River Derwent, Matlock Bath – Jan 2012

Review by Paul Ryder

This Sunday saw a few brave souls head off to Matlock White-water course about 1 hr 15 minutes run from Blackroot. The intrepid paddlers numbered 7 at the start but dwindled away as we inspected the slalom course.

The 7 included Matt R, Sarah W, Stu, Simon B, Barb, Ray and I, the bank support and official photographer for the day was Lorraine. We all arrived around about 10:15 and proceeded to inspect the course!

After several walks up and down the course our numbers dropped to 5! So, after a brief discussion (any longer and more of us may have joined the bank support team), we slid on to the Derwent approx 250 metres upstream from the course to warm up.

Matt and Stu, the most experienced in the group took the lead and we all practiced ferry gliding, braking in and breaking out using Low Brace Turns and Bow Rudders.  It has to be said that until Simon decided to show us how to execute a perfect capsize and self rescue everything was going swimmingly well!

Finally the time came to run the slalom course so 5 became 3.  Simon and I thought we would be better off bowing out gracefully and living to fight another day!

This left Stu, Matt and Ray to carry the torch for RSCCC and run the course.

And didn’t they do well!  Ferry gliding braking in and breaking out looking good ……. and then just when you thought no more swims Ray decided to go for it!

In those immortal words “if you’re not getting wet you’re not trying hard enough” great job Ray.

It was a great day made better by everyone pitching in and looking after each other.

A very special thank you to Matt and Stu for looking after the rest of us.

In those immortal words “if you’re not getting wet you’re not trying hard enough” great job Ray.

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