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by TechnoEngineer » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:21 pm

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:32 am

TechnoEngineer wrote:http://goo.gl/maps/7LGRI
That's what it's drawn from - but we had to try and remember all the waves/guess from the blocks. I *think* we got all of them...
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by DaveWortley » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:45 am

You need a map for the Legacy course? Remind me to never get in a car with you...

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:15 pm

Scumbag_Scout wrote:You need a map for the Legacy course? Remind me to never get in a car with you...
It's to print off and laminate - and then everyone in the club can mark on which eddies that got, which waves they surfed, where they capsized and rolled, where they swam - so you can see if there are eddies you haven't managed to get into yet, or places where it habitually goes wrong.
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by janet brown » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:23 pm

Sounds far too organised! I just count how many eddies I get.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Sat May 04, 2013 4:51 pm

Two of my friends failed the Legacy assessment this morning, which I am quite surprised by, as they are at least as good as several friends (and me!) were when they took and passed their assessments. They had a very quiet - and very thorough - assessment on which they were the only people, and basically got 2 on 1 coaching for the hour! One friend I was particularly surprised to see fail, as his previous white water experience was class III water in the Alps.

Does anyone know if this new tough approach (have to get 5 eddies on a run to pass...) is just this assessor, or a general tightening up of the requirements for the Legacy loop? When I took my assessment last year, you basically just had to swim safely!
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Chalky723 » Sat May 04, 2013 5:12 pm

That's interesting, I passed the assessment last year despite coming out of the boat. By the time I'd emptied it & got back in the assessor just asked if I wanted to take the Olympic Assessment!! There were a couple of kids there that had passed & were going round without their boats every time!

The assessors were just as concerned that you could get yourself & your kit out of the water safely as they were with making the eddies.

I'd be interested to see how people view the purpose of the course though. It's great for practising and honing skills but I see it as a fantastic way to bring people up to the standard where they're fully competent on Grade 3 rather than only for people already at that level.

I can make all the eddies, surf the waves & play on the features very happily now - but that's only because I've had the chance to practise on such a great facility. The closest "real" whitewater is 4 hours away, if I'd been restricted to only learning on that and the Nene Whitewater Centre there's no way I'd be at the standard I am now.

I hope it doesn't place itself out of reach of the people that will benefit from it most.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Natalie » Sat May 04, 2013 7:05 pm

I'm strongly in favour of the legacy course being toughly assessed. I was down there a week last Thursday and it was packed. The only way they can make it safe and keep the large numbers of paddlers they allow on the course is by having a high standard of assessment.

On an unrelated matter, I hope they're planning on adding climbing handholds (I don't know the technical name) to the banks like they do at HPP. Most of the eddies on the legacy and olympic course are recirculating and the banks are really smooth. A couple of things to hold onto would help a lot IMO.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Patrick Clissold » Sat May 04, 2013 8:04 pm

Natalie wrote:I'm strongly in favour of the legacy course being toughly assessed. I was down there a week last Thursday and it was packed. The only way they can make it safe and keep the large numbers of paddlers they allow on the course is by having a high standard of assessment.

On an unrelated matter, I hope they're planning on adding climbing handholds (I don't know the technical name) to the banks like they do at HPP. Most of the eddies on the legacy and olympic course are recirculating and the banks are really smooth. A couple of things to hold onto would help a lot IMO.

Nat
Surely if they toughly assess the legacy course like you say then you shouldn't need any handholds?

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Randy Fandango » Sat May 04, 2013 8:21 pm

Natalie wrote:The only way they can make it safe and keep the large numbers of paddlers they allow on the course is by having a high standard of assessment.
I feel there needs to be a Legacy course assessment to ensure people are safe on the course, in or out of their boat.
No more no less.
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Natalie » Sat May 04, 2013 9:21 pm

Patrick Clissold wrote:
Natalie wrote:I'm strongly in favour of the legacy course being toughly assessed. I was down there a week last Thursday and it was packed. The only way they can make it safe and keep the large numbers of paddlers they allow on the course is by having a high standard of assessment.

On an unrelated matter, I hope they're planning on adding climbing handholds (I don't know the technical name) to the banks like they do at HPP. Most of the eddies on the legacy and olympic course are recirculating and the banks are really smooth. A couple of things to hold onto would help a lot IMO.

Nat
Surely if they toughly assess the legacy course like you say then you shouldn't need any handholds?
I don't need them, but they would be a nice little luxury.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Chalky723 » Sat May 04, 2013 10:18 pm

Randy Fandango wrote: I feel there needs to be a Legacy course assessment to ensure people are safe on the course, in or out of their boat.
No more no less.
Giles
This.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Sat May 04, 2013 10:29 pm

Randy Fandango wrote:I feel there needs to be a Legacy course assessment to ensure people are safe on the course, in or out of their boat.
No more no less.
Giles
That was the impression I'd always had!
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Mon May 06, 2013 10:35 am

Here's a more detailed story of the changes to the assessment we noticed this weekend, and a bit of background on the paddlers who failed http://kingswoman.tumblr.com/post/49764 ... tions-this
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by mharrall » Tue May 07, 2013 9:39 am

I had my first experience of Lee Valley WWC on Sunday along with a couple of friends. I have to say that the whole thing was overwhelmingly positive and enjoyable for all of us. What an incredible facility it is, and looks like it will soon be even better with the upgrades going on.

Thanks to Giles and his colleague (sorry don’t recall his name) for looking after us through our assessment, making us feel as relaxed as possible, and ultimately passing us. It was a real buzz for all of us making it through and paddling water that Olympians had competed on. We felt a real sense of achievement and talked about little else on the way home in the car.

Everyone was very friendly and helpful. The carpark guy even leant Kieran (15 year old lad with us) £5 to get a bib with as he’d left his money back at the car, to save him time so he could make it to the start of his hour on the legacy course. The locals walking through the park were also very chatty and friendly, maybe it was just the sunshine but it felt like there was a little bit of that London 2012 friendly magic still in the air. I’m looking forward to coming back again later in the Summer.
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by garya » Tue May 07, 2013 11:24 am

Wadhamite wrote:Two of my friends failed the Legacy assessment this morning, which I am quite surprised by, as they are at least as good as several friends (and me!) were when they took and passed their assessments. They had a very quiet - and very thorough - assessment on which they were the only people, and basically got 2 on 1 coaching for the hour! One friend I was particularly surprised to see fail, as his previous white water experience was class III water in the Alps.

Does anyone know if this new tough approach (have to get 5 eddies on a run to pass...) is just this assessor, or a general tightening up of the requirements for the Legacy loop? When I took my assessment last year, you basically just had to swim safely!
Concrete courses are a little different to natural rivers and can present there own unique issues that you need to get used to master them.

The eddies and features tend to be a lot closer together than on a river and a mistake on one move is very swiftly punished by being out of shape on the next feature even if you roll.

The narrow width an high speed of the water also makes it common for paddlers to exit an eddy too fast and finding them self's making contact with the rapid blocks on the opposite side of the course and then bump a couple in succession as they struggle along the boils on the eddy lines, like a pinball. running down the side of the course off the centre line is not to be recommended.

The smooth walls on the course also make water rapidly rotate in the eddies throwing you back into the main feature or creating a very peculiar double eddy line in some places that you need to get across to get to the main flow. There are also changes in the level of the concert floor in couple of eddies that produce boils that surge and are an unstable place to be.

The best way to succeed on assessment here is to observe other paddlers on the course and how they position there boats for a run. Demonstrate the run to the paddlers. Pick the eddies and course they will follow so they are clear on the run what they need to do and where to position the boat to achieve this easily by using the flow and features to help them.

Having this plan will help them feel more relaxed during the assessment.... If you can get a signed off coach to give them some practice runs or a warm up session prior to assessment this will be a massive help too, and get them passed the first time

Gary A

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Tue May 07, 2013 12:46 pm

Thank you for the tips, I'll pass them on to the paddlers!
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by mharrall » Tue May 07, 2013 1:31 pm

garya wrote:
.... If you can get a signed off coach to give them some practice runs or a warm up session prior to assessment this will be a massive help too, and get them passed the first time

Gary A
Gary, what's the process to becoming a signed off coach?
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by SimonMW » Tue May 07, 2013 2:03 pm

I can fully understand why these assessments exist, but it does seem like rather a ball ache to keep having to go to assessments if you fail. As others have mentioned the water in these concrete channels is weird (I don't know why they can't make more of an effort to design them in the first place to look and behave more like real river banks/beds). It can take a lot of practice to get used to it.

I still go over at Cardiff and swim, usually from getting shoved up against bollards or rafts. The guys who can catch every eddie and style the whole thing are generally there all the time and get used to the way the water behaves.

Wadhamite, although you would have to travel, it may well be cheaper for you guys to share a car to Cardiff and spend a whole day there for £12 so that they can get used to the type of water on these sorts of courses. Even with travel (shared between a few) it will still probably be cheaper than the £5 per hour plus assessment at Lee Valley.

Then at least they could spend some more time on that type of artificial course water and may stand a better chance of styling the assessment at LV?

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by mharrall » Tue May 07, 2013 2:20 pm

A good plan but I would say Cardiff on its standard 8 cumecs is more challenging than the legacy course. If you are going to go over there, try going over for the early session on Sunday where they run it for about 1.5 hours at 4 cumecs. This would give you a chance to learn the course before they raise the volume to 8. If you are surviving Cardiff on 8 you should find the legacy relatively straight forward.
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Wadhamite » Tue May 07, 2013 2:34 pm

Thank you for the tips. I imagine I'll check out Cardiff with my boyfriend, but Cardiff from East Anglia is a looooong way. I didn't know they ran the course at a lower level on Sunday, really useful to know! I'm also rather addicted to the water quality at LV, having heard so many horror stories about HPP and Teeside. I've just got over norovirus and I'd like to give my insides a rest from enteric pathogens and raw sewage!
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by SimonMW » Tue May 07, 2013 2:44 pm

Cardiff has good quality water. The course is sealed off from the river itself, and they only do top ups when the water quality is at its best.

The issues with HPP are over egged I think. They test the water regularly (twice a day I think) and will tell you what the current quality is like at reception. They close the course if the quality is unsafe.

But yeah, East Anglia from Cardiff is a trek, but certainly would be worth it as a one off or two over summer as it would give a good opportunity to have a lengthy practice on that type of water. Saturday is 8 cumecs all day usually, with Sundays having the morning at 4 and then the afternoon on 8. Maybe make a weekend of it?

If you get bored of kayaking there, they have the new Flowrider indoor surfing which looked like great fun when I saw it yesterday!

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by mharrall » Tue May 07, 2013 2:57 pm

And a pool right next door with loads of slides :-)

As Simon says, water quality at Cardiff is very good, it's not quite as crystal clear as LVWWC but almost as good.
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by Strad » Tue May 07, 2013 3:19 pm

Personally I find the most challenging things at Cardiff are the rafts - learning how to judge raft behaviour and speed is a new skill compared to most of the parts of river reading you will have learned already :-).

The Flowrider looks great (haven't been on it yet), but I reckon it will be a good way to have the family doing something while I kayak!

As to Simon's idea of trying to make a weekend of it - a great idea there are plenty of things to do around Cardiff if you are interested in other ways to waste time - not far to some good hillwalking, the National History Museum at St Fagan's is worth a visit (and free except for parking), not too far to some beaches, etc, etc.
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by garya » Tue May 07, 2013 4:01 pm

Cardiff is a good.

They vary the flow through out the day and the 4 cumec is ideal for beginners. the course is steeper, faster and longer than Lee Valley and the 10 - 12 cumec release is real hoot to paddle if you get a change they only do it rarely. it is between the legacy and full on Olympic lee valley courses in in terms of difficulty. The site is also more compact so it is easier to stop for a break or see all the action from the café.

HPP
The water quality is not as bad as people have made out and I have never got ill. I think it is an easier coaching site as the large pools and eddies between sections make it easy to talk to paddlers or get them out to re-run a section again. It is also not so continuous and has easy and harder sections you can use separately.

The camp site is also good if you have to travel a long way as you can stay over easily near the course.

Cardington


a Lot of people discount this but for fresher's or people who have never been on white water it is a good introduction site that can take a large group and is safe to run.

it is basically a 300m flood diversion channel.. you get exclusive use of it when you book. You set up all the obstacles yourself in any configuration you want. This helps your paddlers understanding of how the flow and features work. You can also control the flow rate of the water. Its about grade 1.5 but lots of fun, and as you are not charged per person so it is cheap for two days use.

It is set in a country park so with nice weather and a picnic plus deckchairs it makes a very nice day out for those who have not tried paddling much, you can also camp on site as well if you are discreet. Its located in Cardington near Bedford so good for south east clubs and groups.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by R3V » Tue May 07, 2013 4:20 pm

Wadhamite wrote:Thank you for the tips. I imagine I'll check out Cardiff with my boyfriend, but Cardiff from East Anglia is a looooong way. I didn't know they ran the course at a lower level on Sunday, really useful to know! I'm also rather addicted to the water quality at LV, having heard so many horror stories about HPP and Teeside. I've just got over norovirus and I'd like to give my insides a rest from enteric pathogens and raw sewage!
It doesn't take as long as you think Wadhamite (ubless you go cross country) either A14/M6 route from north cambridge or via m25/m4 is just a shade over 3 hrs (its dual carriage way and motorway door-to-door). Check for problems arround birmingham or on m25 before starting and choose the other route.

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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by mharrall » Tue May 07, 2013 4:36 pm

What about the Nene? Wouldn't that be an option for some practice?

I went there once long ago but can't really remember much about it other than it's quite small. Anyone got an opinion?
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by TechnoEngineer » Tue May 07, 2013 5:02 pm

Since we're now experiencing sunshine, HPP should be a lot better in terms of pathogens. See Simon Dawson's work here:
http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... =3&t=72115
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Re: Q. re Lee Valley

Post by enjoyer » Tue May 07, 2013 6:22 pm

mharrall wrote:
... what's the process to becoming a signed off coach?
Bring your certificates to reception and speak to them. (4 and 5 star river leaders can also take people down the course).
mharrall wrote:What about the Nene? Wouldn't that be an option for some practice?

I went there once long ago but can't really remember much about it other than it's quite small. Anyone got an opinion?
Yes - a good idea. Smaller and tighter of course, yet useful to help with eddy practice.

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