Eildon white water, 9-13 January 2023

Many ACC paddlers will associate the annual Eildon White Water trip with Wayne and Libby. Wayne has been involved in instructing on the trips since 1985 and Libby joined in 1990. Wayne says this year’s trip was their last, so we take this opportunity on behalf of all those paddlers that have learnt and enjoyed white water paddling because of their instruction to say a big THANK YOU.

First Day

The river level this year was lower than usual, which exposed previously covered rock features and gave us many options of eddies and waves to play in. Scott started us all doing some warm up exercises in small eddies above the main area, perfecting our edging, strokes and body position before coming down to the main area to spread out and play. Wayne broke his usual rule and tackled The Sump rapid on the first day, successfully. The floods earlier in the year rearranged The Sump rocks so once again the wave was different. Monday and Tuesday saw us all enjoy and hone our skills in the rapids alongside the caravan park.


On Wednesday we travelled up to Big River. The level there was higher than our usual. It was 0.6m, so we didn’t hit as many rocks on the way down. The narrow river made negotiating some rapids quite technical, which was fun. Unfortunately, flooding left too much debris in the Slalom Rapid to make it feasible for us to paddle it so we portaged around and then played in the wave below the rapid before continuing on to the pull out point near the road bridge. The scenery around Big River makes for a very enjoyable day’s paddling.


Thursday morning we took the boats up to the dam wall and had an enjoyable paddle down, through the S Bend rapid and back to the caravan park. Our last afternoon was filled with playing around the top features then Wayne, Scott, Simon, Steve and Charlie progressed down to enjoy The Sump. There were a few capsizes, some rolls and only a couple of rescues.

This was a great week paddling white water. Thanks to our instructors, Scott and Wayne, we improved our skills and had lots of fun. Think about joining us next year to experience the exhilaration of white water paddling.

Snowy River Extreme Race 2022 — 2 October 2022

After a 2 year gap for COVID-19 the annual Snowy River Extreme Race returned again this year on the Snowy River just below the Guthega power station.  Leigh Richardson and Steve Wild together with Simon and Anne Langsford ventured over for a week paddling and enjoying the area before the main event, the race on Sunday 2nd Oct.

The Race

Snowy River Extreme Race

The race is divided into Expert (grade 4) and Intermediate (grade 3) divisions and then has categories for kayaking in Open or Women’s, as well as canoeing and rafting. So there is something for everyone. Simon and Leigh teamed up again for the Intermediate kayaking race. Although they didn’t place in the top 3, they had a good run down the course with Leigh picking the route and Simon following.

Thanks to the sponsors, Horizon Line Packraft, Kayak Factory Direct, Electric Water, Paddle Sports Australia and The Kayak Shed for prizes for the winners, plus a host of fantastic prizes in the ‘lucky draw’ which includes everyone who competed or volunteered for the event.

Thanks to Electric Water, Anne received a race hoodie and Simon brought home one of the major sponsor prizes from Kayak Factory Direct – a new Prijon Curve kayak plus spray deck. Now Simon and Leigh have a new boat for next year’s race.

Island Bend

We had set up camp at Island Bend on the river the week before the race. As with all kayaking one is governed by the weather and must also respect the water levels, especially in white-water rivers. Simon, Leigh and Steve started with a warm up run around the camp ground. Simon unfortunately snagged his spray deck on a branch and ended up coming out of his kayak. (The water is about 4oC- brrrr!)  Leigh managed to collect the kayak in the pool at the end of the rapid and then helped Simon back to shore. Despite Steve checking the bank on both sides and looking down towards the next rapid, Simon’s paddle didn’t reappear. This was unfortunate as it was Anne’s polo paddle that he was using! However, later in the week the paddle was found and in true Snowy Extreme Race comradeship it was returned.

Prize after the race

The second warm up run was from the finish line back to camp. This was much more successful. After a rest day, Simon and Leigh practiced the race section of the river. Steve joined them for the last section around the camp ground bend and Anne ran the car shuttle. They arrived happy with their practice run, which included some rolling in a rapid.

The Snowy River Extreme Race is an outstanding event. We would recommend it to any white-water paddler in the club. If you want to learn some white-water skills join the club event at Eildon in January.

White Water trip to Eildon, Victoria — 11-14 March 2022

It was refreshing and liberating to be back at Eildon after two years!

Most of us arrived on Friday. Charlie and Marina got there a night earlier and were surprised at the activities on the Sump. Fire rescue team and their rafts, Tafe students in their canoes and a few private little boats all practising. Never seen so many on the Sump at one time.

We inadvertently picked a long weekend in Victoria and were a little worried about the crowds. But this didn’t prove to be much of a problem. The only downside was that the group was spread across different sites.


Challenging stretch in Goulburn river

On Saturday, Scott Polley did some instruction on the basics for those who had not done any white-water before; Esther did very well, Anthony showed no fear (trying to keep up with his son?), and Leigh is a natural (who would think he has never done any white water) as he soon ended up surfing the big wave at the Sump without much trouble. After a little warming up, Anne, Simon, Fred, Will, Marina and Charlie played around the pumpkins (big man-made concrete blocks designed to create turbulence and eddies in the river), the s- bend and, for the more daring ones, the Sump in the afternoon.

Fred and Will played the role of the two acrobats putting their canoe polo skills to use (Fred managed to position himself in his boat on a pumpkin). And Phil who was the elegant smooth wave rider.

Water levels were quite ok at first, then on Saturday they seem to have released water from the dam, and some of the pumpkins were soon under water. Luckily the water did not seem as cold as it normally is in January.

The Campsite

Kayak on rock in the middle of the river

Moored in the river

Besides people coming into the camp kitchen to do their dishes, we were lucky enough to have the kitchen pretty much to ourselves, as the local hotel was still closed so we had to cook in the campsite. Next year we will remember to check the Victorian calendar before pick a date! In all, we all surely had a lovely time, and Charlie and Marina finished their stay with a 52 kms downstream paddle to Molesworth on Tuesday, having enough water to paddle down at a good speed.