Hello and welcome to our new members as well as those returning for another year.
2017 was another strong year for HXCC. We were able to really improve the range of paddling opportunities we are able to provide for our members – from whitewater to sea kayaking; slalom to SUP; and play boating to open boating. We also had more social activities including hikes and meals out. We ran the inaugural Calder Fest and of continue to play our part looking after our local environment. Most importantly though we continue to be a friendly, welcoming club and offer top notch coaching week in week out. Well done everyone who makes this happen. 2018 will see all of this and more I am sure.
But as many of you will know this is my last time writing as chair, I’m handing over the baton. My growing family and work commitments mean that I just don’t have to time to do the role justice. I have enjoyed helping to run HXCC and am immensely proud of what we have achieved over the years I have been on the committee, from winning grants and major awards to the excellent reputation we have locally and nationally. But most of all I am proud to have been a part of this fantastic, friendly and professional club. I also know that I am leaving it in safe hands.
Before I go though I thought I’d share with some of my favourite HXCC memories….
- My first trip on white water on a big wide river – the River Eden with it’s excellent wave trains and beautiful rock carvings
- Sea kayaking around Anglesey in glorious, glorious sunshine and seeing seals and porpoises.
- Winning the grant for the changing room refurb
- My second trip to paddle some Scottish white water which made me realise I was (slowly) getting better as a paddler! It was altogether dryer, resulted in fewer rips to dry trousers and wetsuits than my first.
- My first and successful trip down the ski slope rapid on Tryweryn.
- Warden Gorge (River Tyne) in an open boat with Shamim. We may have had water up to our gunnels but we made it down in tact and mostly upright.
- Winning BC club of the year
- Winning it again
- The sense of achievement and exhaustion at the end of a sowerby bridge slalom competition weekend.
- Last but not least – and my all time kayaking high – a trip to the Alps to paddle white water, where not only paddled better than I ever thought I could but I also took on (and won) against the mighty Le Rabidoux wave (that’s my paddle in the middle of the photo!) and almost, almost completed the Briancon Gorge without being unseated.
You don’t get rid of me that easily though and I hope to see you on the water soon to make some more memories.
And Dave Fuller, just in case you are reading, I’d still love to add paddling on the Thames, under Tower Bridge, to this list… Go on you know you can make it happen!