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.
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.