River Awe 30.04.16

By Sandy Johnston • April 30th, 2016

Saturday 30 April saw two club members journeying north to paddle the River Awe.

The dam was releasing on one gate so water levels were medium/low but there was enough water to make the trip entertaining. After the shuttle we spent some time on ferry gliding on the rapid just below the dam and this then developed onto making use of water features to aid crossing the flow and this then developed onto wave surfing. Leigh caught her first wave closely followed by her first capsize and swim of the day and then, after some more practice at breaking in and out, we continued downstream to the graveyard section.

This section has a number of large boulders which can be negotiated fairly easily as was shown by another group on the river who were paddling white water racers. We also paddled through the graveyard without mishap and the Leigh then took the lead for the next section down to Bridge of Awe. This was a really nice paddle with enough white water to keep it interesting but nothing difficult to impede our progress. Below the bridge, we worked on breaking in and out and Leigh discovered how trim can contribute towards a successful or unsuccessful outcome. A wee swim took us down to the railway bridge rapid and then to magnetic boulder. The main flow on the river on this rapid all pushes towards a large boulder which looms nearer and nearer as you approach and then you paddle by down a large wave train with Leigh getting some air off one of the larger waves. Sandy then spent some time surfing the wave before we moved on downstream.

The white water racers then passed us on their second run whilst we negotiated the next two rapids and then found a cracking surf wave just below the washing machine rapid. Needless to say Sandy had to spend some time in it whilst Leigh took some photographs. That however was the last of the major excitement with another couple of flat water km’s until the get-out. This was a great day out on a grade 3 river in sunshine and with some reasonable water conditions.

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